Thursday 8th January 2015
Rockin Robin Brewery is named after one of its owners Robin Smallbone. His nickname comes about because on some weekends he can be seen jamming in the pubs around Maidstone playing harmonica and guitar along with some occasional singing. He started his brewery in 2011 in a shed. It was of one barrel (bbl) capacity that delivered three firkins per brew. He used these to test the market in pubs around the Maidstone area.
It was whilst doing this that he met his future business partner Stuart Osgood aka Oz. Stuart was an active CAMRA member, working at many beer festivals. As Robin’s quest to sell his beers was successful it was their dream to open a larger brewery. This objective was finally achieved in May 2014 when they created the 15 barrel plant that we were visiting today.
The set-up of the company is as follows. Robin is the Managing Director, Oz is the Production Director and these two are complimented by Michelle Gordon who is the Sales Director.
With such a large brewery they have been able to greatly expand their sales area and they now cover all of Kent, East Sussex and Surrey, also South East London. On the day we were met by Robin and Michelle.
After Robin explained the story of the brewery, which was more or less what I have written above, we were directed to two small casks of ale in which were RPA (Robin’s Pale Ale?) and Hoppin Robin. Of course, we tried them both and didn’t have a clear favourite, they were both good. I am not being condescending here, they really were.
Then a saviour emerged from the office in the form of Michelle with a plate of bacon baps. Very many thanks for this, as it was a very cold January morning and this was our third brewery visit.
Rockin Robin’s core range of beers is: Rockin Robin (3.6%), a session bitter; Hoppin Robin (3.7%), another session bitter; RPA (3.9%), pale ale; Robin Redbest (4.0%), a traditional English bitter; Rock a Hula (4.0%), an Anglo-American pale ale and Reckless Robin (4.5%) an English best bitter.
Then there are some other, not so regular beers such as: Mildly Rockin (3.7%), a mild; Reliant Robin (4.2%), a dark brown traditional English bitter, Blizzard of Oz (4.5%), a dark winter warmer and Really Rockin (5.0%), a strong pale ale. There have also been some special brews.
Robin, Oz and Michelle really produce some great beers, and they are located at:
Campfield Farm, Haste Hill Road, Boughton Monchelsea, Kent ME17 4LR
Tel: 01622 747106; mobile: 07787 416110.
This was a private visit and the company’s policy on visits is not known.