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Long Man Brewery Tour

Whenever I’ve visited the British seaside town of Eastbourne, where my grandparents live, it is uniformly sunny and gorgeous. When I was younger, I spent many of my finest months enjoying the crisp cool air from the English Channel.

Long Man Brewery's logo features the eponymous Long Man of Wilmington.

Of course, weather is a fickle vixen, and this trip has been a bit different. My luck has run out (in terms of sunshine) and I’ve been treated to gale force winds, devilish deluges and just a sprinkling of broken umbrellas.

Dear Old Blighty is certainly known for her weather; it’s just that I’ve never been on the receiving end of her most torrential caresses.

With a dreary gray sky as my backdrop, I hired a taxi and headed towards my goal: Long Man Brewery, a craft beer – and cask ale – haven in the heart of Sussex’s farming country in Litlington.

After wending our way through the interminable and exceedingly narrow roads (for an American driver), the hedges finally opened up, revealing the Long Man of Wilmington (photo), whom the brewery and many of its beers are named for.

Upon entering the brewery grounds (after getting a bit turned around, thanks in no small part to a road literally called The Street), I was greeted by brewery founder and head brewer Jamie Simm. With a slim build, twinkling eyes and a clean-shaven, young-looking face, Jamie isn’t your typically hirsute head brewer.

Long Man head brewer Jamie Simm in front of the brewery offices.

The brewery was founded in February 2012 after Jamie left Royal Tunbridge Wells Brewery, a local brewhouse where Jamie got his start in the industry. Unlike so many other like-minded beer connoisseurs, Jamie was never a homebrewer.

“I started working at Royal Tunbridge Wells Brewery years ago,” Jamie tells me. “I began at the very bottom, cleaning casks, and worked my way up all the way to head brewer.”

It’s easy to see why he rose through the ranks so quickly. Jamie has a real gift for talking about the beers he creates and is highly knowledgeable and passionate about the brewing process, as well as the choice ingredients he uses in his beers.

Jamie led me to the 20-barrel brewhouse, where the eight fermenters are in use for brewing eight times a week. “We started out with our three flagships: Long Blonde, Best Bitter and American Pale Ale,” said Jamie. “And we’ve just continued to grow and grow.”


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