Business Spotlight - Boutilliers at The Taproom

You may have noticed that Bank Street looks a little different as new seating, furnishings and bunting have started to appear. As you walk down the colourful street, you’ll see The Taproom which has been taken over by Boutilliers, a Faversham-based independent brewery.

Director of Boutilliers, Drew Harris, is a dad of two. He was born in Singapore and grew up in Smeeth and East Brabourne but ‘I’m a country boy at heart’ he explains. Beyond beer and brewing he’s a big fan of manga, graphic novels and archery.

We caught up Drew to find out more about the company and what he plans on bringing to the Ashford scene.

Boutilliers

Tell us about Boutilliers. How did the business begin? And how has it grown?

"Boutilliers was originally founded by two friends from university and has grown beyond the hyper-local brewery it was when I joined nearly 4 years ago. We started to concentrate on fun and experimental styles on top of having a core range, and this has given us the opportunity to sell our beer up and down the country, not just in Kent. We survived the pandemic by creating a new brand, my own personal side project, "Low Key" which concentrates on exclusively high strength and barrel aged beers. "

Drew

Your brewery is located in Faversham; what made you want to come to Ashford?

"Well, I've always lived in or around Ashford and it's very much my home. My logic was always that if I was going to pour all of my efforts into making a town better by virtue of me making a bar there then it had to be Ashford. So when the opportunity came to take over the Taproom, a place I loved when it had been open previously, I jumped at the chance. "

 

Streetkings

We love your idea of bringing new food business into the Taproom. What sort of food can we expect to see?

"So this idea has actually changed somewhat as we've gone on. We will still be having a third party use our kitchen but we've decided that it will be Street Kings, who we previously worked with at Coachworks. The prospect of recreating the layout and style of one of my favourite places in the whole world (Warpigs in Copenhagen, who do craft beer and BBQ) was too tempting an opportunity to pass up. "

And what sort of yummy food can we expect to see?

"Street Kings concentrate on low and slow BBQ. You can expect to see THE BEST brisket, ribs, pulled pork and BBQ chicken anywhere in Kent (and possibly beyond.) "

 

Beerslowkey (1)

What does a typical work day for you look like?

"I'm not entirely sure I have a typical work day anymore. I'm still a brewer, so part of my time is formulating recipes for Boutilliers and Low Key. We have a beer cafe in Faversham called The Saddlers, which does Mexican food and craft beer. I still do deliveries when needed as well as ferrying kit and stock to Taproom. I also have shifts at the bar. Sometimes I think I do the bar admin in my sleep because I often don't remember doing it. "

What is your signature beer? What sort of flavours does it have?

 "Doki Doki", it's an unfiltered Bavarian style Helles Lager. Everyone knows what to expect from a lager, and this hits all those notes, but because it's unfiltered you get slightly more biscuity and bready notes as well as rounder body. It also has a very soft carbonation because we take the time to let it condition naturally instead of force carbing it with CO2. "

Drewharris

What are your proudest achievements? 

"On a personal level it has to be the birth of my two daughters Phoebe and Faye, followed closely by the privilege of getting to watch them grow up into beautiful and devastatingly intelligent lunatics. On a professional level it's probably having Low Key Barrel Project rated as the 6th best brewery in the country on Untappd and getting invited to London Craft Beer Festival (the festival I consider to be the pinnacle for craft beer in England) within a year of founding. "

Do you have any advice for new businesses coming to Ashford?

"Never compromise on your core business ideals, don't be like everyone else. Everyone else already has being like everyone else covered. "

Keep up with all the latest from Boutilliers by following them on Instagram at @boutilliersbrew  and Facebook at Boutilliers | Facebook