A Sussex brewery, vineyard or other drink producer making high quality and mouth-watering products with a great business behind them.
In the beautiful South Downs village of Litlington in the Cuckmere Valley, Long Man Brewery is based at Church Farm which grows 500 acres of spring malting barley in the farmland surrounding the brewery. After brewing, over 150 tonnes of ‘spent grain’ is fed to livestock on the farm, and any surplus is then composted. Creating a permanent range of high quality beers, the team also produce an extensive batch range and keg range. Starting in the wonderfully restored flint walled brewery shop & tasting room, their brewery tour and beer tasting experience offers a great way to discover their unique, environmentally sustainable brewery, where they produce the very finest Sussex ales as well as giving back to the land and community they rely on to sustain their business.
‘Paula Seager, MD, Natural PR Ltd, said: ‘Standing out amongst a spectacular list of finalists, our winner has taken climate change and the importance of the environment to the furthest possible degree, protecting the soil and creating a circular production process at the same time as making a superb product and giving excellent service to their business and consumer customers.’
Thank you to our expert judge Henry Butler, from Butler’s Wine Cellar.’
Despite the loss of 90% of their trade customer base to Covid related closures, the team enjoyed the challenge of re-inventing themselves as a consumer-focused business, launching a home delivery service, click and collect and improving their retail off license offering. In a year where there has been so much negative news, they have found real enjoyment in the challenge of innovating to survive and are now looking forward to a successful 2021!
Pioneers of premium winemaking, the beautiful Bolney Wine Estate, nestled on the edge of the South Downs is managed by a dedicated team with a mission to produce delicious, artisanally made quality wines. Hugely proud of its history since the vineyard stated in 1972, the 39-acre estate specialises in producing premium red, white, rosé and sparkling English wines that have won the estate numerous awards.
Over the past year they have launched new initiatives online and in their shop to support their local community, working closely with local businesses to provide these services. They have worked hard to increase their online offering and take tours and events virtual, to ensure that customers have still been able to enjoy small moments at home and virtually with loved ones.
For more than 25 years, Ridgeview have been producing world-class sparkling wines. They planted our vineyards at a time where many believed that producing English wine just couldn’t be done. Today the English wine industry is thriving and the family business is proud of the role they have played in that. With the motto ‘Life is about Celebrating’, Ridgeview has won many awards for its superb sparkling wines.
The team felt fortunate that production at Ridgeview could carry on during Covid restrictions. Sales were affected by the closure of hospitality and limited onsite visitor opportunities during the restrictions. Ridgeview had to be agile and reactive in their marketing by diverting to digital direct to consumer sales and also focusing on the off-trade supermarket opportunities. Covid has also increased their focus on onsite tourism and when they were able to open their doors to visitors, they had record numbers of customers enjoying the outdoors in their Ridgeview Wine Garden.
Entry is now closed for the below four categories in the Sussex Food & Drink Awards 2020! Our judges will be in contact with you soon if you have made the shortlist! Grand Finalists will be announced in March 2020.
SUSSEX STREET FOOD OF THE YEAR
Our winner will offer great food to be eaten in a mobile situation, including as many local ingredients as possible. Finalists will participate in a live competition at Horsham on 27th October.
SUSSEX YOUNG CHEF OF THE YEAR
Our winner will be aged 25 or under on 31/01/20, working or studying in Sussex, with a talent for creating a wonderful menu of creative dishes using local ingredients.
SUSSEX NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR
Our winner will be an innovative business from any part of the food and drink sector, supporting local produce, which has been trading for up to 3 years by end 2019; has the ambition and determination to succeed; and can demonstrate a realistic and sustainable business plan.
YOUNG SUSSEX FARMER OF THE YEAR
Our winner will be a young farmer aged 35 or under by end 2020. They can come from any sector within agriculture, horticulture or viticulture and must be involved in food or drink production. They could be part of the family farm (owned or tenanted), a student, an employee or self-employed. This young person should display the following attributes: vision; leadership; innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship; ability to incorporate new ideas and practices; ability to inspire others; and the desire to succeed and grow business.