Welcome to the world of botanical drinks and edible landscapes!

This is where we are going to open-source all of our knowledge around food-forestry, fermentation, brewing and gardening.

We are currently growing a Drink Forest @ Field House in Brighton. Drink Forests are edible plant landscapes, recreational green spaces and low maintenance productive wildlife gardens. In Drink Forests you can see, smell, hear, touch and taste all the flavours of the seasons.  We are on a mission to plant Food and Drink Forests far and wide and this starts with knowledge-sharing to grow a community that can make this idea a reality.

Let's start with Kombucha!

If you're on this page you may have a bottle in your hand. Kombucha is an incredible drink that can be infused with all kinds of plant ingredients. The nutrients in these plants, through fermentation, then become more bio-available for the body. It's an easy, fun drink to brew at home and in doing so you can save yourself money! Here's our recipe: 

Old Tree Kombucha

 Ingredients

2 litres filtered or spring water

160g raw cane sugar 

8 teaspoons or 6 teabags of green tea

1 x SCOBY large enough to ferment 2 litres (you can purchase a SCOBY from us - just email)

200 ml of ready Kombucha

 

  Equipment

Sieve

Plastic spoon

Plastic Jug

2 litre glass jar

Muslin or tea towel

String

Scales

 

  Method

Wrap tea in muslin and tie with string

Boil 1 litre of filtered or spring water and add to 2 litre glass jar

Add tea and sugar to jar and stir, then leave to infuse for 20 minutes

After 20 minutes add remaining litre of water to glass jar

Add the SCOBY as well as the 200 ml of ready Kombucha

The jar can now be placed somewhere warm to ferment. This needs to be between 20 and 30 degrees Celsius, ideally between 24 and 28 degrees Celsius. A Kombucha will take anywhere between 7 to 14 days approximately. When to stop the fermentation (by decanting the liquid and bottling) is to some extent down to personal taste. Generally it is ready when most of the sweetness is gone and there is a slight but pleasant sourness. The longer it is left to ferment the more sour it will become.

There is an inexhaustible variety of plant ingredients, from fruit juices to herbs and flowers that lend incredible flavours and further nutritional benefits to Kombucha! We have experimented with only a few so far but we are having fun developing more. Watch this space! 

Dandelion & Burdock Kombucha

Recipe coming soon!

Forage and ferment with us

Let's not beat around the bush. We are living through a mass extinction as a result of our impact on the web of life we depend on. We need to completely change how we meet our needs to survive the next century. One of the best ways of doing this is to grow and produce more of what we all need together. We have discovered a way of doing this through combining botanical drink production with forest gardening. The purpose of Old Tree is to share this knowledge and build a culture around foraging and fermentation that can help to transform our agricultural practices into a force that heals the earth and makes people healthier and happier.

 

Our Story...

Old Tree Brewery began between an ancient woodland and an abandoned industrial estate after a new friendship was formed on a train journey. Shared experiences in forestry and community growing projects combined with a passion for ecology, gave root to the idea of Old Tree. As we realised you could drink the sap from Birch trees and make Oak Leaf wine, our resolution was to start a botanical brewery that could fund land regeneration projects!

Woodland Brewery.jpg

Doors opened for us as we started to learn about plants and all their uses throughout history – many too bitter to eat raw. Rediscovering the art of brewing became our new obsession. Elderflowers that were blossoming on trees growing in the cracks of pavements could become cider or champagne, Dandelions breaking through concrete to be the first flowers of spring could become beer! Seeing fruiting hedgerow plants like Sea-buckthorn create forests through tarmac and watching Nettles take over fields, we needed no more inspiration! 

Elderflower cider became our first drink. It went down well at festivals and friends started ordering it for weddings. Encouraged by this, we started making Somerset Cider, Hedgerow wine and Nettle Beer. We were then invited to become the botanical brewery for Silo – the award winning zero-waste restaurant in Brighton. Since then we have made hundreds of different fermented drinks and we're constantly developing more!

What we love about drink making is the variety of ingredients available to us, the connection to the outdoors and to the seasons. We want to share this love with you so our knowledge sharing platform is coming soon. 

Watch this space and learn with us, brew with us, grow with us –

http://www.drinkforests.net/