Between 2015 and 2017 we created a Drink Forest Garden in Brighton to demonstrate the kinds of value that can be created by working with wild plants.

The idea for Drink Forests is simply combine food-forestry and fermentation and harness the forces of nature to transform, regenerate and grow, to heal our natural world.

Drink Forests are productive edible plant landscapes, recreational green spaces and low maintenance  wildlife gardens. In Drink Forests you can see, smell, hear, touch and taste all the flavours of the seasons.

If Old Tree establish an irresistible drinks brand from its  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.

The founder of the permaculture movement, Bill Mollision has a quote that we agree with:

"Whilst the problems of the world become increasingly complex. The solutions remain embarrassingly simple."

Despite the powerful media narrative,  we do not have an 'over-population crisis'. We have an agricultural crisis. An educational crisis. A waste crisis, and an economic crisis. Their aren't 'too many' people their aren't enough gardeners, farmers and teachers empowered with the vital knowledge and access to land & there is not enough closed-loop thinking in an economic system whose growth is measured in quantity instead of quality of goods and services created. The climate crisis demands that we transform our civilization now, or we may as well be digging our own graves with consumption.

 

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/