Firms recognised at ‘Rural Oscars’

Drusillas SUS-150918-143446001
Drusillas SUS-150918-143446001

Drusillas Park and Harvey’s Brewery have been named finalists in the 2015 Countryside Alliance Awards.

The awards, known as the Rural Oscars, are the Countryside Alliance’s annual celebration of produce, skills, enterprise and heritage through small businesses.

Portrait of Harvey's Head Brewer Miles A. Jenner by Willie Robb in Lewes. Made for the October edition of Viva Lewes. SUS-150819-173252001

Portrait of Harvey's Head Brewer Miles A. Jenner by Willie Robb in Lewes. Made for the October edition of Viva Lewes. SUS-150819-173252001

They are now in their eleventh year and have become the definitive rural business award to win. The awards are public-nomination led across four categories: local food, village shop/post office, butcher and tourism enterprise – in which both Drusillas and Harvey’s Brewery was nominated.

Drusillas Park is loved by visitors young and old, with its lemurs a particular draw. It is an important and proud local employer for Alfriston.

Harvey’s Brewery carries out around 100 brewery tours each year, each for about 50 people and has a year-long waiting list for them. Its dray horses are a weekly spectacle in Lewes and regular visitors to surrounding towns and agricultural shows.

It is the last brewery in the country to use returnable bottles and runs on solar power. It is also a firm believer in local sourcing – the hops it uses in its brews are not only English but all come from within 60 miles of the brewery.

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Countryside Alliance Awards director Jill Grieve said: “The finalists are all exceptional. We have been overwhelmed by nominations this year, so for Drusillas and Harvey’s Brewery to get this far is a huge achievement for them.

“The secret to the Rural Oscars’ popularity is that they honour the people involved in these businesses and not just their produce or services.

“They exist to sing the praises of those who work hard to keep our communities and rural economy ticking, but don’t seek the spotlight.

“The staff of these firms are good examples of all that’s best about local businesses and treasured by their communities. We are delighted to offer this platform to enable people to say ‘thank you’ to them for all they contribute.”

The awards will be held in the House of Lords in April.

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