Home Kent News Tunbridge Wells family heartbroken after lightning strike destroys brewery

Tunbridge Wells family heartbroken after lightning strike destroys brewery

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Original article from Kent Live

A family-ran brewery near Tunbridge Wells have been left heartbroken after a lightning strike on Sunday (July 25).

The Good Things brewery based in Eridge was set alight after lightning struck the 17th century barn at around 12.50pm.

The old building was engulfed by flames as family and staff arrived at the scene to digest what was unfolding in front of their eyes.

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Fire crews arrived at the scene to help tackle the blaze, and had the additional challenge of a number of pressurised tanks and chemicals inside the brew house.

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Charlie Young, 27, had worked at the brewery for just over a year and was first made aware of the blaze when a friend called.

"A friend gave me a call and told me the brewery had just been struck by lightning and is on fire," he said.

The devastation caused by the fire

"My first response was to tell him he was joking.

"I got in my car and came over straight away to see what had happened.

"As I drove down the lane towards the barn I could just see a red ball of fire through the hedge and thought 'wow'."

The blaze was an electrical fire which went into the power room and left foam all over the top of the building.

Staff members and family stood back and watched the firemen tackle the blaze, as they reminisced on the many happy memories crumbling before their eyes.

Chris Drummond, founder and CEO of the brewery, was married at the barn just under a decade ago, and his wife grew up near the barn and had many happy memories of the venue.

The devastation caused by the fire

"The family had parties here when they were younger, Chris, the founder, even got married here," Mr Young said.

"There are some amazing times that we've had and the damage is just absolutely devastating.

"We felt helpless standing and watching on, it was very emotional."

The devastation caused by the fire

Talks are already taking place to determine what actions to now take following the fire.

A number of local breweries have also been in touch to give a helping hand to the business.

"The support has just been incredible," Mr Young added.

The devastation caused by the fire

"We have had loads of messages from people in the industry and other breweries contacting us via social media.

"They're telling us we're all in it together and they can help us out, we are so lucky to be in an industry where everyone does look out for each other.

"We don't feel alone at all in this, we're really lucky with the big family that we have."

The brewery staff have set up a GoFundMe campaign page where people can donate funds to assist with the future plans.

The page was set up on Monday (July 26) and has already received over £10,000 in just 24 hours.

"We're taken aback by the support but we definitely knew we had a strong extended family with our customers," he added.

"All our electrics have gone so we're currently using extensions, we don't yet know what we'll do with the funds raised.

"We would probably have to take everything offsite and go from there."

You can view the brewery's GoFundMe page by clicking on this link.

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Original Article