Gipsy Hill

• • • Sustainability Award • • •


Anyone who’s followed London’s Gipsy Hill even casually over the past 12 months won’t be in the least bit surprised that it’s picked up this year’s sustainability award. On top of more general, ongoing work on its carbon footprint, the brewery has created the UK’s first fully carbon-negative beer in Regenerator, the ingredients for which have been grown according to the pioneering principles of regenerative agriculture.

Regenerator is the result of a multi-pronged approach to sustainability, stemming from Gipsy Hill’s collaboration with Wildfarmed, an organisation that works with farmers embracing a regenerative approach to biodiversity, and offers them a route to market for crops grown in systems that prioritise soil health. 

Gipsy Hill founder Sam McMeekin serendipitously stumbled upon Wildfarmed’s bizarre and completely brilliant story in a magazine, and then seemed to notice its brand in more and more places. “Andy Kato [Wildfarmed’s founder] is one of the two Groove Armada musicians,” he says. “In 2006, while Andy was on tour, he read a book about the state of food, and the planet, and basically said sod this, I need to do something about it.

“The special thing about the way Wildfarmed works, is that they do what's called poly cropping, meaning they plant multi-crop fields. So, for example, in the fields where our barley was grown, there was also peas and rapeseed growing. Everything grows alongside each other, so it’s a great big mix in the field, but the result is that there's more carbon sequestration, more nutritionally complex crops produced, and with more biodiversity promoted there's ultimately better soil health and you get a better yield.”

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