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Hythe-based Vibrant Forest Brewery opens The Vibrant Tap in Lyndhurst High Street





A NEW Forest brewery has opened a tap room in Lyndhurst selling its own range of craft ales.

Vibrant Forest Brewery, based at Hardley Industrial Estate in Hythe, has launched The Vibrant Tap on the village’s High Street, and manager Lee Dack has big plans for the site.

As well as offering 14 ever-changing beers, the bar serves gluten-free and alcohol-free beer, ciders, spirits produced in the New Forest including Boldre-based 820 Spirits and Wyrd Spirits, and local wines including Brook Hill.

Manager Lee Dack of the newly opened Vibrant Tap in Lyndhurst
Manager Lee Dack of the newly opened Vibrant Tap in Lyndhurst

Lee and his team have yet to open the kitchen, but when it’s up and running this month the menu will feature a range of smash burgers, loaded fries, and other street-food-type offerings that “go perfectly with beer”.

The tap room even has a small retail section stocking various treats by local producers including New Forest Tea Company, Red Garage Coffee, Beaulieu Chocolate Studio, Sway-based Naked Jam, and Brook Hill Vineyard – along with a huge selection of its own beers to take away.

The kitchen will be serving food from this month
The kitchen will be serving food from this month

“We really want to cater for everyone,” said Lee, whose brother Ryan manages the brewery on behalf of owner Kevin Robinson. “We welcome families and are dog friendly, and we also want to bring in cyclists so we’re getting a bike rack installed.”

Lee has already started hosting beer tasting evenings, and there will also be beer and cheese events using produce from Harveys of Hythe.

Manager Lee Dack, of the newly opened Vibrant Tap in Lyndhurst
Manager Lee Dack, of the newly opened Vibrant Tap in Lyndhurst

“We’re going to be running some pub quizzes here, too, and acoustic music events,” he continued. “We’re also going to be linking up with Black Star Records in the village to run vinyl nights, during which people can bring along old vinyls and play them.”

The Vibrant Tap is already being booked for parties, and Lee is planning on hosting networking events.

“The layout of the place is perfect for these types of events because we can section off the back part of the pub,” said Lee.

Manager Lee Dack, of the newly opened Vibrant Tap in Lyndhurst
Manager Lee Dack, of the newly opened Vibrant Tap in Lyndhurst

“Anyone who comes in here is always amazed by how big it is because it stretches all the way back, and we even have a little outside area for customers.”

Lee said the feedback from customers so far has been encouraging, with the session IPA straight from the barrel proving the most popular so far among customers.

Vibrant Forest has come from small beginnings, with Kevin starting out brewing in his garage in 2011.

The Vibrant Tap in Lyndhurst
The Vibrant Tap in Lyndhurst

Just over two years later, he took his modest operation to Gordleton Industrial Estate in Lymington, using his life savings to buy a shiny new British-made 12-barrel brewery.

Eventually outgrowing the space, Kevin upped sticks in 2019 and moved to his current site on the Waterside, where he runs a large tap room alongside the brewery.

Kevin has an adventurous approach to brewing, and his original aim was to introduce global flavours to local beer drinkers who would typically go for traditional English brown ales. He has played with different yeast strains and hop varieties from places like the US and New Zealand.

The Vibrant Tap in Lyndhurst
The Vibrant Tap in Lyndhurst

“Beers are so versatile, I don’t think people realise how incredible they are,” he told the A&T.

The Vibrant Tap opens from midday until 10pm Tuesday to Sunday, and closes on Mondays.

For more information, visit www.vibrantforest.co.uk/vibranttap



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