Five ways to winter-proof your oast house

Winter. It might come round once a year, and if you are not prepared it can end up costing you a fair bit.  This year has seen a dramatic rise in home working and many of us will be spending more time in our home this winter than ever. So making sure your oast house is ready for the upcoming season is essential.

Here are four tips to make sure you are prepared for whatever this year’s weather has in store for us:


Make sure your oast cowl is turning in the wind

Starting at the top, it is essential you check your cowl appears to be in good working order before any bad weather begins. Cowls make an oast house, they are their literal crowns, but they also bear the brunt of the relentless British weather. 

oast cowls in need of repair

The original oast cowls needed to turn in the wind to fulfill their purpose and they are still designed to work like this. If your oast cowl is not turning in the wind then it needs to be looked at.  


Ensure it doesn’t need refurbishment

Even if your oast cowl is still in working order it may be in need of a refurbishment. If the original bright white colour is a distant memory and the cowls look a little worse for wear, your oast cowls may be in need of a clean. To find out more about how we clean cowls, you can read our expert cleaning oast cowl tips.

dude and arnette repairing oast cowls


Make sure you do not have any missing tiles on your roof

Take a close look at your roof and carefully check the state of your tiles. Loose tiles on your oast house can cause issues such as leaks and over time missing tiles will damage your roof. Loose tiles can be blown off your oast roof – particularly in bad winter weather – so it makes sense to fix them before they get worse. 


Make sure your home is well insulated 

Energy prices are rising – a lot. This is something we are all aware of and many of us are concerned about. This winter, even more so than ever before, it is essential you limit how much heat you lose. Of course, good insulation and efficient heating systems are a big part of this but there are some simple steps you can take today to keep your home cosy:

  1. Use your curtains. Curtains play a vital role in keeping your home toasty. Make sure you open them in the morning to make as much use of whatever sunlight there is and then close them as soon as it gets dark to conserve heat. A substantial amount of heat from your home escapes through the windows so good fitting and warm – and even better thermal – curtains can make a huge difference.

  2. Roll out the rugs on uncarpeted floors. Oast houses often come with stone and wooden floors. Whilst this delightful decor is part of the charm of living in a traditional building, it can be cold. Rugs are a great way to keep your feet warm and to stop drafts. 
  3. Leave your oven door open after cooking. You have just spent a considerable amount of time heating it up so why waste all that heat? 
  4. Stop drafts in their tracks with draft excluders and by filling in any gaps around windows or doors.


If you think your oast cowls need a little TLC before the wintery weather arrives, please get in touch today.

6 Beers to try this International Beer Day

The first Friday of August is a special one in the world of beer – it is International Beer Day! This day is all about celebrating the wonder that is beer and enjoying brilliant brewing from all over the world. As it is international, it is of course obligatory to sample some exotic offerings. But leave some room to try something from a little closer to home. After all, the land of oast houses and hops is also home to some amazing ales.

Here are six great local beers to add to your must-try list:

Cellar Head: Session Pale Ale

Cellar Head is an award-winning, independent Kent brewer. Their session pale ale is a refreshing combination of gooseberry, green grapes, and honey sweetness. This delicious and uplifting ale is perfect for summer. But you don’t need to take our word for it, this tipple was also the top choice for the folk at the Taste of Kent Awards who named this their beer of the year 2021.  

Gunn Brewery

Gun Brewery: Pale Ale

The inventive Gun Brewery is nestled in the rolling hills of the Sussex Weald on an organic farm. All the water used for brewing their award-winning beers comes from a spring deep below the picturesque farm.

Gun’s pale ale is brewed using very pale malts and American hops. This is definitely one for the hop lovers. And as a bonus, it is suitable for vegans and for those who are gluten free.

Kent Brewery beers

Kent Brewery: Session Pale Ale

This Session ale crafted in the heart of Kent is packed with the taste of summer.  The ale is light and hoppy with notes of citrus and elderflower.  

Larkins Brewery: Larkins Traditional

Larkins still dry and press their locally grown hops in their own oast house. But that is just one of the many reasons we are a fan of their characterful ales.

Their best seller is the Larkins Traditional, a perfect balance of hops and malt resulting in a smooth Kentish style tawny session bitter. 

Dark Star: Hophead

Born in Brighton but now calling West Sussex home, these craft brewers excel at hoppy ales. And a must-try for anyone who likes their beers full of hops and full of flavour is their Hophead. This beer has a distinct floral aroma and is packed with cascade hops which add a mighty hit of elderflower.


Tonbridge Brewery: Blonde Ambition

Tonbridge Brewery is an independent brewery based in the heart of hop growing country. Their distinctive beers are crafted using predominately Kentish hops. Their Blonde Ambition beer is a refreshing blonde ale full of flavour. The marriage of Kentish Challenger and First Gold hops results in a crisp, spicy and citrus-tasting beer with a clean finish. 

Interested in local traditions and heritage? So are we! 

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