When we had visited the Norfolk area in the past one some of our favourite beer had come from Adnams brewery, So one of the things we looked at doing when we were looking for ideas for trips out was a visit to the Adnams Brewery at Southwold in Suffolk.
It can’t be that far from Southend I thought – looked at it on the map and it seemed a reasonable drive from where we were. Well I got that wrong. It was much further than we thought it would be.
We left the hotel at about 10.00 thinking we would be there in just over an hour – it took over two hours – then finding somewhere to park was a nightmare.
Anyway we arrived at the site to be greeted by a lovely lady called Pauline who was our tour guide and were handed hi vis jackets to wear on site as it is a working brewery.
One of the first things we found out was that Adnams is the only brewery to have a distillery attached to it – at one time it was illegal to have distillery attached to a brewery because the tax office people decided that you might not declare or your taxes for both beer and spirits.
The brewing process was clearly explained to us and we were shown samples of the products that go into the beer making process and were given a chance to taste some of the grains.
Because it was a working brewery it got very hot in the area where the beer is made – in one part where it was high up and I had to leave the tour briefly because I thought I was going to pass out.
Pauline was very knowledgeable and clearly explained everything to us including the history of some of the beers.
At the end of the tour we were taken into a small bar where we could sample the different beers that they produce – the first one they gave us was really nice and then we were told it was an alcohol free beer called Ghost Ship 0.5% which is the maximum ABV that you can have for a beer to be declared alcohol free. We then tried the normal Ghost Ship and several others that were offered to us. Unfortunately Tim had to drive home so he had more of the alcohol free one. We also learned that their Broadside one is a different less potent ABV for their draught version than the bottled version 4.7% as opposed to 6.4%. There were many others to try but we did not try all of them.
We then went off armed with our free bottle and 10% off vouchers to the shop which is in another part of the town. There they sold all the beers and spirits that they produce along with wines and some other products including chilli oils and wood products mostly from local producers.
We came home with a bottle of gin (our other favourite drink) and several different beers.
All in all a very good visit though if we go again I would make sure we stayed a bit nearer and get their earlier so we could explore the town properly.