There are few things more appetising than a cold, refreshing beer on a hot summer day, or a cold winter day, or a mild springtime day. Across Suffolk, there are a huge range of different breweries to have a meander or tour around, allowing you to see first hand where your favourite drink is made commercially.
- Greene King Brewery – Bury St Edmunds
Greene King is a familiar face in the pub industry, running over 2700 pubs, restaurants and hotels in towns and villages all across the country. Something you may not know, however, is that under each logo is the name ‘Bury St Edmunds.’ Obviously this is because the floral town is where the whole story of Greene King pubs and breweries first started and continues to live. It was established by Benjamin Greene in 1799 and from then on, after mergers with other companies around the Bury area, Greene King has grown into what we know and love after it being on our high streets for so long.
The Greene King Brewery started over 200 years ago, and, opening in 2013, a microbrewery was set up which produces a range of craft and special ales. And, you can book a tour around the historic buildings and find out the history of the Greene King brand and the brewery in Bury St Edmunds, and the team will be happy to show you how the beers are made. Of course, what’s a tour without a taste? To fit in some sampling, simply visit the Beer Café which is located in the brewery. So, for those who love a good trip to the local Greene King pub, why not think about visiting and seeing how your drinks are made?
- Adnams Southwold – Brewery Tours and Experiences
Beer has a huge influence in the history of the idyllic coastal town of Southwold, with records dating back to 1345 where it was first recorded that beer was brewed in the town, but the people who made it were charged due to ‘illegal measures.’ Then, in 1872, after a brew house was built earlier in the 19th century, George and Ernest Adnams, who were brothers, bought the establishment, and, by 1890, Adnams and Co. was established. By 1987, the first Adnams store was built, and the numbers of them increased across East Anglia. So, what does Adnams Southwold offer today? Adnams Southwold, at Southwold, offers tours around the brewery and the distillery, as well as making your own gins at the Norwich, Southwold and Bury St Edmunds sites, for those who love a refreshing gin on the days when you need to relax. With a few stores to choose from across the region to make gin and then also to buy some craft ales, as well as the chance of being able to visit a brewery and a distillery at Southwold, why wouldn’t you want to give Adnams a try?
- Nethergate; Stour Valley Brewery – Long Melford
Long Melford, just within Suffolk, is a quintessential Suffolk village, and in September 2015, it was voted as one of the most desirable villages for people in Britain. Located at the Sudbury end of the village, you’ll find the Nethergate brewery. Founded in 1986, it has grown a reputation for making beautiful ales which are distributed across Suffolk and have won over 70 regional, national and international awards for their distinctive taste. You can also get a guided tour around the brewery to learn about the history of the brewing process, the ingredients, and most importantly, you will be able to sample some of the amazing ales that this brewery does produce. Furthermore, why not try a brew day – spend the day with a brewer at the brewery, where you will learn how to brew, find out what goes into beer and how it is made, and of course, you will then be able to taste your marvellous creation. Included with the price you pay is lunch and 18 pints of the beer that you have just produced!
- St Peter’s Brewery – Bungay
Founded in a traditional, former agricultural building along the moated St Peter’s Hall, in the idyllic North Suffolk, you’ll find the St Peter’s Brewery. It has a picturesque setting, with the St Peter’s Hall next to it, which can be hired for special occasions, such as weddings and parties, with a bar and restaurant attached. As well as that, the brewery offers tours around it, showing you how they make their specially crafted ales and beers. Then, after the tour, you will be able to have a tutored tasting session, browse the shop to see what they have to offer with a range of food, drinks, gifts and beer, and will be able to each take a bottle of beer home to savour and enjoy, and to remind you of the great day you had seeing how your beer is made.
- Briarbank Brewing Company – Ipswich
Briarbank Brewing Co. could not be in a better location – only a short stroll away from the vibrant county town of Suffolk’s town centre, and the historic waterfront set on the River Orwell. It was established in 2013 and since then, it has won multiple awards, such as the two golds they have got from the 2020 SIBA Digital Beer Awards. Big believers in experimentation, this is a place all but designed for people who are interested in the idea of homebrewing. What’s more, they have a homebrewing competition for everyone to give a try, and with a prize of brewing your creation that you have created, in the microbrewery with their head brewer. You can also have a tour around the brewery to have a look around, have a look at all the different brewing techniques used to get the most beautifully tasting beers, with a sample of beers to follow as well as a free drink of your choice, and you can get dinner as well.