Let's cut to the chase, Adnams Brewery is by far and away the biggest brewery we've been to to date. Still independent, still hands-on. Just A LOT more hands involved.
Ride partner and fellow Hop on the Biker Simon was the instigator of this little adventure. Far from our usual patch of the North West, this (and next visit St Peter's Brewery) were on Simon's patch. His old stomping ground, his motherland, the county of Suffolk.
We had the opportunity to do some cycling over the weekend down there, so it would have been a shame not to try and combine that with some brewery visits for the blog. So with the ususal flurry of tweets, emails and kindly conversations we'd arranged some new destinations for the blog. We had hoped to take in a couple of smaller breweries as well, but timing and availability weren't on our side this time.
So there we were on a beautiful July weekend pedalling through the frankly stunning South East of England countryside. Granted, the weather was superb but even if it had been lashing it down the riding and the views would still have been absorbing. Seriously, it was like a photo album of picture postcard views!
From our starting point of Felixtowe, we hopped aboard the ferry which took us over the mouth of the river Deben (a crossing of a couple of minutes to avoid a not insignificant 10+ mile detour) dropping us in Bawdset on the opposite bank. From there, we pedalled through some classically English villages - Alderton, Butley, Tunstall Forest (a bit off off road), Snape and Leiston, before arriving in Walberswick which is just across the Blyth river from Adnams home of Southwold.
Once we'd crossed (via a rowing boat which only just fitted ourselves, the bikes and the boatsman in), it was a short spin through the town to the brewery, comfortably nestled amongst rows of cottages, a village green, a lighthouse and pub. Stunning.
Greeted by our host for the visit Dan (one of the brewers), he gave us a brilliant guided tour of the brewery and all the various buildings it was housed in, before we wandered across to the Sole Bay Inn (an Adnams pub, naturally), grabbed a pint and set up on the green for our chat.
So over to Dan to give you his musings on our questions...
Many thanks go to Dan and his colleagues at Adnams for organising and having us down at the brewery. On a Saturday too!