Published date: October 2018
Norfolk is clearly a beer loving county, with over 50 breweries at the last count. From large award-winning breweries to small microbreweries, Norfolk has them all.
It is no wonder the region has so many great breweries, as Norfolk has ideal growing conditions for malt barley; the correct soil types and sea mist. Norfolk water is also said to be perfect for beer making and is fundamental to brewing. It is not only the largest single ingredient in beer, but the profile of the water affects the taste and fermentation. Some breweries use water from their own boreholes and wells as they feel this helps to give their beers their own unique and distinctive flavours.
There are in excess of 1000 pubs scattered across the county, so enjoying your favourite pint in Norfolk couldn’t be easier. Find a great selection of pubs in the heart of Norwich city centre, with its vibrant atmosphere, cobbled streets and magnificent medieval castle. You may like to explore the Norfolk broads and its many pubs, nestled next to the winding waterways. Norfolk’s coastline has an abundance of pubs from which to choose, from modern establishments to older family run businesses that have been passed down generations. Norfolk’s villages and towns are awash with pubs; the hard part is choosing which one to frequent.
Many Norfolk pubs and restaurants serve Norfolk-produced beers and you will also find a lot of these bottled and in local stores, at farmers’ markets, garden centres and farm shops. They are also often available to purchase directly from the brewery’s website.
Probably the most recognised brewery in Norfolk, Woodbastwick has been Woodforde’s home since 1989. It was once the only Norfolk brewery, but today Woodforde’s is competing against many other local breweries. Woodforde’s has two Supreme Champion Beer of Britain awards, and nearly four decades of beer making has culminated in their famous beers being on tap the length and breadth of the UK.
The Fur and Feather is Woodforde’s very own brewery tap and sits adjacent to the brewery. Here you can enjoy their award-winning Woodforde’s beer whilst you order off their comprehensive menu. With seating both inside and out, the Fur and Feather is one of Norfolk’s gems and is popular all-year round.
For those who are interested, visitors can get to see the brewery in action. Woodforde’s hold regular tours and share some of the secrets of their award winning ‘Wherry’ pint. Watch the brewers in action and experience the taste and aromas of hops and barley. The tour takes you on a journey from a trip to the mash tuns, where it all starts, and ends with the best bit – a tasting session.
Beer can be purchased directly from the Woodforde’s website:
Panther Brewery in Reepham, Norfolk is an award-winning microbrewery that uses traditional brewing techniques to create a range of real ales that are sold in Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and London.
Established in late 2010, this Norfolk based microbrewery uses locally grown barley and other locally sourced ingredients to produce their array of core beers, small batch beers and seasonal specials.
Panther Brewery is named after the larger panther-like creature that some of the inhabitants of Reepham claim to have seen stalking the local countryside.
To purchase directly from Panther Brewery, visit their website:
Norfolk Brewhouse produce award winning ales and lagers and is owned and run by David and Rachel Holliday. Using locally grown barley and water from their own chalk well, their Moon Gazer Ale, (named after the hares that live on their farm) is available in five differing styles. Select from Golden, Dark, Ruby, Amber and Gold IPA. The Norfolk Brewhouse also craft two lagers; the DewHopper 4.0% ABV - a light gold lager with a crisp, hoppy finish and the StubbleStag 5.0% ABV - a medium gold lager with a deep but light head. It has a hoppy bitterness and is the stronger of the two.
For further details about this brewery and to buy direct, visit their website:
The Barsham Brewery
This family-run brewery is located in the rural North Norfolk village of West Barsham and is owned by the Soames family, who have farmed the land at West Barsham for generations.
North Norfolk is renowned for its top-quality agricultural soil, its sea air and micro-climate, and these combined means that the West Barsham Estate can produce some of the best malting barley in the world. They grow Maris Otter Barley, a grain that is favoured by brewers across the country, it is then malted down the road at Crisp Maltings and then blended with the pure water from their very own well.
Their beers are available in casks, mini casks and bottles and at present consist of 5 varieties; Barsham Oaks, Norfolk Kiwi, Bitter Old Bustard, Knot Just Another IPA and Stout Robin.
Further details about this brewery and to purchase the beers online, visit the Barsham Brewery website:
The Fat Cat Brewing Company
The Fat Cat Brewery was formed in 2005 by pub landlord Colin Keatley and has won several regional and national awards. The real ale that is produced at The Fat Cat Brewery on Lawson Road Norwich is available at their three Fat Cat pubs, in Norwich, Ipswich and Colchester, as well as a number of other pubs in the UK.
Crafted from locally grown Maris Otter barley, the beers available are; Fat Cat Bitter, Mosaic, Honey Ale, Wild Cat, Marmalade, I.P.A, Black Elder Stout and Milk Stout.
Further information about the Fat Cat Brewery can be found on their website:
Brancaster Brewery, Brancaster Staithe
Brancaster Brewery takes its name from Brancaster Staithe, the north Norfolk village where the brewery is situated. The area is steeped in brewing history and is a prime barley growing region.
A 5 barrel brewery, Brancaster Brewery produces small batches of high quality real ale using locally sourced ingredients. The ales available at present are: Brancaster Best 3.8% - refreshing session pale ale with a touch of citrus. Malthouse Bitter 4.2% - malty character with distinct bitterness. Oyster Catcher 4.4% - sunshine golden ale that is lighter and refreshing. The Wreck 4.8% - lots of body and flavours of sweet coffee and malt. Sharpie K-12 4.3% - a hoppy copper coloured bitter with a refreshing tang.
To find out where you can try these local beers and find local stockists, visit their website:
The Wolf Brewery has been established in Norfolk since 1995 and produces high quality real ales that have been made with the finest local ingredients. Today the Wolf Brewery is located in Besthorpe, near Attleborough, Norfolk, its home since 2013. There are a number of different ales available all year round as well as seasonal ales.
Visit their website to order direct or visit their shop, which is located in Besthorpe at the brewery.
Humpty Dumpty Brewery, Reedham
Based in Reedham, Norfolk, Humpty Dumpty Brewery has been producing quality real ales for over 15 years. Supplying to trade and private customers throughout Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Essex, Humpty Dumpty Brewery was founded in 1998, moving to its current location in 2001.
The brewery operates an 11-barrel brew plant in the heart of the Norfolk Broads and produces a wide range of award-winning real ales in their established microbrewery. Humpty Dumpty Brewery deliver cask and bottled real ales to pubs and other outlets across East Anglia.
They have a wide variety of beers, core beers that are mostly available all year and some seasonal beers. The brewery has an on-site shop where you can purchase their full range of beers, branded items, and brewing and beer paraphernalia.
By arrangement Humpty Dumpty Brewery also run brewery tours and tastings.
To find out more, visit their website:
Chalk Hill Brewery
The Coach and Horses public house on Thorpe Road is also home to Chalk Hill Brewery, the longest running independent brewery in Norwich.
The brewery is a custom built 15-barrel plant and was built in 1992 when The Coach and Horses was refurbished by the current owners, David and Rose Blake.
Chalk Hill Brewery brew a selection of real ales and you can sample them in the Coach and Horses as well as a number of other local pubs.
Chalk Hill Brewery ales have featured in local beer festivals and have won several awards over the years. There are a variety of beers available; Tap Session Beer, CHB Best Bitter, Gold Golden Ale, Mustard IPA, Dreadnought Ruby Ale, Flintnappers Mild and Black Anna Milk Stout.
Chalk Hill Brewery offer free brewery tours that include a guided tour of the brewery and information about the brewing process. The tour lasts for around 45 minutes and finishes with a tasting session.
Go to their website to find out more about their beers and to arrange a brewery tour:
All Day Brewing Company
The All Day Brewing Company believe in using locally sourced ingredients for their beer; they grow their own hops, use water from their own deep borehole and collect herbs and fruits from around the farm.
This north Norfolk microbrewery, which was established in 2014 has Norfolk’s only commercial hop garden in the village of Salle, 10 miles north-west of Norwich.
To find out more, visit their website:
Founded in 2013 by a group of people who all shared the same passion for beer, Redwell Brewery wanted to create hand-crafted beer brewed in small batches.
Redwell Brewery produces lagers and American influenced craft beers and at present has 9 on offer: Pacific Pilsner, Norwich Pilsner, Equinox IPA, Kofra Stout, West Coast Pale Ale, White IPA, Indian Pale Lager, Pale Ale, and Steam Lager.
For further details visit their website:
In 2015 two strangers, (Mike and Mark) met, they had several shared interests and discussed the idea of having a brewery. This had long been a dream of Mike’s and in early 2016, a crowdfunding campaign was set up to raise the initial amount of money needed to start converting a barn into a brewery. The rest is now history and the brewery launched its first brew in November 2016. Since then, Wildcraft Brewery have created 13 different brews, all of which have been well received.
Wildcraft Brewery believe in foraging for as many of their ingredients as possible, whilst buying local and supporting the local economy. They also like to give back to the surrounding community and have planted hedgerows and worked with local farmers, groups and schools. Being as environmentally friendly as possible is also very important to them; keeping their carbon footprint to a minimum is essential.
You can take a tour at Wildcraft Brewery, and these include a talk and obligatory tasting of beer. They also have a converted shepherd’s hut that is now used as a mobile bar and this is available to hire for weddings and events.
Beer can be bought directly from the Wildcraft Brewery website:
Mardle Hall in Tivetshall St. Mary, Norfolk is the home of Buffy’s Brewery, producing its first beer in 1993; one of the first micro-breweries in Norfolk.
Founded by Roger Abrahams and Julie Savory, the beers soon became popular with local pubs, so the business was expanded to offer a wider selection of fine ales. Now employing five people, Buffy’s Brewery has established itself as one of the leading brewers in the micro sector, with their fine ales having won numerous awards at both local and national level.
Buffy’s Brewery use water from their own deep borehole, so there is no need for it to be chemically treated. Local Norfolk hops are also used, and 7 regular brews are currently made; Buffy’s Ale, Buffy’s Bitter, Norwegian Blue, Buffy’s Mild, Mucky Duck, Hopleaf and Norwich Terrier. Seasonal beers are also available.
You can find their beers in their own pub, the Cherry Tree at Wicklewood, and in other pubs scattered around Norfolk. You can also buy their beer directly from the brewery. Tours are available by prior arrangement.
To find out more, go to the Buffy’s Brewery website:
Grain Brewery is located in Harleston, Norfolk and it first started brewing back in 2006. They currently brew 9 regular beers and have 4 specials available at present.
The brewery shop is open Monday – Friday and tours are available on specific dates. Visitors are able to take a tour of the brewery, visit the shop and enjoy a beer at the Taproom Bar. There is often live music and street food during the summer at these events; dogs and children are welcome.
You can sample beers from Grain Brewery at the following Grain pubs: The Plough on St Benedicts Street, Norwich, The Cottage on Silver Road, Norwich, The Spread Eagle in Ipswich and The Grain Bar at the Corn Hall in Diss.
To find out more about Grain Brewery and how to purchase their beer, visit their website:
More Norfolk Breweries:
Why Not Brewery
Elmtree Beers, Snetterton
Boudicca Brewing Company