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Changing times for brewery

PUBLISHED: 19:38 18 April 2008 | UPDATED: 20:10 05 July 2010

SOUTHWOLD-based Adnams has been hosting a series of visitor days to celebrate the completion of one of the most modern and environmentally friendly brewing operations in the world.

SOUTHWOLD-based Adnams has been hosting a series of visitor days to celebrate the completion of one of the most modern and environmentally friendly brewing operations in the world.

Over the past few years the company has spent more than £10m upgrading its facilities in the heart of the seaside town and building a new warehouse and distribution centre at nearby Reydon.

The company is proud of its long association with Southwold and chairman Jonathan Adnams believes the huge investment is a sign that this link will continue for many years to come.

“Southwold's delights are many but arguably the town is most well known as the home of Adnams brewery, whose heritage can be traced back to a 14th-century alehouse.

“Much has changed since then but our increasingly popular beers still owe their unique flavour to the finest East Anglian barley, traditional English and American hop varieties, and famous Adnams yeast,” said Mr Adnams.

Although proud of its heritage the company is definitely looking forward to the future and VIP guests from all over the country were keen to see Adnams' latest operations.

By creating a brewing operation that is kinder to the environment, the company has also introduced savings in its brewing operation.

Michael Powell-Evans, head brewer, said: “It is important to think of the environment and we have made tremendous savings in reducing the amount of raw materials we use.

“But these changes have also given us better quality control so that our beer is consistently a high standard.”

In the autumn of last year Adnams Bitter was named as the Campaign for Real Ale's (Camra) regional champion beer for 2007.

“This beer was brewed using our modern equipment, so to win a top award from Camra was very pleasing,” said Mr Powell-Evans.

The installation of the new brewing equipment from German manufacturer Huppmann has also enabled the layout of the brewery to be improved with the laboratory and control room located next to each other so that it is easier for them to work together to improve the quality of the beer.

New fermentation tanks have been installed across the road from the brewery with the two sites linked together by underground pipes.

To complete the company's modernisation, a new distribution centre and warehouse was built in a former gravel pit at Reydon.

The centre has been recognised as one of the most energy-efficient industrial buildings in the country with a number of energy-saving features.

With a sedum roof and hemp and limestone blocks, the temperature inside the warehouse hardly varies during summer or winter and it is not necessary to have expensive refrigeration equipment.

The working conditions for staff in the distribution centre have also been improved tremendously.

“Our decision to invest in the future and to choose more costly options offering long-term benefits has been amply justified by the subsequent rise in energy costs,” said Mr Adnams.

“I am hugely proud of what we have achieved and hugely proud of the people who have brought these projects together.”

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