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Twin friends enjoy local beer

PUBLISHED: 12:11 20 May 2008 | UPDATED: 20:25 05 July 2010

FROM the Adnams bar towels to the branded tankards, Frank Hassel's bar would feel at home in the seaside resort of Southwold where the beer has been brewed for more than a century.

FROM the Adnams bar towels to the branded tankards, Frank Hassel's bar would feel at home in the seaside resort of Southwold where the beer has been brewed for more than a century.

But his bar lies hundreds of miles away from the Suffolk coast, in the very heart of a German beer brewing region.

Mr Hassel and his wife Marianne have been coming to Halesworth from the small German town of Eitorf as part of the town's twinning programme for the last 13 years and, as regular visitors, they have become rather fond of locally-brewed Adnams bitters.

Although 190 beers are brewed in the area around Eitorf, near Cologne, Mr Hassel said that Adnams has a special place in his heart - so much so that he has collected memorabilia to deck out his own mini English pub back home.

Mr Hassel, whose favourite tipple is Adnams Broadside, said: “I first tried Adnams at the Lord Nelson pub in Southwold. It was a very cold day and I had a sore throat and Ian Kerrison, who we stay with over here, recommended that I try Adnams. It worked like a medicine and my throat didn't hurt again.”

In fact he was so convinced of its medicinal powers that when he underwent major surgery for an injured shoulder in Germany last year, he contacted his friends in Halesworth to ask for some bottles of his favourite bitter to be sent to him to speed up his recovery. “I think they should call it Doctor Adnams,” he said.

Once his shoulder had healed, thanks to a daily pint of Broadside, he set about building a bar dedicated to the Southwold brewery in the cellar of his home to fulfil his dream of enjoying his favourite drink in proper Suffolk style.

It is decked out with bottles, bar towels, pump clips and even an Adnams blackboard so that he can enjoy the drinks sent from England in a replica of the White Hart in Halesworth where he always enjoys several pints when he is in the town. He even has a copy of the naked Halesworth barmaids calendar hanging behind the bar.

He said: “I have taken Adnams back to Germany with me and shared it with my friends. They all say it tastes different to our own beer, but they like it.”

Julian Mamo, chairman of the Halesworth and district twinning committee, said: “Of course when we go to Eitorf we sample all of their local beers in return, that's only right.

“We also put on a very over the top English tea party as part of Eitorf's Spring fair. There's a great sense of friendship between the towns and everyone involved.”

Mr and Mrs Hassel will be returning to Halesworth with samples of German beer and sausage for the Thoroughfare food and drink fair on Sunday June 29.

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