Why There’s More to the Adnams Brewery Than Meets The Eye
If you’re going to be visiting Southwold in Suffolk (one of the best beaches in Suffolk), there’s a fair chance you’ll come across the Adnams name. Even if you don’t do an Adnams Brewery tour (note – no children under 18 are allowed on the tour), you’re bound to have at least one meal in one of the many family-friendly pubs in Suffolk where you’ll see the Adnams beers on tap.
After the famous Suffolk painters, John Constable and Thomas Gainsborough, Adnams is probably the most well-known name in Suffolk but it’s mostly known for its beers. With their award-winning spirits making a name for themselves too, there is much more to the Adnams Brewery than initially meets the eye.
So what is Adnams all about?
History of Adnams
Beer has been brewed on the Southwold site for over 670 years, although the official Adnams Brewery was founded in 1872 by 2 brothers, coincidentally name George and Ernest, just like our 2 boys! They brewed mostly beers and ales but in 2010, the Adnams Copper House Distillery was opened and they diversified into the world of spirits.
Adnams Beer and cider
There’s a large range of Adnams beers and ciders. The more well-known names, and ones you may have come across already because they’re sold in many pubs across the country, are Adnams Ghost Ship and Adnams Broadside.
Adnams Low Alcohol – Note that some people advertise the Adnams ghost ship low alcohol ale as Adnams Ghost Ship alcohol free. It is not actually alcohol-free, but at 0.5% ABV, it has a very low alcohol content and is one of the best low alcohol beers.
These days it’s not all about the Adnams ales. Previously, the Adnams Brewery was focused on was all about their flagship beers, Adnams Ghost Ship and Adnams Broadside but in more recent years they’ve been distilling award-winning spirits. Here are some of their medal winners:
Adnams Whisky – the Adnams Rye Malt Whisky won a Gold Medal at the 2019 International Wine and Spirit Competition
Adnams Vodka – the Adnams Longshore Vodka won a Gold Medal at the 2018 International Wine and Spirit Competition
Adnams Gin – the Adnams Copper House Gin won a Gold Medal at the 2017 International Wine and Spirit Competition
Adnams wines and prosecco
Adnams have a carefully selected range of Adnams wines, including an English Bacchus. We have yet to try this but given the generally high standard of English wines these days, it’s sure to be a winner.
The Adnams Shop (Adnams Cellar and Kitchen)
The Adnams Shop Southwold is the flagship store, of course. Situated right next to the Adnams Brewery, it is a huge shop with a lovely café attached. If you haven’t seen any of the Adnams drinks in one of the many Adnams pubs around Suffolk, you can head to the Adnams Shop where you’ll find their entire range of drinks.
If you have a party coming up, why not pick yourself up an Adnams Ghost Ship keg or one of the other Adnams Ales.
They also have a large selection of wines on sale. Not all of them are Adnams branded and some of them are lower in alcohol.
If you’ve never tried any of the Adnams products before, they hold free tasting sessions throughout the day so you can try before you buy. On the day we visited, they were holding a Habanero and Lime Gin cocktail tasting session.
If you’re not into alcohol, there’s no reason you can’t still enjoy a visit to the Adnams shop. It’s packed with lovely gifts and souvenirs with some unique and interesting kitchen items and lovely coffee table books.
Adnams shop locations
If you’re not able to make it to Southwold, there are other Adnams Cellar and Kitchen stores around the east of England for you to pop into.
Adnams Southwold – 4 Drayman Square, Victoria St, Southwold IP18 6GB
Adnams Holt – 8 White Lion St, Holt NR25 6BA
Adnams Saffron Walden – 1 Market St, Saffron Walden CB10 1HZ
Adnams Woodbridge – Station Rd, Woodbridge IP12 4AU
Adnams Holkham – The Old School House, Park Rd, Wells-next-the-Sea NR23 1RG
Adnams Stamford – Bath Row Warehouse, St Mary’s Hill, Stamford PE9 2HG
Adnams Bury Saint Edmunds – 43B Cornhill, Bury Saint Edmunds IP33 1DX
Adnams Harleston – 23 The Thoroughfare, Harleston IP20 9AS
The Adnams Café
The Adnams Café is attached to the Adnams Shop. Head through the shop to the back and you’ll find it. You place your order at the counter and then take a seat. We opted to sit inside in the former distilling vat but they have a lovely outdoor seating area if the weather is nice.
For the kids, they had pre-made lunch boxes with a sandwich, a piece of fruit, a packet of crisps and a drink. Make sure to check out the Lickety Ice Lollies that are handmade in Suffolk with all-natural ingredients as they are absolutely delicious!
Adnams Brewery Tour
The Adnams Brewery tour is one of the top things to do in Suffolk, especially if the weather in Suffolk is not playing ball. It’s a great way to learn about beer making in one of the most historic breweries in the country. The tour lasts around 1.5 hours with some beer tasting at the end and you’ll also receive a voucher to claim a complimentary bottle or can of beer from the Adnams shop.
There’s also an Adnams distillery tour where you can learn about Adnams gin making, sample the finished product and receive a voucher to claim a complimentary can of Adnams Copperhouse Gin and Tonic from the Adnams shop.
Remember though that kids under the age of 18 aren’t allowed on the Adnams Tours.
If you’re a fan of the Adnams brand and you’re looking for somewhere to stay in Suffolk, you might want to consider an Adnams hotel.
The Cross Keys Aldeburgh – Crabbe St, Aldeburgh IP15 5BN
The Crown Southwold – 90 High St, Southwold IP18 6DP
The Five Bells Inn Wrentham – Southwold Road, South Cove, Wrentham NR34 7JD
The Plough Wangford – London Rd, Wangford, Beccles NR34 8AZ
The Swan Hotel Southwold – Market Place, Southwold IP18 6EG
The Bell Inn Walberswick – Ferry Road, Walberswick, Southwold IP18 6TN