11 of the best breweries in Suffolk

Adnams Rainbow (c) ed_needs_a_bicycle, Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Adnams Rainbow (c) ed_needs_a_bicycle, Flickr (CC BY 2.0) - Credit: Archant

Suffolk is home to a surprising number of breweries, all using locally sourced ingredients to produce delicious and sometimes unusual tasting beers. Here are some of our favourite local breweries where you can find fantastic ales and lagers

1. Calvors Brewery, Ipswich

Calvors Brewery in Coddenham Green is all about quality. They brew their beers using only water, pure hops, locally malted barley and yeast. You won't find any chemicals, preservatives or sugar here - just delicious, honest ales and lager. The lager is brewed traditionally giving it a very distinct taste and quality compared to the main brand alternatives. As their brewery has grown they have started to branch out and experiment with ale which can be sampled, along with all of their beers, at their pub in Needham, The Rampant Horse.

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2. Briarbank Brewing Co, Ipswich

The Briarbank serves a vast range of superb hand-crafted beers that they brew in their very own microbrewery just under the pub. They brew a large selection of real ales all year round as well as seasonal beer, and a monthly 'experiment beer' that tests out new trends and tastes that are popular at the time. The Briarbank Bar is open to visitors who can visit and sample all the beers alongside a full menu of delicious food for when you get peckish. During summer months drinkers can find a nice seat outside in the sunshine - and dogs are welcome too!

3. Green Jack Brewing Co, Lowestoft

Founded in 2003, the Green Jack Brewing Company are an award winning traditional real ale company based in Lowestoft. Since their humble beginnings they have rapidly become one of the largest breweries in East Anglia and in 2009 they opened their very own brew house allowing them to produce their beers on a much larger scale. They are now available nationwide and online. They brew a selection of ten permanent beers alongside a smaller range of seasonal and one-off beers.

4. Old Cannon Brewery, Bury St Edmunds

The Old Cannon Brewery in Bury St Edmunds is an independent freehouse, a brasserie, a bar, a B&B and a brewery all in one. It is one of the only brewhouses in Suffolk where patrons can actually see the beer making in process throughout the year. They craft their beers using the very best locally grown hops and malted barley and sell them in the bar or to take away in carry-away containers.

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5. Old Chimneys Brewery, Diss

Old Chimneys is a small brewery in Diss that was started in 1995 by Master Brewer, Alan Thomson. He carries out all of the brewing process for his beers by hand, using all natural products to produce ale that is unfiltered and unpasteurised. Because there is no mechanical involvement, the brewing process is significantly slower and the volume produced is less meaning supply and trade can be quite limited. That being said, the brewery shop does stock bottled versions of the beers which are available to purchase when you visit.

6. The Earl Soham Brewery, Debenham

The Earl Soham Brewery was first established in 1984 behind the bar of The Earl Soham Victoria pub and was brewed, according to the owners, in "Maurice's old chicken shed at the back of the pub". In 2013, in order to expand the brewing operation, it was moved to Debenham where it now shares a space with its sister company Cliff Quay Brewery. All of the beers brewed by Earl Soham can be sampled and bought in the Earl Soham Victoria pub.

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7. Adnams, Southwold

First established in 1872, Adnams is a brewing company based in Southwold. They brew a huge range of beers - using quality locally sourced grains - which they sell from a number of their own retail stores, pubs and inns across East Anglia. They are also well known for making a range of award-winning spirits such as gin and vodka.

8. Bildeston Kings Head, Ipswich

This award winning, traditional Grade II listed freehold dates all the way back to the 1500s and is based in the pretty village of Bildeston. The pub brews its own ales in an old cart lodge at the back of the property and due to it being a small operation the supply is limited. Because of this they also serve local guest ales and ciders alongside draft and bottled lagers. The delicious beer is perfectly complimented by a homely menu featuring beer battered fish and chips and a boozy beef pie.

9. The Green Dragon, Bungay

The Green Dragon pub in Bungay is well known in the area for brewing its own ales, which they have been doing since 1991. They brew a small but excellent range of ales using local malt and whole hops. Choose from a full flavoured hoppy session bitter, golden ale with hints of citrus, an Indian pale ale or a classic strong mild. Time your visit to be on a Wednesday when they have a weekly curry night from 6pm.

10. Brandon Brewery, Brandon

The Brandon Brewery was established in 2005 in the busy little market town of Brandon that's tucked away on the Suffolk and Norfolk border. The brewery is located in an old 15th century cottage which not only acts as the brew house, but also as the shop where they sell the beer in bottles. They specialise in eight core types of beer which are available in a variety of freehouses across the county.

11. St Peter's Brewing Co, Near Bungay

Based in St Peter, South Elmham, St Peter's Brewery was built in 1996 in old agricultural buildings. They produce a wide range of classic English ales using locally malted barley and Kentish hops, as well as producing a range of bottled beers alongside this. Their selection of beers is a mix between mild and traditional bitters, but there are also a few unique and unusual beers which they make by adding fruits and honey to their brews.