St Cedds Lodge Day out – Far from Brewers Droop!


Saturday the 21st March saw 14 Brethren, Ladies and friends on a visit to Southwold in Suffolk for a guided tour of the Adnams Sole Bay Brewery, excellently organised by W.Bro Mark Lampkin including all transport to and from the same

A DVD introduction to the Brewery was provided whereafter the group were taken on a tour commencing with “Adnams Jack” the warrier emblem of Adnams, There followed a brief history of Brewing on the site since 1345 and notable occasions in and around Southwold affecting the Brewery. These included the Great Fire of Southwold in 1659 which destroyed the whole town and the Battle of Sole Bay between the English Fleet who were then stationed at Southwold when they were attacked by the Dutch Fleet (the outcome recorded as a draw)!

The arrival of the Adnams Brothers, George and Ernest saw the Brewery expand and it is a fine tribute that the Family remain fully active in the Brewery today. However we were told of the horrific demise of one of the Brothers who having emigrated to Australia, apparently whilst somewhat under the influence, fell into a River and was eaten by a Crocodile!!

The ingredients of Beer or Ale were displayed, these being Water, Grain or Malted Barley, Hops and Yeast, and samples of different types of the Grain and Hops were passed around for all to smell and taste the varieties and their influence was explained relating to the Colour, Flavour, Fermentation, Aroma and production of Alcohol.

The very modern Brewing equipment supplied and installed by a German Company in 2008 was inspected and process from the initial mixing Vats, the Stirring Vessels the production of the Mash, the heating Kettles, through to the Fermentation Equipment and Cask and Barrelling execution for the numerous Brews, both Bottled or Cask, very interestingly described.


The current ECO and side conditions of the Brewing were also detailed noting the substantial reduction in Water use since the new Plant was installed coupled with the retention of the steam produced in the heating process, which in place being discharge into the air is contained and used to commence heating the next Brew in the line. Unfortunately the Aroma in the air has gone.

Additionally the residue of the Mash provides food for livestock namely Pigs and Cattle giving local Suffolk produce a happy and contented look and life! The Happy Pig was mentioned!

On then to the Adnams tasting Bar where Jugs of Broadside (commemorating the Battle mentioned earlier) and the Popular Adnams Ale, both Cask Ales were provided for all to sample along with an interesting selection of Bottled Brews including Wild Hop Amber Ale and a very distinctive Ale commemorating the Great Fire of 1659 which had a nose and flavour of the horrendous event. The group struggled through the testing concluding with a recently launched Adnams Stout, reminiscent of a Brew from the Emerald Isles. Of note Adnam annually produce approximately 100,000 Barrels of Beer, 36 Gallons to a Barrel.

Lunch was then partaken in The Crown Hotel and Inn, a short walk away from the Brewery which was excellent including of course Adnams Battered Fish amongst the culinary delights, all suitably washed down with further Broadside Ale and Adnams labelled Wine, except for our organiser W.Bro Mark, who as Driver was of course restricted.

After lunch we visited the substantial Adnams shop outlet and were treated to free samples of the Adnams Gin and Vodka, both heralded as annual award winners world wide and noting that Adnams are the only Alcohol producer in England who have a Brewery and a Distillers operating from the same location.

Various purchase were made to conclude an excellent day, W.Bro Alan Everard gave congratulations to W.Bro Mark Lampkin for organising the excellent event and recorded that from the days proceeds £115.00 had been raised for West Essex Hospice Appeal , thereafter the group alighted the Bus for a sleepy journey home.