Gallery: Spirited venture begins at Adnams

SPIRITS were lifted yesterday as a brewery reached a major milestone in its bid to create a new �650,000 distillery.

Adnams at Southwold got all fired up for its latest venture, as large stills equipment arrived from Germany and was lowered into position by crane.

The firm unveiled plans earlier this year to diversify into gin, vodka and whisky making as it continues to its drive to attract discerning drinkers to its brand.

It hopes the main parts of the new distillery will be in place today, and plans to start the production process around mid October, ready to sell the first drinks in the shop and welcome visitors to the picturesquely-situated distillery around mid-November. This year alone, around 7,000 people visited the brewery as the firm taps into the tourism potential of the site.

The first drink it will make is vodka, and has produced two recipes for its gin which it believes will go down well with its customers, explained company chairman Jonathan Adnams.

The first stage is to take the alcohol out of the beer, and the alcohol is filtered and separated. The bulk of the liquid is discarded and will go to the company’s biodigester at Reydon, he said.

Among the drinks’ selling points will be that they will be made from barley sourced from East Anglia, and that it will be produced in the Copper House Distillery - now a redundant part of the old brewery building.

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“It’s historically been known as the copper house and it’s very visual in the centre of Southwold overlooking the sea,” said Mr Adnams.

“I always knew it would look fantastic, and I have to say having seen the equipment going in today, it’s even blown my expectation away.”

They were “very confident” the products, made using a “very different” process to the mass-market drinks, would be well received, he said.

“There’s a growing market not only in the UK but around the world for hand-crafted spirits. That market is growing every year and we are delighted we are the first brewery in effect grant a licence in the UK,” he said. “Here we have got a story to tell.”