Suffolk brewer prepares to start production in Long Melford
- Credit: Archant
A local brewery which has relocated to the outskirts of a picturesque Suffolk village will start producing its renowned ales from the site next week.
Nethergate Brewery began 31 years ago in Clare, near Long Melford, but grew too big for its Nethergate Street premises.
So it moved to rented farm buildings in Pentlow, just over the border in Essex, where it has been for the past 16 years.
But it is about to go back to its Suffolk roots when the new brewery opens just outside Long Melford at Rodbridge corner, on a site formerly occupied by a commercial garage.
The company purchased the site in February and opened a shop and tasting facility shortly after. This has already proved popular with the locals.
Work on installing the brewery equipment has been carried out over the past six months and the facility will be officially opened to the public on Saturday, November 18 with brewery tours, live music and Morris dancers.
In addition to Nethergate’s freshly brewed beers, the shop sells boutique gins produced in nearby Glemsford and Ipswich, along with local wines.
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General manager, Rob Crawford, said the new location for the brewery would make it more accessible to locals - and tourists.
“We have loved our time in Essex but being in the middle of nowhere meant that no-one really knew where we were,” Mr Crawford said.
“We wanted to be public facing and to be able to engage with the people who buy our beer.
“We have purchased the Melford site rather than renting and have invested in our production plant.
“We are going to start brewing from the new site next week and although there will be a brief overlap, production will all move to Melford soon after that.”
The shop and tasting room were operational in time for the Easter bank holiday so people could see the development work on the new brewery.
Mr Crawford added: “The feedback has been fantastic.
“We get a lot of dog walkers at the weekends so it’s already proving to be a good drop in point and we have had a lot of support from our neighbours who said they are really pleased there is something for them at this end of the village. Hopefully it will also prove to be a tourist attraction once it’s up and running.”
The open day is on Saturday, November 18 from 1pm.