Suffolk-based brewer Adnams is to officially launch its a small-scale distillery at its Sole Bay brewery in Southwold.
The new distillery will produce vodka, gin and whisky. It is based in the old Adnams brewery Copper House, which has been refurbished and fitted out with hand-made copper distilling equipment made by Carl of Germany.
Jonathan Adnams OBE (pictured), chairman of the 150-year-old firm said: "We have been brewing great beers in Southwold since 1872, and our business now incorporates five hotels, 70 pubs, and 10 Adnams Cellar & Kitchen stores. Hand-crafted spirits are the next exciting step in our journey and we are proud to add distilling to our expertise.
"Small-scale distillation produces spirits of a quality and character that far surpass mass-produced products. The addition of a small distillery to breweries is not uncommon in mainland Europe, but I believe we are the first brewery in the UK to brew beer and distil spirits on the same premises."
The distillery has a glazed front, which allows passers-by to see the copper distillery kit.
The hot water by-product from the distilling process will be reused to wash casks in the main Adnams brewery. And waste from the distilling process will be processed in Adnams' anaerobic digestion plant located at its distribution centre in Reydon to be converted into renewable gas, to power the production of beers and spirits.
Adnams Distilled Gin 40% abv uses 100% East Anglian malted barley and a blend of juniper berries, Orris root, coriander seed, cardamom pod, sweet orange peel and hibiscus flower. Meanwhile the Adnams First Rate Gin 48% abv is made with a blend of East Anglian wheat, barley and rye, and 13 botanicals including juniper berries, coriander seed, cardamon pod, sweet orange peel and liquorice root. The vodka uses the same barley as used in Adnams beer and a whisky will follow after a three-year maturation process.
By Neil Gerrard
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