If you've ever been to Great Britain, you've probably come across the famed English Pub. Then again, even if you've never set foot in the UK, you're probably still familiar with this famous institution. London is probably the best known English pub city, but the entire country is spotted with the classic pub. In the UK, pubs are often owned and operated by local breweries. With such an abundance of breweries scattered throughout the country, you can bet there are quite a few classic pubs. Head northeast of London to the eastern coast of England, to a region known as Southwold, odds are that the frothy beverage served in this sea resort town will carry the name Adnams. Set in this classic English coastal town, crammed with characteristically British pubs, Adnams is one of England's oldest and most respected breweries.
Their brewery in Southwold is known as the Sole Bay Brewery and has been brewing great beers under the Adnams name since at least 1872. However, more than 650 years ago the brewery began as the brewhouse of Southwold's oldest inn, the Swan. Brewing continued at the Swan until it burned down in 1659. The brewery house was then moved from the inn to its present location at the rear of Swan yard. For most of the 18th century the Swan, home of the Sole Bay Brewery, was owned by local legends the Thompson family, who gained a reputation for their fine ales. In 1825 the Swan was sold to a local maltster by the name of William Crisp for a mere £350.
Over the next 47 years, the brewery passed through a succession of owners until 1872 when the Adnams brothers, George and Ernest, purchased the brewery. Fast forward to 2001—Adnams is owned by the fourth generation of the Adnams family. It was in this year that Adnams gained the esteemed distinction of being "Britain's fastest growing brewery". In 2004, in recognition of their great brews, their head brewer was chosen as Britain's Brewer of the Year by a panel of his peers. If the brewing Brits approve, you know it must be good stuff! In 2007, they'll complete a six year period of renovations and upgrades, officially becoming the most energy-efficient brewers in the country. Good beer and eco-friendly—what more can you ask for? (besides another pint!)
For more information about the Adnams brewery visit www.adnams.co.uk.