Until I started planning my Travels with Beer / Beer Lens tour of Norfolk and Suffolk I hadn’t heard of the Old Chimneys Brewery. The brewery is located on a farm in Market Weston near Diss, Suffolk and is run by Alan Thompson, a man with a long history in the brewing industry.
The brewery opened in 1995 and moved to larger premises in a converted farm building in 2001. Alan brews a larger range of beers and when I visited there were 14 bottled beers on sale as well as cider. The beers range in strength from the Military Mild at 3.3% through to the Old Ale at 8.5%, the Good King Henry at 9% and the 11% oak-aged Good King Henry Special. The Special is rated #50 in RateBeer’s top 100 beers in the world list and is the only British beer in the list.
As the Old Chimneys beers don’t travel far from Norfolk, I couldn’t resist buying a selection including 3 2007 vintage Good King Henry Specials. You can pick them up from places like Beer Merchants but you will pay double what you pay if you visited the brewery. Of course, Norfolk is a long distance from most people but if you are in the area, the brewery is well worth a visit. It’s only open on a Friday afternoon and for a few hours on Saturday and Alan is very friendly – he even offers you a beer direct from the cask each time you visit!
Old Chimney’s Brewery
Hopton End Farm
Tel: 01359 221411
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