Norfolk now has 17 working breweries.
At one time, in the 1970s, Norfolk was down to only one brewery – Watney’s Norwich Brewery, in King Street, but even that was to close in 1985 as the national brewers rejected cask-conditioned beer.
This makes Woodforde’s Norfolk Ales, at Woodbastwick, just to the north-east of Norwich, the county’s oldest operating brewer – even though it started production as recently as 1980 (and has moved location twice).
1998 saw two new breweries starting production – firstly, Tindall Ales, of Ditchingham (dangerously close to the Suffolk border!), and the Humpty Dumpty Brewery, at the Railway Tavern, at Reedham.
2000 saw the arrival of the Alewife Brewery, at Starston, near Halesworth, and 2001 saw the start of brewing at David Winter’s brewery, in Norwich.
Brewing started at the Fox Brewery, at the Fox & Hounds pub, in Heacham, in 2002 – bringing brewing back to West Norfolk. And in June 2002, long-standing CAMRA member Andy Mitchell brewed the first beers from his Spectrum Brewery, on a “plant share” basis at Blue Moon Brewery, in Barford.
In spring 2002, Uncle Stuart’s Brewery started production at Lingwood. And in 2003 the former Cap’n Grumpys brewery moved from Brandon Creek (on the Norfolk/Cambridgeshire border) to Stoke Ferry, to become the Wissey Valley Brewery.
Late in 2003, the Brancaster Brewery, at the Jolly Sailors pub in Brancaster Staithe, joined an increasingly long list of small breweries