A perfect pint - and eco-friendly

STEPHEN PULLINGER The heady aroma of hops slowly being turned into beer could soon become a thing of the past in Southwold, as Adnams installs its latest "green" machinery.

STEPHEN PULLINGER

The heady aroma of hops slowly being turned into beer could soon become a thing of the past in Southwold, as Adnams installs its latest "green" machinery.

Earlier this month, the Suffolk brewer announced with a fanfare the opening of its new £5.8m cleaner, greener distribution centre, which will save the company more than £500,000 in energy over the next 10 years.

But now Adnams is extending its enviro-ethics to its new brewhouse which, once completed, will see the characteristically hoppy-smelling steam that pervades the town recycled in the brewing process.

Yesterday, as some of the final pieces of machinery were lifted by crane into the building, chief engineer Bob Lee said the brewhouse was the last in a long line of brewery improvements.

He said: "You should never say never, but once the brewhouse is completed, that should be the end of work on the brewery for a while.

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"Once it is up and running in the spring, it will be a state-of-the-art modern brewery throughout.

"We have literally replaced everything in the last dozen years, and I think we are one of the only breweries in the country to have done that.

"It has been like one of those puzzles you have as a child where you shuffle squares around a grid - at each stage we have had to shuffle things around the building.

"The best part of this new brewhouse is that we are going to capture the steam from the boiling process and convert it into heat, so it will provide us with energy free of charge. The idea is not to put so many emissions into the air."

He added: "It will mean that there won't be so much aroma from the brewery, but that is one of those things like Marmite: people either love it or hate it."

But according to head brewer Mike Powell-Evans, smell or no smell the beer will still taste just as good.

He said: "The brewstream will be fully operational by spring 2007. We will continue to use the same quality ingredients that Adnams is famous for and the new brewing equipment will give us even greater quality controls to ensure a perfect pint of Adnams beer."

Over the last year, Adnams has spent more than £4m refurbishing the brewery, including replacing the fermenting tanks and now the new brewhouse.