Ale, wine and cider producers from Bungay to Diss unite for launch of new trail

Launch of the new Waveney Valley Ale, Wine and Cider Trail. Pictured from left is James Pickard from

Launch of the new Waveney Valley Ale, Wine and Cider Trail. Pictured from left is James Pickard from The Green Dragon, Martin Barrell from Barrell and Sellers, Ken Woolley from Harleston Cider Company, Hannah Witchell from Flint Vineyard and Amanda Sellers from Barrell and Sellers. Picture: Nick Butcher. - Credit: Nick Butcher

A new trail linking ale, wine and cider producers in the Waveney Valley is being launched.

The River Waveney Ale, Wine and Cider Trail route. Map courtesy of Ken Woolley.

The River Waveney Ale, Wine and Cider Trail route. Map courtesy of Ken Woolley. - Credit: Archant

The trail, which runs between Diss and Bungay, also includes four pub stops and has been created to encourage local residents and tourists to explore and enjoy the beauty of the area.

The trail is the brainchild of Ken Woolley, from the Harleston Cider Company, who wanted to create something special with a group of like-minded producers, and spread the word about their breweries and the products they make.

It roughly follows the course of the River Waveney and the A143, and connects The Waveney Brewing Company and Flint Vineyard, both in Earsham, Grain Brewery in Alburgh, Barrell and Sellers Brewery in St Cross South Elmham, Harleston Cider Company and Hoxne Brewery.

People can find out how the various ales, wines and ciders are produced, have a taste and purchase products directly from each maker.

Launch of the new Waveney Valley Ale, Wine and Cider Trail to encourage residents and tourists to vi

Launch of the new Waveney Valley Ale, Wine and Cider Trail to encourage residents and tourists to visit independent breweries and producers in the area. Picture: Nick Butcher. - Credit: Nick Butcher


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Mr Woolley said: 'Between Diss and Bungay there are a group of small, artisan producers and by coming together we can create some synergy to promote not only our products but this zone along the River Waveney.

'By starting it in Diss people can catch the train from London, Norwich, Ipswich, Cambridge, spend half an hour to 40 minutes at each place and then return to Diss to get the train home. And if you live locally, you can visit it in any order you like.

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'There is lots of entertainment for children in this area, but there isn't a lot for adults. It is a chance for them to enjoy some alcohol in a relaxed setting and learn something as they go.'

The trail will officially launch on Saturday, and after that each place will open its doors to the public on the last Saturday of the month between 11am and 5pm until the end of October.

The four pubs also included are The Jolly Porter at Diss train station, The Old Kings Head at Brockdish, The Queen's Head at Earsham and The Green Dragon in Bungay.

Mr Woolley said: 'This year is very much a pilot scheme to see how it works, and we have set up a Facebook page so people can post their comments.'

For more details visit www.facebook.com/waveneyvalleytrail

Meet the producers

James Pickard runs The Green Dragon in Bungay with his dad Rob, who has been in the business for 25 years. They brew their own ales on site which are sold at the pub. He said: 'I think it is something we are missing in this area and anything we can to promote the area for tourism is fantastic.'

Martin Barrell and Amanda Sellers, who run Barrell and Sellers brewery at St Cross South Elmham, have been producing ale for almost four years. They said: 'We are all small scale producers so it is great to have that collaboration and strength in numbers to get our businesses heard.'

And Hannah and Ben Witchell, who have just opened their doors to the public after setting up Flint Vineyard in Earsham two years ago, said: 'All of the producers are just off the A143 so we are really easy to get to and it is nice for people to meet the producers and see where it is made.'

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