Historic Great Yarmouth brewery to increase its output six-fold

Lacons Brewery head brewer, Wil Wood. Pictured with his son Joe Wood, who is 2nd brewer at Lacons. P

Lacons Brewery head brewer, Wil Wood. Pictured with his son Joe Wood, who is 2nd brewer at Lacons. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

A historic brewery is hoping the drink will flow as it prepares to increase its output by six times as part of its development since reopening three years ago.

Lacons Brewery, based in Great Yarmouth, is hoping to build on the increased desire of real ales, craft beers and local brews.

The near £1m expansion to its brewery will see its capacity increase from thirty-five barrels a week, the equivalent of 1260 gallons, to 210, or 7,560 gallons. The floor space will increase from 2,000 sq ft to 10,000 sq ft.

The brewery was resurrected by Mick Carver and Trevor Hourican as part of their beer distribution business JV Trading after they negotiated the intellectual rights from Anheuser-Busch InBev.

The original brewery closed its doors 1968 after being purchased by Whitbread.

The brewery side of the business accounts for around 5% of its total turnover of £15.6m although the firm is hoping to increase its contribution with the expansion.

Judi-mae Alderton, marketing manager for Lacons, said the move was driven by demand.

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She said: 'We needed to expand to continue on as successfully as we are now.

'We wanted to do it properly rather than just expanding double now and in a few years finding we needed to grow further.'

In a changing marketplace with beer drinkers turning to craft beers and micro-breweries Lacons is hoping its long-standing name will chime with an audience.

Mrs Alderton said: 'In the market as a whole you have more and more real ale drinkers, a divergant craft beer market.

'People are drinking at home more often so there is a difficulty in getting those people out but I think it is a good time for us.'

There are also plans to produce a number of new ales with some being based off the original brewery's recipes and using the original yeast which has been held in stasis since 1957, currently at the Institute for Food Research at Norwich Research Park.

Mrs Alderton said: 'We currently have five permanent beers and we are going to launch another one. We will also do seasonal beers throughout the year, maybe for an event or festival or from one of our heritage recipes.'

While there will not be any extra jobs created immediately by the expansion Lacons said there will be further room to grow which could see opportunities created in the future.

There is currently a museum of the Lacons brand, which has been around since 1760, and the company is keen to continue to celebrate its heritage as well as support Great Yarmouth's tourism industry.

Mrs Alderton said: 'Beer tourism is a growing trend and you get people who will travel across the country for a brewery to tick it off their list.

'We just need to do a little bit more work getting the name out there further.'

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