International success for traditional Lacons brewery in Great Yarmouth

A day in the life of Lacons Brewery head brewer, Wil Wood. Wil pictured with a pint of one of their

A day in the life of Lacons Brewery head brewer, Wil Wood. Wil pictured with a pint of one of their many different beers.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

For more than 250 years an independent coastal brewery has been creating real ale for beer lovers.

And thanks to modern appetites for the traditional tipple, Lacons, near Great Yarmouth seafront, is hoping to expand six-fold to meet increasing demand.

The firm, which started in 1760 among the town's medieval rows, has also just won an international Global Masters award for its most popular brew - Encore.

Head brewer Wil Wood, 53, from Upper Cliff Road in Gorleston, said: 'I'm very proud to be Lacons head brewer. The connection with the public and the way the public feels about Lacons is great. It is a fantastic job because of the history - you cannot buy it.'

In 1965, beer giant Whitbread and Co took control of Lacons and three years later its brewery on North Quay shut.

But in 2009, Lacons was reborn after Lowestoft businessman Mick Carver bought back the business, which started production on Main Cross Road in 2013.

It now employs five people who produce six ales all year, as well as two seasonal drinks, for 2,500 East Anglian pubs.

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Lacons brews on average 1,000 litres in five barrels using Norfolk-grown barley, but Mr Wood wants to increase production to 6,000 litres.

Mr Wood said: 'Norfolk-grown barley is the best in the world. The coastal climate is perfect for it.'

Currently there are 40 Norfolk micro-breweries in business and Mr Wood believed the industry was doing well because ale drinking was more accepted among men and women of all ages.

'The image of an old man in his hat drinking ale is gone.'

He added brewing was 'a science and an art' and the Lacons two-week process was the same as beer making 300 years ago.

For information on brewery tours visit, call 01493 850578 or email

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