Northcote Brewery in Norwich is closing

A Norwich-based brewery has decided to close because of the increasingly difficult economic climate for the pub trade.

Northcote Brewery, based on the Sweet Briar Road Industrial Estate, was set up by husband and wife team Jenni and Adam Nicholls in 2010, and since then has produced a number of Norwich brews including Cow Tower, Golden Spire and Bishy Barnaby, as well the Norwich Pride 2011 beer, Brewed This Way.

But Mr Nicholls told the Evening News they had now decided to close the brewery.

He said brewing stopped just before Christmas and the equipment was being dismantled this week.

'It has been a very difficult decision to close the brewery,' he said.

'Everyone is having such a hard time and it is looking worse for 2012 than 2011.

'I cannot see that all the pubs and breweries here today are going to be here in a year's time in Norwich.'

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He said there were a number of different factors contributing to the current tough trading climate – more people drinking at home instead of in pubs, and the rising costs involved in making beer, such as ingredients, transport and tax.

'The big breweries can afford to drop the prices, but the smaller breweries can only go so low. It is very difficult,' he said.

'It has been hard-going and the prospects were not looking very good for 2012, and so it did not make sense for us to carry on.' Mr Nicholls added he now planned to go 'back to the 9 to 5,' but that the Northcote beers may still live on.

'The beers may live on in some respect, but it will more than likely be one-off brews if somebody requests them.

'It is the end of us having a brewery in the city, but it is probably not the end of the beers themselves,' he said.

Do you have a story about a pub? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email

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