Diving in a few hours early this week as tomorrow is chocabloc full.
We drop back into the Kingdom of East Anglia for week 36 and the coastal county of Suffolk. Meaning ‘Folk of the South’, settled by Angles in the 5th Century. The most important Anglo Saxon settlements were in Ipswich and Sudbury. Suffolk suffered severely from Danish incursions, only recently avenged . The county had a large fishing industry with Herring and Mackerel a major food source, it remains an agricultural county and was also important for linen and sail cloth. There are many archaeological finds within the county including the fantastic Sutton Hoo site with a complete ship burial containing a collection of treasures.
Much of the country is low lying with sand and clay soils. The North Sea coast is eroding rather rapidly here with many houses and even villages ending up in the briny. The east coast contains an area of heathland known as The Sandings, running almost the full length of the coast, there are marsh areas too. There is a clay plateau inland known as High Suffolk. The largest towns in the county are Ipswich, Lowestoft, Bury St. Edmonds, Haverhill, Felixstowe and Newmarket.
On Ratebeer we have a total of 67 Breweries, 42 currently active and 25 sadly closed. Just 6 of these are Client / Commissioner Breweries.
The oldest brewery we have for Suffolk is also the UK’s current largest, Greene King of Bury St. Edmonds (Est 1799). Founded by a 19 year old Benjamin Greene who became quite unpopular for his ownership of slave plantations and his views on slavery being critical of those who called for the abolition. GK bought Rayments brewery after WWII and grew quickly up to the 60’s but still remained a regional brewer. Faster growth was achieved by buying and closing other breweries towards the end of the 20th century including Morland of Abingdon, giving them Britain’s number 1 brand at the time but pitting them against many beer lovers. The pub chain part of the business was also grown by acquisitions. They are now the leading pub retailer in the country along with biggest brewer.
In the 2020 Ratebeer awards for Suffolk the Best Brewer award went to Burnt Mill Brewery of Badley (Est 2017), the Best Beer went to the same Brewery with Burnt Mill / Mikkeller The Weight of Brunch (Cognac BA)
The Top 10 Beers of Suffolk are –
- Old Chimneys Good King Henry Special Reserve
- Old Chimneys Good King Henry R
- Burnt Mill / Mikkeller The Weight of Brunch (Cognac BA)
- Burnt Mill / Finback Swimming Giants
- Old Chimneys Good King Henry (Brewed at Grain)
- Old Chimneys Red Admiral R
- Burnt Mill Great Bitter Lake
- Burnt Mill / Cloudwater Lying Low
- Green Jack Baltic Trader
- Burnt Mill / Other Half All On Green
The Top 5 Pubs & Bars in Suffolk are –
- Dove Street Inn, Ipswich – 81
- Fat Cat, Ipswich – 80
- Spread Eagle (Grain), Ipswich – 76
- Beerhouse (Brewshed), Bury St Edmunds – 75
- St Jude’s Brewery Tavern, Ipswich – 74
There is also a highly rated Bottle Shop in Suffolk
- Beautiful Beers, Bury St Edmunds – 93
The Top 5 Raters of beers from Suffolk are –
You will require 133 Suffolk beers to get into the top 50.
The Top Rater currently residing in Suffolk is –
@Grumbo who is a regular and welcome contributor to our weekly tour.