Brewing boom for East Anglian beer industry

Beer has retained its status as Britain's most popular alcoholic drink, a statistic backed up by the growth of brewing in East Anglia.

Of the 111 real ale breweries in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, 40 of them have been set up in the past five years.

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The report from the British Beer and Pub Association confirms there's plenty of demand for their produce.It found that in 2018 the UK drunk 8.5 billion pints of beer; comparatively, 7.4 billion glasses of wine and 1.2 billion pints of cider were drunk.

Colchester Brewery is one of the region's burgeoning brewers.

Tom Knox, their joint MD, said: "We not only produce a small amount of beer but we sell it predominantly locally - we only deliver within a 30 mile radius of where we are.

"Essex and over into Suffolk is fantastic for great quality pubs. Colchester itself has probably got the biggest concentration of very good beer pubs, the quality in Colchester is very high."

Alongside the growth of micro-breweries, some of the region's largest producers are going through major changes.

Greene King in Bury St Edmunds was subject to a £4.6bn takeover in August while Woodforde's in Norfolk have invested £1m in a new production line.