The brewery is in the high street of the picturesque village of Clare in Suffolk, only 45 minutes' drive away by minibus. Our thanks to CVR Travel of Littleport for the excellent service.
When we arrived (minus the ALE editor, who missed the bus!), Tom had popped out, but his team made us very welcome, offering us the chance to sample his new summer ale, Sheep's Eye, which is a very good, hoppy, straw-coloured 4.2% beer.
When Tom returned he took us around the brewery, which is very compact considering how much ale is produced. Tom's knowledge is very deep, and made for an extremely interesting tour - we did, of course, ask him some searching questions!
Tom uses only the best ingredients, including the same mix of two different yeasts that have been in use since the brewery opened. The brewery also has a separate container to add hops, through which the mash is pumped where the hops are added. Unusual, but boy does it work!
After the tour, we had the chance to sample some excellent Augustinian, which was originally brewed to commemorate the anniversary of the local monastery, but is now a permanent addition to the range.
We enjoyed the day out, and cannot thank Tom and his staff enough for their hospitality. We were still there drinking when the coach turned up at 4 p.m. to collect us!
The Lambic Monster.