Old Chimney Brewery

Old Chimneys BreweryTravels with Beer' Rob Gale writes: Old Chimneys Brewery offers a visit that is a little off the beaten path while still being memorable. Located on a farm in Market Weston near Diss in Suffolk, Old Chimneys was set up in 1995 by Alan Thompson, a man with over 30 years’ experience in the brewing industry.

Perhaps one for the beer enthusiasts because of its small scale, the brewery shares the same building as the shop so a tour can be given, or you can just peer through the partition separating the shop and the fermenting vessels. Alan does an excellent job making you feel welcome and is more than happy to show the equipment he uses. While it's on a much smaller scale than other breweries, you can still observe the brewing process. Finally there's a free half pint of beer while you decide what to purchase from the brewery shop.

Old Chimneys brews a surprisingly wide range of beers including the 11% oak-aged Good King Henry Special Reserve. Its imperial stout is the only British beer to feature in the Best Beers’ 2010 list on the popular Rate Beer website and it tops the 2010 UK Best Beers list.

While larger brewery tours are a great experience, it's perhaps an even better experience touring one man's pride and joy.

www.oldchimneysbrewery.com; the brewery is only open for a few hours on Friday and Saturday and finding it requires a good map or sat nav.

Robert GaleRob Gale

Rob runs the engaging www.travelswithbeer.com site and can be found on twitter under the name of awv