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Adnams Brewery Tour Digital Transformation

October 6, 2021

Adnams Brewery Tour Digital Transformation


We caught up with James to learn all about their locally sourced “grain to glass” production method, and exciting plans they have for Adnams Brewery Tour Digital Transformation in the future (keep your eyes peeled for cocktail classes hopefully coming by the end of this year!)


Meet the speakers


Mollie Cross Solutions Specialist at BookingLive


James Golding – Events, Tours and Experiences Manager at Adnams



Just a few yards away from the beautiful Southwold beaches, Adnams offers tours of their brewery and distilleries, and offers experiences perfect for hen and stag do’s, birthday parties or just a special day out!





If you’re a tour or experience provider of any sort, and you’re looking for booking automation software to manage your yours, experiences or events.

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Adnams Brewery Tour Digital Transformation

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Full Transcript:


– [Mollie] Hi James, thank you for taking the time to speak with me today, could you tell me where your breweries were based and how many breweries you have up and down the country?


– [James] So we only have one brewery and distillery. So we brew beers and we distil spirits on the same site. So we’re based in Suffolk in a place called Southwold. That’s right on the coast. So it’s been our home since the day we opened and we’ve kept everything in the town itself. So we are the heart of Southwold really, of what we do. We are the largest employer in Southwold.


– [Mollie] What kind of spirits do you distill?


– [James] We do vodka gin and whiskey at the moment. We have done an apple brandy. We have done a limoncello but gin, whiskey and vodka our main base.

All of our spirits are also distilled from our beers. So we produce what’s called an unhopped beer in the brewery, and we take that across to the distillery to distil it into the spirits.


– [Mollie] Oh, wow. That’s really interesting. I didn’t know that that was even possible


– [James] Yeah, so we produce everything from grain to glass within the brewery and distillery itself. We don’t buy-in anything. Some distilleries buy-in what’s called a neutral grain spirit, which they then distil and flavour. We don’t do that, we produce our own.


– [Mollie] What kind of tours do you host? 


– [James] At the moment we host a brewery tour, a distillery tour, and a make your own gin experience. They’re the three main ones. But we do have more in the line. I’m working on a blend your own whiskey experience. A cocktail making experience. And a tutored beer tasting. So, three additional tours coming in the pipeline, hopefully by the end of the year.


– [Mollie] Oh, gosh, that’s really exciting. So I guess loads of different kinds of people attend those experiences, then?


– [James] Yeah, even for the same experience. We’ve got a vast amount of people that come for stag dos, hen dos, birthday parties, weddings, celebrations, or just walk in groups, bikers. Well, maybe they ride from Pilgrim to Southwold and we get them in.


– [Mollie] Yeah, wonderful. My gosh, I didn’t realise that you had such a vast array of different kinds of experiences and days. So yeah, that sounds so fun. How have you implemented COVID restrictions in your tastings and your tours?


– [James] Mainly, we’ve had to reduce the numbers that we take around on the tour for them. We’ve had to relocate a couple of our tasting bars into bigger spaces with more airflow at the moment. But they will hopefully be returning back to normality because we had one of our bars like in a cellar. So obviously, there was no airflow down there. So we’ve not been able to use that one. Then there’s major cleaning routines, obviously cleaning between every tour. The paperwork we use is laminated so we can wipe it down and sanitise it all before the next group come in. 


– [Mollie] Hopefully the restrictions will be lifted by the end of the year, but I imagine you get a tonne of work Christmas parties and everything. Yeah. I might tip the idea to our CEO, if listening to this! 


– [James] Yes absolutely! We do grain to glass and we produce everything from start to finish. We do everything sustainably and locally as much as we can. So I think 90% of our grain is grown within Suffolk and Norfolk. It’s all locally produced. All of our main suppliers, all of our contractors are local people rather than national contracts. So if we can source it in the UK, we do. Obviously with certain botanicals for gins, you just can’t get them in the UK as they don’t grow over here. Where we can, we get them from as close as we can. We use 100% green electricity for our brewery now. Everything’s renewable. We are the most economical brewery distillery there is at the moment. 

Don’t quote me on this but normally you use about five pints of water to produce a pint of beer, but we only use three. So it’s really good because we put a closed loop system so nothing’s wasted when we’re heating stuff. Can we produce steam? That’s used to heat something else up from cool down and it just keeps going round in a loop.


– [Mollie] Wow, that’s great. So you’ve got a super small carbon footprint, it seems compared to other breweries. That’s really wonderful.


– [James] We send zero to landfill now as well, so everything we can possibly recycle is done so. That’s across our breweries, our shops and pubs, restaurants and hotels. Yeah, but we’ve worked really hard with the producers of the kit to produce the best we can and use the least amount of electricity wastage as  possible. 


– [Mollie] And how are you finding your BookingLive system? 


– [James] The last couple of months I’ve been using it an awful lot and learning very rapidly how to use it and what it can do.


– [Mollie] Good. Have you been getting on okay with that? 


– [James] Yes, I mean, I’m quite IT savvy and I think if you don’t understand IT sometimes systems like this can be quite hard to follow. When you understand the process the things follow.

I’ve had to contact support only once luckily enough so far. To be fair, that was only to set me up to be able to log queries so it wasn’t actually a problem.


– [Mollie] Good, wonderful. If you ever need anything in the future then you have my details now you know where I am. If it’s anything technical, I can obviously push across to anyone necessary that’s going to be able to help you but yeah, that was all of my questions I had for today and I’ll leave you back to that glorious, glorious sunshine.



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