Twenty breweries: Humpty Dumpty
When I first holidayed in Norfolk, I had straightforward expectations of the beer I'd find; classic English bitter. Adnams and Woodforde's sold plenty of it, I drank plenty of it. But some days, particularly the blistering hot ones, my palate wanted a little more zing. That's when I realised that beery happiness is egg-shaped.
Reedham may seem to be a sleepy village on the Norfolk Broads but Humpty Dumpty have been busily brewing there since 1998. Something that Stephen George, Craig Fermoy and the team have really nailed is a host of great quenchers - perfect for the end of long meandering Norfolk walks whether you're on the coast, on the Broads or tramping round Norwich on the tourist trails.
And they're Norfolk and proud of it. Their Maris Otter malt is from Teddy Maufe's famed Branthill Farm. They brewed an IPA in support of the Wherryman's Way long-distance footpath. They work the farmer's markets, they have a bar at the Royal Norfolk Show, they are fervent supporters of the village's beer festival. They may just be the hardest working brewery in Norfolk...
Why try? The lighter-ABV beers are thirst-slaking; the stronger stuff is proper 'feet-up-at-the-end-of-the-day' beery enjoyment.
What to look for? Those quenchers I first found, Little Sharpie and Lemon & Ginger.
Where to buy? Norfolk. Humpty Dumpty have a brewery shop on-site, the Real Ale Shop at Branthill Farm and Beers Of Europe stock their bottles, the Lord Nelson at Reedham always has a cask of theirs on. Then there's the farmer's markets at Aylsham and Beccles. And you may find some at the Berney Arms Inn - a pub you can't drive to but can walk, sail or take the train to. You'll be glad of a pint when you get there...