Meet yet another fantastic Champion for Edible Norfolk
Who? Belinda Jennings, Head Brewer at Woodforde’s
What? Woodforde’s has been brewing beer for 35 years using only the finest Norfolk malting barley. It is one of a handful of brewers to have brewed two Champion Beers of Britain, including Wherry, its best-selling beer.
Let's find out more about our fantastic brewster...
How long have you lived in Norfolk? If not born here, what brought you here?
I’ve lived here for one year and three months, although I’ve been a regular visitor throughout my life. Despite growing up in Suffolk, I fell in love with Norfolk after many visits and in time Norwich started calling me. What a great part of the world it is! The fresh air, the countryside, the pubs… it’s a fantastic place to live and work.
Explain the story behind your business…
Woodforde’s was set up in 1981 by two enthusiastic members of the Norwich Homebrewers’ Society. The brewery was named after Parson Woodforde, an eighteenth century Norfolk clergyman whose diaries reveal his passion for good food and good ale. Woodforde’s grew quickly from tiny beginning to become one of the largest and most respected of the wave of new cask ale brewers who started up in the 1980’s. The brewery went on to win the ultimate prize in the brewing world – CAMRA ‘Supreme Champion Beer of Britain’ and hasn’t looked back. Today, Woodforde’s produces in excess of six million pints a year.
What gets you up in the morning?
Usually a rumbling stomach and the prospect of another new day ahead!
Describe a perfect weekend in Norfolk…
I enjoy running so I’d run out of the city, hitting some country lanes, and then head back via a local food shop to pick up some fresh bread and eggs for breakfast. I do enjoy visiting local farmers markets and shops – the produce is fantastic! I’ll then walk the dog, and go out for a meal and drinks in the evening.
List your top five things about Norfolk…
People, Beer, Norwich, Food and Coast
Norfolk is brimming with footpaths and cycle ways. Do you have a favourite? If so, where and why?
I’m only part way through exploring but I do love cycling, and have done some of the Marriott’s Way to get out into the countryside from the city.
If you visited one of the many Norfolk farmers markets, what goodies would you fill your basket with?
Easy - cheese, jams, meats and beer!
What’s your favourite Norfolk tipple and why?
Well, it has to be our beer! Particularly some of our new range like Reedlighter - a pale ale, bursting with flavour. I also enjoy researching other beers and breweries around Norfolk.
What’s your favourite event on the Norfolk calendar, and why?
It has to be The City of Ale in May/June. I love attending all the events as a regular customer, learning something new about beer and breweries, but also running our own events like blind beer tastings and live brews. Meeting the general public and socialising with fellow brewers and work/industry colleagues is a highlight. Norfolk is a great region for real ale!
Norfolk is brimming with history and culture. What’s your favourite heritage building/site and what’s so special about it?
My walk into the city involves passing the old Norwich Union/Aviva building, Surrey House, it just grabs me every time, so beautiful and elegant. I did look inside on the Norwich Heritage Open Days. Amazing building.
Last, but by no means least, what’s your best-kept Norfolk secret (supposing you’re happy to share it!)?
That would be telling!
To find out more or make an order visit their website.