Adnams Ales A - Z

Published: Tuesday 16th Feb 2016

Written by: Suffolk Secrets Team

Established in 1872, Adnams Brewery is well-known for its creative beer brewing and have become as iconic in Southwold as the Lighthouse and beach.

We have put together an A – Z guide of Adnams beer creations over the years including beers available in local pubs today but also many historic beers which have been discontinued. How many can you remember and how many have you tasted?

Unfortunately we couldn’t find a beer for every letter of the alphabet - although a beer beginning with X would be most intriguing…

American IPA

American IPA: Golden beer with citrus and floral aromas and a deep citrus bitterness. American hops are used for this recipe including Centennial, Cascade and Willamette to name a few. Abv: 4.8%


Broadside: A firm favourite locally and further afield.  Broadside is a dark ruby red beer with tones of fruitcake, almonds and conserved fruit. This classic beer has also contributed to many other Adnams products such as chutneys, Christmas puddings, marmalades, and the intriguing Spirit of Broadside which has been compared to whiskey. Abv: 4.7%


Diamond Ale: This limited edition ale was released by Adnams in 2012 to celebrate the Queens Diamond Jubilee. This amber gold ale has sweet honey tones and a floral aroma with biscuity malt and crisp bitterness. Diamond Ale was created using a similar recipe as the Royal Wedding ale which celebrated the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton, The Duchess of Cambridge. Abv: 4.1%


Explorer: Adnams Explorer is part of the original Adnams beer range alongside Bitter and Broadside. Explorer evolved following Head Brewer Fergus’s trip to the United States. This light and refreshing beer uses two American hops grown in Washington and gives a clever citrus burst on the palate. Abv: 4.3%


Fisherman: This autumnal beer was last brewed in 2005. Fisherman has a distinctive dark colour verging on black with tones of roasted nuts, dark chocolate and dried fruits. It was re-produced back in 2012 for the Wetherspoons Beer Festival but hasn’t made any fresh appearances since. Abv: 4.5%

Ghost ship

Ghost Ship: This spectacular Adnams ale was inspired by The Bell Inn at Walberswick which is thought to be Adnams’ most haunted pub! This pale ale is brewed with a selection of malts including rye, cara and citra which gives the citrus flavourings. Many people are unfamiliar with the back story to Ghost Ship – it was actually adapted from a beer called Deathly Pale Ale which was never officially created. You can however find a Deathly Pale Ale bottle (one of only a handful ever created) in the display section of The Red Lion in Southwold. Abv: 4.5%


Innovation: This award winning beer was originally only created to celebrate the opening of the new brewery and distribution centre in Reydon, however Innovation is now widely available and has proven particularly popular. Innovation is Adnams own version of IPA and has spicy, biscuity undertones with a combination of citrus flavours. The hops used for this beer come from England, Slovenia and America. Abv: 6.7%


Jester: Newly created in 2015, Jester celebrates a new type of British hop. This hop is renowned for its citrus aromas and flavours and it comes highly recommended to accompany spicy dishes such as curries. This Adnams ale is one of the seasonal beers and has a funky design. Abv: 4.8%

Kristal White

Kristal White: This historical beer was created by Head Brewer Fergus and was based on a European wheat beer incorporating an English twist. This blonde ale has tones of sweetness including banana, toffee and cloves and is brewed with German Noble Hops. Abv: 4.2%


Lighthouse: Created to celebrate our iconic Southwold Lighthouse landmark, the Lighthouse ale is light in alcoholic content but certainly isn’t disappointing in flavour. The recipe was based on the Champion Pale Ale and has a light fragrance with malty hops and caramel/toffee hints. Lighthouse is also popular in its bottled variety and is available throughout the year at the Adnams stores. Abv: 3.4%

May day

May Day: May Day was produced to signify the beginning of the summer and was extremely popular for many years. This golden beer leaves a clean finish with hints of spice and orange and was brewed using local East Anglian pale ale malt. Abv: 5%

Native Britten

Native Britten: As the name suggests, Adnams created this limited edition ale to represent composer Benjamin Britten and his influences in Suffolk. This beer was brewed solely with local Suffolk ingredients and has banana and citrus flavours coupled with a herbal aroma. This beer is only available in the bottled variety and many collectors have snapped these up as packs of three have different label designs. Abv: 4.5%

Old Ale

Old Ale: Seasonally produced, this winter warmer is a dark ale using barley and Boadicea hops. Aromas include nutty, chocolate and caramel and the flavour produces hints of red fruit. This smooth beer is one of the oldest recipes used by Adnams, dating back to 1890. Many of the local Southwold pubs serve this popular ale annually and some locals like to combine half a pint of Old Ale and half a pint of Bitter which is sometimes referred to as ‘a pint of Mother-in-law’! Abv: 4.1%

Prop Hop

Prop Hop: A brand new concept created in 2015 to celebrate the Rugby World Cup, Prop Hop is an intriguing British Bitter with malt, biscuit and bread flavourings, accompanied by subtle notes of orange peel. Prop Hop is a golden bitter made with barley and Pale Rye malts. This beer recipe has also been refined for 2016 to mark the Rugby Six Nations. A selection of the sales made selling this beer are being donated to the Matt Hampson Foundation, a fabulous charity supporting young sportsmen injured through sport. Prop Hop can be recognised by its characteristic label with rugby star. This beer can be purchased in mini-casks. Abv: 4%


Regatta: Another historic Adnams ale which was originally created to celebrate the British summertime. This is a blonde ale using East Anglian malt and English hops with hints of lemon, thus signifying all that’s British. This light and refreshing beer is well-suited to white fish dishes – perfect with our British classic Fish n Chips! Abv: 4.3%


Spindrift: Is it a bitter or is a lager? It pours like a Guinness?! Well – it had everyone talking when it was first released. Spindrift is a beer which was created to suit lager drinkers who prefer their pints carbonated and chilled. This speciality beer is full of flavour with a refreshing crisp taste and is chilled and filtered to give it its lager freshness and white head. You can purchase Spindrift bottled too. Abv: 4%

Tally Ho

Tally Ho: One of the strongest ales ever produced by Adnams, Tally-Ho is dark, rich and full of flavour. This barley-wine style beer is usually produced around Christmas time, with some limited availability in October. Tally-Ho is award winning and many local pubs save this beer for special occasions. Abv: 7%

Wild Hop

Wild Hop Amber Beer: Wild Hop was first brewed in 2014 when Adnams requested the assistance of the general public to donate wild garden hops. This beer is also brewed with pale ale, malted wheat and acidified malts. Wild Hop was again re-created in 2015 and can also come in a bottled variety. Abv: 4.8%


Yuletide: Yuletide is a festive beer brewed for Christmas time. This dark ruby beer has an excellent balance of flavours including bitterness, fruity undertones and a spicy finish. This beer is brewed with chocolate and amber malts alongside East Anglian Pale Ale. Abv: 4.5%

New Zealand Pale Ale

New Zealand Pale Ale: We’ve cheated a little here including New Zealand Pale Ale under ‘Z’, but we couldn’t leave out this fantastic beer produced as part of the World Beers production. To create New Zealand pale ale, the same hops by Nelson Sauvin hops in the Celebratory Ale, William Godell, were used. This beer is brewed with a combination of pale ale and pale crystal malt, fermented at 20 degrees. There is a distinctive green citrus aroma and this blonde beer produces gooseberry flavours. Abv: 4.0%

Suffolk Secrets Team



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