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Norfolk is home to some of the best and most delectable spirits and brews – as well as a whole host of places to enjoy cocktails, gin making and more! So, if you’re looking for a night out without the kids, a fun experience to enjoy with friends, or something a little different for a special occasion, you’ll find the perfect place to enjoy a tipple or two in Norfolk! Check out some of our top recommendations for alcohol-based activities – responsibly, obviously!
The English Whisky Company, Roudham
The English Whisky Company at St Georges Distillery, the first distillery in England in over 100 years, is the place to go if you’re looking for an unforgettable experience. Treat yourself to guided tour where you can learn all about the distillery and its history, as well asgetting to taste some of the blends too! If you want a more hands on experience, why not opt for the Whisky Blending Masterclass? This two-hour tour gives you the opportunity to taste three whiskies, as well as spending time blending your own single malt English whisky. Guided tours from £15, masterclass £100.
OakVilla Restaurant and Gin Distillery, Roudham
Crazy about whisky? Or is gin more your thing? Why not celebrate with both! Located next to The English Whisky Company, you can spend a whole day experiencing the delights of these two spirits by scheduling in a trip to the OakVilla Restaurant and Gin Distillery as well. Spend half an hour gin tasting and learn the history of the spirit for only £25. Or enjoy the ultimate experience, where you learn to distill your very own gin. You’ll enjoy a G&T on arrival, followed by an introduction to botanical profiles, and gin recipes. Then, you’ll build your own recipe and start the distillation of your gin. While you wait, you can tuck in to a delicious two-course meal at the restaurant, before bottling and labelling your gin which you can take home to share and enjoy. £120 for one person, £170 for a team of two (creating one bottle of gin).
Gyre & Gimble, Norwich
Looking for a stylish setting for sophisticated evening of cocktails? Look no further than Gyre & Gimble. Holding an impressive collection of spirits, with 70 gins, 35 rums and 35 whiskies, plus plenty more liqueurs behind the bar, whatever you fancy you’re sure to be satisfied! What’s more, Gyre & Gimble also make their own gin, taking inspiration from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Try London Dry Nohow, coastal gin Callooh Callay or perhaps the Queen of Hearts cherry gin.
The real cherry on the cake at Gyre & Gimble is its Gin Academy. Hosted by one of their master distillers, you will be guided (gin and tonic in hand) through choosing your own botanicals, distilling and labelling your own gin. Throughout the day you will be provided with three cocktails, and you get to take your bottle home with you. The best part – they keep your recipe on file, so it can be reproduced at any time! Only £85 per person for two hours.
Lacons Brewery, Great Yarmouth
The Lacons name goes back to the mid-18th century, and although it was closed down in the 60s after being taken over by another in brewer, in 2013 the brand made a triumphant return and set up base in Norfolk. The result is a modern brewery using all the latest technology, with the best of old Lacons recipes and the original Lacons yeast. We’d recommend trying their award-winning amber beer Encore, although there’s a whole range of beers including bitters, pale ales, aged stout and lagers to enjoy. The brewery is currently closed for tours, although you can order and collect. Why not grab yourself a few beers before heading down to the beach? What better way to enjoy a great drink than with a stunning view, and the calming sounds of the waves.
Spanning six generations, Bullards is a household name in Norfolk. With their award-winning, handcrafted gin, its no surprise they are so popular. Pop in to the Bullards Sensory & Tasting Bar in Jarrold, or the Gin Shop & Tasting Room at Chantry Place to sample the different styles of gin and learn all about the distinctive aromatics they use. Did you know that they also have Eco-Refill packs to purchase too? Refill your gin bottles using the pouch, and then post the empty pack (no envelope or stamp required). It will then be returned to the distillery where it’s recycled. Perfect for eco-conscious shoppers.
Bowling House, Norwich
Cocktails. Bowling. And maybe a bit of karaoke. If that’s not the recipe for a great night out, we don’t know what is. Treat yourself and a partner or friend to an evening of fun at Bowling House. You can grab a gift card for two games of bowling and cocktails for two for just £25! Bargain. And once the cocktails have taken affect, maybe that will give you the Dutch courage you need for a spot of karaoke. £15 per 30 minutes for a booth (up to 6 people).