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8th January 2013

Woodforde’s Brewer Becomes Norfolk’s First Beer Sommelier

Bruce Ash Woodfordes Beer Sommelier1.jpgA brewery manager from Woodforde’s has become Norfolk’s first accredited Beer Sommelier.

Bruce Ash from Woodforde’s in Woodbastwick met with exacting standards of the Beer Academy to become one of only 29 Beer Sommeliers in the UK and the first from Norfolk.

The year-long training course saw Bruce demonstrate his ability to assess different features of beer such as aroma, clarity, mouthfeel and drinkability, as well as show an understanding of brewing materials and the origins of beer styles.

For his practical project Bruce created a beer and food menu for Norfolk pub The Black Boys in Aylsham in a bid to change attitudes towards matching beer and food, instead of wine.

The course culminated in an exam which tested Bruce’s palette and knowledge of beer production.

Bruce Ash, Brewery Manager from Woodforde’s comments: “I’m really proud to be flying the flag for brewing excellence in Norfolk. Becoming a Beer Sommelier is no easy task, but the course has improved my understanding of flavours, aromas and beer development which will enhance my role here at Woodforde’s.”

The course was run and assessed by The Beer Academy in London.





The Beer Academy is an educational body that was founded by a small group of beer enthusiasts in 2003 to help people understand, appreciate and enjoy beer sensibly.  To date over 10,000 people have attended Beer Academy courses and tasting events such as the BBC Good Food Show, the Great British Beer Festival and the British Museum as well as in pubs and bars up and down the country.  The Academy offers a range of courses and qualifications ranging from a 90 minute tutored introduction to beer through to the two day Advanced Course for serious beer connoisseurs.


Full details of all Beer Academy Courses and events can be found or follow on Twitter @TheBeerAcademy.



Woodforde’s is located at Woodbastwick, close to the picturesque Norfolk Broads and in its 31 years of brewing has produced a number of patriotic ales (including two Supreme Champion Beers of Britain!) which reflect the rich heritage of Norfolk and wider East Anglia.


As the name suggests, Woodforde’s is proud of its Norfolk roots; the company is named after 18th century bon viveur Parson Woodforde who enjoyed nothing more than good food and fine ale which he generously shared with his parishioners.


Woodforde’s remains true to its original aim of brewing fantastic beer, made only with the finest ingredients including whole flower hops and the best quality Norfolk-grown malted barley. Water comes from Woodforde’s own on-site borehole and was the reason the brewery moved to Woodbastwick back in 1989!



Twitter: @Woodfordesale

Tel: 01603 720353

Shop Tel: 01603 722 218



Woodforde’s Beers