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Jo C’s Norfolk Ales back in production as West Barsham estates takes up reins

PUBLISHED: 11:15 15 November 2017 | UPDATED: 15:27 15 November 2017

Barsham Brewery on the West Barsham Estate has taken on Jo C's Norfolk Ales. From left to right, Rob Howlett, brewery operations manager, Susanna Soames and Rob Browne, sales Manager. Picture: West Barsham Estate

Barsham Brewery on the West Barsham Estate has taken on Jo C's Norfolk Ales. From left to right, Rob Howlett, brewery operations manager, Susanna Soames and Rob Browne, sales Manager. Picture: West Barsham Estate

West Barsham Estate

Beer drinkers have an extra reason for cheer as a popular brewery’s ales have been brought back into production.

Jo Coubrough the founder of Jo C's Norfolk Ale back in 2015. Picture: Ian Burt Jo Coubrough the founder of Jo C's Norfolk Ale back in 2015. Picture: Ian Burt

Jo Coubrough decided to stop making Jo C’s Norfolk Ales six months ago to spend more time with her family, but now the North Norfolk estate where they were brewed decided to take up the mantle.

Jeremy and Susanna Soames, of the West Barsham Estate, have begun brewing Norfolk Kiwi, Bitter Old Bustard, Knot Just Another IPA and Stout Robin under their newly launched Barsham Brewery banner.

The beer will continue to be made from barley produced on the estate and Mrs Coubrough will help oversee the operation.

Mrs Soames, whose family have lived on and farmed the land at West Barsham for over 100 years, said she was “excited” at the thought of the new venture.

Jo C's Norfolk Ale in West Barsham. Picture; Matthew Usher. Jo C's Norfolk Ale in West Barsham. Picture; Matthew Usher.

She said: “We were always very proud of the role the farm played in Jo’s wonderful business, using our barley, and water from the estate bore hole.

“It always felt part of our farm footprint and we were sad when we learnt that she was selling up, to concentrate on her home life.

“We were keen to explore new opportunities on the farm and it seemed to make perfect sense for us to take up the mantle where Jo left off.

“The Barsham Brewery has big plans for the future and we are delighted that Jo will be staying on board to work with us.”

Jo Coubrough at work on Jo C's Norfolk Ale in West Barsham back in 2012. Picture; Matthew Usher. Jo Coubrough at work on Jo C's Norfolk Ale in West Barsham back in 2012. Picture; Matthew Usher.

Mrs Coubrough said she was “genuinely thrilled” the estate had bought the rights to her beers. She said: “It’s the perfect arrangement as far as I’m concerned – my beloved beers go back into production from the same brewery on the West Barsham Estate using the same water, the same barley and I get to play my part; This just feels right.”

One subtle change drinkers might notice is that Jo C’s traditional green and pink branding will change to ‘Barsham brown’ and ‘Barsham blue’ – to reflect the change in ownership.

These colours originate from Mrs Soames’s grandfather’s racing colours and are a key part of the heritage of West Barsham.

Brewery operations manager Rob Howlett, who has worked on the estate for seven years, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be going into the brewing business and we couldn’t have anyone with more credibility and knowledge than Jo working with us.”

Vegan brewery Boudicca Brewing will continue to produce ales in part of the brewery having been a tenant of the estate for some time.

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