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Green light given for new farmhouse brewery in ruins of Norfolk priory

PUBLISHED: 14:21 06 March 2018 | UPDATED: 14:22 06 March 2018

Derek Bates, who is going to open a brewery in Norfolk. Picture: Robert Gigliotti/RRG Photography

Derek Bates, who is going to open a brewery in Norfolk. Picture: Robert Gigliotti/RRG Photography

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The green light has been given to a new brewery at a farmhouse barn nestled in the ruins of 900-year-old West Acre priory, near Swaffham.

The site in West Acre where Derek Bates will open Duration Brewing. Picture: Simon James/Hop & BarleyThe site in West Acre where Derek Bates will open Duration Brewing. Picture: Simon James/Hop & Barley

Husband and wife Derek Bates and Miranda Hudson have now received grant funding to turn the stone barn at Abbey Farm into Duration Brewing, They were given the nod from planners last year.

They said on social media: “With your support behind us we have reached an amazing milestone and we are delighted to announce Duration Brewing has the green light to be built. Grant funding has been awarded to transform a derelict priory site into a destination farmhouse brewery.

“The building project (phase 1) will soon commence at Abbey Farm and is likely to take six months.

“Our beers will continue to be available via collaboration with other breweries - next two releases are with Amundsen (Oslo) and Brew By Numbers (London).

“A foundation range will launch over the summer to put our own beers out in the world.”
They said they had received overwhelming encouragement and valuable guidance from the UK’s beer community.

“Let’s build Duration’s forever home and make it a place that celebrates history, nature, all people and beer. A place where everyone feels welcome,” they added.

The couple plan to pour the flora and fauna of north-west Norfolk into their beer, including local grains, yeast and River Nar water, to create a product bound to its surroundings.

American brewer and chef Mr Bates said complexities around the history of the grade II* listed barn - which is on a working farm - and the boxes that needed to be ticked before any work could begin had meant months of anxious waiting.

Plans for the site - billed as a farmhouse family brewery - include a taproom and visitor centre, with a far-off vision of launching a bar in Norwich.

They hope to focus on slow beers - aged and “created with a sense of place and time”, making the most of the natural environment.

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