Meet the team:
Bruce the Brewing Manager and his latest seasonal specials
The Woodforde’s team are all about a pride in Norfolk, and no one shares that passion more than our Brewing Manager, Bruce.
Born and raised in Nelson’s County, Bruce joined his local brewery as a teenager and has since gone from cleaning casks to winning numerous national awards for his creations.
His role sees him responsible for production and transport, including planning and purchasing, and creating new beers.
Two of those creations, Flagondry and Royal Norfolk, have returned to the bar this month as our seasonal specials.
Bruce said: “I first joined Woodforde’s as a 16-year-old in 1987 on the YTS scheme – I’d just left school and wanted to go straight into the world of work, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity.
“I have seen the brewery grow from a 10-barrel brewery at Erpingham to the 60 and 30-barrel brewery we have now at Woodbastwick.
“I’m from Norfolk and it has always meant a lot to be working for a local brewery.”
Bruce’s passion and flair for his craft became evident into his 20s, as he developed a taste for many different beer styles and favours that pack a hoppy, aromatic punch.
He also became East Anglia’s first accredited beer sommelier in 2013.
He added: "Much of my work nowadays is in the office, but I’m always happy to jump onto a brew when required!
“The industry has really developed since I started, and it is a very exciting time to work in it.
“With new beer styles and old ones being revitalised, there is always something different to get involved in.
“Brewing is a great industry to be in, with good people – something that’s definitely the case here at Woodforde’s.
“I’m very proud of everything we’ve achieved over the last 30 odd years.”
Among Bruce’s favourite parts of the job is brewing seasonal specials, with both Flagondry and Royal Norfolk proving popular among customers.
He said: "I just love the job. It is such a great feeling to see people enjoying your beer in the pub.
“It is brilliant to experiment with all the different hops and malts to come up with exciting new flavours.
“Flagondry is an easy drinking IPA brewed with a mixture of American and New Zealand hops. It also has a hint of honey which gives the beer a more complex flavour.
“It is a seasonal special we often return to, and it is always appreciated by our customers.”
Royal Norfolk returned just in time for the coronation of King Charles III, who has also been known to enjoy a pint of Woodforde’s beer.
Bruce added: “Royal Norfolk is back after a successful launch last year, which really saw it become a popular choice at the bar.
“It is brewed using local Maris Otter and Chevallier heritage malt. We also add orange and lemon peel for extra citrus flavours and texture.”
Pubs looking to stock Woodforde’s beers can learn more here.