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Anaesthetist sets up own brewery

PUBLISHED: 10:01 22 December 2008 | UPDATED: 07:51 01 August 2010

AFTER a high-pressure day at work, drinking a pint of locally-brewed real ale is many people's preferred way to relax.

Now an anaesthetist from Aldeby, near Beccles, has turned his love of beer into more than a hobby by setting up a professional microbrewery - which can produce up to 1,000 litres of beer a week - in his garage.

AFTER a high-pressure day at work, drinking a pint of locally-brewed real ale is many people's preferred way to relax.

Now an anaesthetist from Aldeby, near Beccles, has turned his love of beer into more than a hobby by setting up a professional microbrewery - which can produce up to 1,000 litres of beer a week - in his garage.

Arnth Engel, an anaesthetist at the James Paget Univeristy Hospital in Gorleston, was granted planning permission to set up his brewery earlier this year and now his own brand of bitters and ales is on sale in local pubs and shops.

Engel's Best Bitter and Amber Ale are made from locally-sourced ingredients and the brewery has become a real family enterprise.

Dr Engel, who has worked at the James Paget since 2003, does most of the brewing himself and his wife Gina takes care of marketing and promotion while his son Samuel, nine, and stepson Nicholas, 15, have helped to bottle and label the ales.

Two much-loved family members - Pyrenees mountain dogs Coco and Orson - have also played a part by featuring on the labels for the bottles.

The family's garage has recently been converted into a microbrewery with a mash tun, copper liquor tanks and two fermenting barrels.

Dr Engel said that he first began making his own beer when he was taking his A-levels in Schleswig-Holstein in northern Germany.

“I have always enjoyed brewing in my spare time.

“I usually manage to have one whole day a week for brewing and other smaller jobs can be done in the evenings.

“When everything goes right, one brew should be complete in about six hours - the slowest bit of the process is often heating up the water, which can take hours before you can even start,” he said.

The two pubs nearest his home - the White Lions in Toft Monks and Wheatacre - both have barrels in stock and the Real Ale Shop in Wrentham, south of Lowestoft, is also going to sell bottles of his beer.

Dr Engel said: “I am really pleased with the finished products, although one came about by mistake. When I was brewing, my EPA did not ferment properly at first so I mixed it and created the Amber Ale.

“We are getting in touch with more local freehouses and small shops to find out where else we can sell our beer.

“I might even try to get it sold at the Burrage Centre, the hospital's social club.”

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