Local licensing authority for Southwold is Waveney district
The earliest recorded brewing on the site of Adnams was in 1345. The present brewery was taken over by George and Earnest Adnams in 1872. The Adnams family was joined by the Loftus family in 1902, and a member of each family is still an active director of the company.
In 1912 Adnams & Co are listed as wholesale & family brewers & wine & spirit importers, maltsters & hop merchants (Sole Bay brewery) and proprietors of Centre Cliff & Swan hotels and the Brewery in Eye.
The brewery was extensively rebuilt and expanded during the 1980s to meet new demand. This brewery equipment has now virtually disappeared with the installation of a modern custom built brewery that uses a high level of automation.
New fermenting vessels were installed in 2001, 2003 and 2005 to cope with demand. A new "eco-friendly" distribution depot was built at nearby Reydon in 2007.
A series of monthly specials is livening up the Adnams range during 2009-2010, as has the extended availability of Gunhill on draught.
Real ale is available in all of Adnams' pubs.
The first edition of the Good Beer Guide reported 'Nearly always real draught beer.'