Britain is well-known for its patchwork of local flavours of beer around the country. Each uses local ingredients and has its own distinctive taste. One of the most successful brewers, supplying pubs and shops around the UK and beyond, is Greene King based here in Bury St Edmunds.
Where it all began: Great Abbey
This local brewery started more than 200 years ago and has been crafting quality cask ales ever since. In fact, as far back as 1086, ale was brewed in Bury St Edmunds on the site of the Great Abbey, taking advantage of the water from the town’s chalk wells. These waters are still used today by Greene King in its Westgate Brewery.
Take a brewery tour
The brewery offers tours to demonstrate the traditional brewing process and the history of the site. It ends with a tasting, guided by one of the experts in the Beer Café, allowing you the opportunity to sample some of the beers which are made using natural ingredients. You can stay on in the café should the tour and tasting not be enough for you!
Not only that, but the building itself offers the best view of Bury St Edmunds from its roof, giving you the chance to survey the town from up high and pick out some of the local landmarks that you have already visited, or plan to see during your stay in Bury St Edmunds.
Check out The Mason Arms
If the brewery tours are fully-booked, or you are on a family holiday and have children with you, then you don’t have to miss out. The brewery also has its flagship pub, The Masons Arms, in Bury St Edmunds, offering family and dog-friendly dining areas. It has an excellent menu of food made with local ingredients on the premises and options for children. As the Greene King’s flagship pub, it has the best local beers on draught, as well as guest ales so you can still get to taste some of Bury St Edmunds’ best, without going on the tour.
The Masons Arms is a beautiful old pub based in the oldest part of Bury and is perfectly located for you to stop off while exploring this charming historic town.