Brewery ready to pull its own pints

WITH pubs across the country closing down, a small brewer in Suffolk is bucking the trend.

The team at St Jude’s Brewery in Ipswich have been busy transforming the former Olan Mills photography studio in St Matthew’s Street into their first inn – St Jude’s Brewery Tavern.

St Jude’s Brewery, based in Cardigan Street, Ipswich, was established in 2006 by Frank Walsh and Colleen Seymour, who are confident that its first pub will also be a success.

“We wanted somewhere near to the brewery,” said Mr Walsh. “It’s still got a nice part of the town feel to it and hopefully we can make it even better.”

Ms Seymour added: “The site is just perfect for us; it has so much character and it almost looks like an old London pub or tavern. It has a great feel. We are just at the finishing touches stage now and are getting set for the big opening.

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“I think that the thing I love most about the bar is just its feel; it’s not like any other pub in the area. Our main aim has been to create something with a really nice atmosphere.”

The St Matthews’s Street building, the upper rooms of which had not been used in about 25 years, has required substantial refurbishment.

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St Jude’s Brewery’s current production is 60 firkins (one firkin is equivalent 72 pints) of beer a week but, with the new bar ready to open on tomorrow, production is set to grow substantially.

Although the pub industry has endured a tough few years, the couple believe their new venture is safeguarded by the fact they produce their own ale.

Ms Seymour added: “It is a difficult time for pubs, but we have our own brewery so it doesn’t really affect us – in fact it is a very exciting time.”

St Jude’s Brewery Tavern will open at noon tomorrow, with a range of festivities including acoustic folk music.

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