Old Cannon brewery in Bury St Edmunds plans to turn back the clock

Hannah Clark behind the bar at the Old Cannon in Bury St Edmunds.

Hannah Clark behind the bar at the Old Cannon in Bury St Edmunds. - Credit: Contributed

A brewery in the heart of a Suffolk town is turning the clock back as its celebrates a brewing milestone.

December 3 will mark the 15th anniversary of the first beers being brewed at the Old Cannon Brewery, in Cannon Street, Bury St Edmunds.

And it was on the same day in 1999 that the establishment, previously known as St Edmunds Head, adopted its current name when new owners took on the lease.

Current landlords Hannah and Garry Clark have invited regulars from the Old Cannon’s early days to a special celebratory evening in the brewery, where they will also be offering all Old Cannon beers at the 1999 price of £1.99 per pint.

Anyone returning for the first time in a few years will, however, find that a number of changes have taken place since 1999.

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Besides the brewing operation on the premises, there is now a brasserie and a range of self-contained bed and breakfast lodgings.

The range of Old Cannon beers available have gone from two, to the current total of 11, which are available to buy not only from the brewery but also in other locations such as the Suffolk Food Hall and Ipswich pubs The Dove and the Fat Cat.

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Hannah Clark said: ”The Old Cannon has changed so much in the last 15 years we wanted to have a night of reminiscing as a way of celebrating how far we’ve come. We’re excited to see some old faces and are delighted to be able to offer guests the chance to sample our beers at the price they would have paid in 1999. We’ll also be blowing candles out on a cake to celebrate 15 years as The Old Cannon Brewery.”

The two large brewing vessels which have stood in the corner of the Old Cannon since 1999 are now estimated to have brewed more than 1.2million pints.

Richard Eaton Jones, who became head brewer in 1999 when the building was brought back to life after five years of been derelict, remembers the launch with great affection:

“Right from the first day of opening the brewery was always busy,” he said. “The people of Bury St Edmunds were really captivated by the idea of brewing on site; it was quite a unique concept then. Friday nights were especially busy and we had a steady group of regulars who always supported us.

“I remember fondly celebrating the Millennium in the brewery – our first New Years Eve since re-opening – with a fantastic black tie event which was a complete sell out.

“Our tenure also saw the halving of duty rates which had a massive impact on the industry and which paved the way for the multitudes of micro-breweries that have appeared on the scene in the last 15 years.”

Everyone is welcome at the anniversary celebrations on the evening of Wednesday, December 3. For more information, visit www.oldcannonbrewery.co.uk .

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