Sudbury: Growler Brewery set to save Waggon and Horses pub

Growler Brewery managing director Rob Flanagan

Growler Brewery managing director Rob Flanagan

A pub which closed earlier this year after trade was hit by the recession has been saved by a local brewery.

Owners of Growler Brewery, based in Pentlow on the Suffolk/Essex border, confirmed they have bought the historic Waggon and Horses pub in Sudbury.

The former hostelry in Acton Square shut due to a decline in trade, which previous landlord Sam Butler put down to a change in social habits.

The availability of cheap alcohol from supermarkets and rising beer duty are also thought to have contributed to an estimated 20 British pubs closing down every week, including several in the Sudbury area in recent years.

Growler Brewery managing director Rob Flanagan said they were excited to be taking on the Waggon and Horses and bucking the trend.

He added: “We feel there’s a lot of passion for the pub locally and people remember it as a once thriving business. It is not an easy trade to be in but I believe that if you run a pub well and give people what they want, then you have a decent chance of it working.

“We will be trying to give people lots of reasons to use the pub and we aim to put it back into the heart of the local community.”

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Last week, Growler won CAMRA’s champion speciality beer of Britain award for the third time with its Umbel Magner porter with coriander.

New Waggon and Horses manager Paul Harper said: “In addition to serving a big range of beers, including 30 bottled varieties, we will also be stocking interesting wines and spirits and serving freshly prepared home-cooked meals.

“We aim to retain the essence of what’s already there in terms of the building but to freshen it up and extend it.”

A six-week refurbishment project has just begun to update the building.

The pub is due to reopen during the first week in October.