Toast to success of Suffolk pub

A SUFFOLK pub has been praised for bucking the trend of dying drink-led premises after establishing itself as one of the most popular watering holes in a market town.

Russell Claydon

A SUFFOLK pub has been praised for bucking the trend of dying drink-led premises after establishing itself as one of the most popular watering holes in a market town.

Now celebrating six months of serving ale in Sudbury, business at Mauldons first ever pub, the Brewery Tap, is continuing to grow - showing good beer can still be the basis for a successful pub.

Footfall in the East Street pub has increased, rather than tailing off, since it opened back in November, with the only complaint being they have not got enough room to accommodate all the drinkers coming through the doors.

Now the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has added their backing by breaking with tradition to include the premises in its Good Pub Guide before it is a year old.

Kevin Waterson, the chairman of the west Suffolk branch of CAMRA, said: “It is the epitome of a pub really. It is just fantastic.

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“Obviously it is a Mauldons outlet, which proves if you have got good quality beer at a reasonable price you will get punters in.”

Mauldons Black Adder stout has been a big hit at the Brewery Tap and was named by CAMRA as supreme champion beer for East Anglia at this year's Colchester Winter Beer Festival.

Steve Sims, the owner of Sudbury-based brewer Mauldons, said of the first six months of the pub: “It is where we wanted it to be - no question about that. In beer volume terms we are above where we expected to be given the current climate.

“We have been looking to open this pub for the last seven years and we have listened to what people want and they wanted something different. The pub we have created has taken it back to its former glory. We are not interested in background music, duke boxes or pool tables - it is about the art of conversation and enjoying good beer.”

Apart from its nine ales and four lagers behind its bar, the other attraction marking out it out from its rivals is Murphy - a gentle giant of a German Sheppard who mingles with pub goers.

Clive Mann, who runs the Brewery Tap with his wife Sally and has more than 20 years in the industry, said: “We are really pleased. There are quite a few premises like this in the Norwich area but there are not too many true brewery taps about and this is exactly what we have been waiting for.

“There is definitely a market for this kind of pub in any particularly large town where there are a lot of run-of-the-mill pubs. Sudbury definitely needed something like this.”

Plans are now afoot to install a traditional billiards table in the pub as well as looking to expand their once-a-month traditional English breakfast to two sittings and open a renovated courtyard for smokers in the next few weeks.