Our members are our best source of information about the 200 pubs in our branch area so help us to keep your fellow CAMRA members up to date.
As your local CAMRA branch our aim is to promote pubs and pub going so if you visit a local pub or club please let us have your feed back by contacting ku.gro.armac.kloffustsew@reciffo_sbup and we'll put your news on this page to keep your fellow members informed and up to date. With pubs closing every week your news could help to keep your local open
Jun 17 From member Stuart. During this wonderful weather I found myself , last Thursday June 15th, wandering round Thurston and naturally when finished my dog walking duties sauntered into the Fox and Hounds for a bout of quick refreshment. Imagine my amazement when I spotted on the bar, among several other great offerings, Worthington White Shield draught IPA. This I had to try as I know it is very rare. It did not disappoint - it was brilliant in fact truely outstanding. The previous day I had had another rare beer their, one which I used to drink lots of during my time in Cornwall, good old Bass. Yes I know it is no longer brewed in Burton but served in the F & H it was still a damn good pint. However it was pipped by the White Shield which was so good I had to return the next day for another couple of snifters. I have never scored a beer 5 on the beer scoring scheme but am about to break that barrier by doing just that.
Update on couple of Bury pubs by Andrew "Black Boy in Guildhall Street no longer serving Mild, it'll be back later in the year.
Huge quantities of Adnams being shifted at The Dove, in Hospital Road. Abbot appearing regularly too" Ed. note I think I heard mention of Strong Suffolk in cask seen here recently
May 19 From member Andrew: Just had a lovely lunch at the Whepstead White Horse. Good beer, food and service. And nice to see a pub so busy at lunchtime. Bar Area White Horse Pictured
Hare and Hounds, Leavenheath Members Charlotte and Steve visited recently. Both were impressed by the food, beer and atmosphere. Overall review " a proper pub".
May 6 Looking for a good pint of GK Abbott? WSC member Kevin has been lately been impressed by the quality of the Abbot at The Manger, Bradfield Combust
Apl 17Another report from member Peter, this time about the The White Horse, Sudbury. I have been visiting the White horse for a number of years. The pub has recently been refurbished & re-branded by Greene King. This review is based on three separate visits over the course of a few months after the refurbishment.
The pub is clean & tidy & creates a good first impression. The "Greene King Theme Pub" look is not something I'm always fond of, but it seems to have worked here. The black and white tessalated tiled area in front of the bar being particularly pleasing. The seating area outside the pub is flanked with Amstel banners & gives the area a continental feel. Food is served but I didn't try any. On the whole, I feel the pub doesn’t have a "food-pub" feel about it.
This being a Greene King house there is the usual range of Greene King ales plus a guest. The beer was good on all three visits & the cask marque sign behind the bar is a reassuring touch. The beer was served by friendly & courteous staff on all three occasions. The pub is defiantly worth a visit for those looking for a decent pint in Sudbury.
Member Peter has sent us an update of happenings in Long Melford/Sudbury area.
George & Dragon LM The George & Dragon in LM has had a poor reputation in the last 5 years, however the owner has taken a more hands-on role in recent times. The pub has been refurbished and a new bar manager, Johnny, has taken over. He is young and keen & seems to know his stuff. His aim is to bring in as many different beers as his GK tie will allow. Watch this space.....
The Crown LM The Crown in LM will not be serving GK beers from 22nd April. Bar manger John is taking advantage of the end of a business agreement with GK to, quote, "Finally stop serving GK IPA!". He has also taken on Adnams Dry Hopped Lager as a regular Lager, and is looking to serve an extra real ale to replace GK IPA.
The Brewery Tap Sudbury I visited the Tap last Saturday after a couple of cheap beers in Wetherspoon’s Sudbury (A soulless place). The Tap has recently had a new manger but he was not in evidence on the night. The pub was dead, with no more than 6 or 7 regulars at any time, quite disappointing. I will keep checking back to make sure this isn’t a sign of things to come.
The Six Bells Felsham, Two recent reports about this pub. Member Brian says in an email it is well worth a look and this is backed up by Stuart who reports:-
This pub has been very well refurbished - decorated, some new old fashioned furniture, and generally spruced up without spoiling the ambiance of a traditional village pub. We had a drink on Wednesday night and went back on Thursday for the steak night. Food was good but I ended up bringing the red wine, included in the price of the meal, back and used it for cooking. Beer wise they had Abbot, GK IPA and Southwold, all of which were in good nick. If they were to vary the beer range it would help. But at least the pub has risen from the dead and appears to be thriving, there were plenty in especially on Thursday and they have various other special evenings throughout the week.
CAMRA member, and regular contributor to this page, Stuart has had a tough time recently trying to get his beer ration from Wetherspoon's at their Corn Exchange Pub in Bury. This is what Stuart had to say.
Wandered into Wetherspoons last Thursday when they were in the throws of a beer festival to find 1 of the 10 hand pumps had cider, 4 had real ale and the remaining 5 were not on!!!!! I therefore repaired to The Morton Hall and had two excellent pints of Rev. James, but ended up confused as the beer served to me was light and golden in colour. On closer inspection of the pump clip I discovered it was Rev. James Gold a new brew which I can highly recommend. Returned to 'Spoons today, Tuesday 4th. to find. 2 ciders on plus 4 beers and 4 pumps not in use. To the Masons Arms I went to have a excellent pint of Calidonian Deuchars IPA followed by a GK Mighty Moose, again very good. I am a supporter of W'Spoons but this to me was beyond the pale as 3 of the 4 beers on were from the same brewery I had never heard of.
Just as well you get Wetherspoons money off vouchers with your CAMRA membership - Ed.
Mar 17th Regular contributor Stuart's excuses get more and more feeble, a fact which Stuart has now acknowledged. This is Stuart's latest report.
After a visit to the dentist in Sudbury (you are right Mike the excuses are getting weaker ) I paid a visit to the Waggon and Horses simply to get rid of the taste of mouthwash you understand. (Yeah right-Ed) 3 beers on offer, Old Growler which was fine and 2 other that I had never heard of and can't remember. I tried the pale one which was only just acceptable but two guys who came in after me had the dark and both were returned as undrinkable, so not a good result. I then wandered up to the Mauldons Brewery Tap and had an excellent pint of Suffolk Pride and a long chat to the new manager, Johnny who was keen and enthusiastic and has plans for the future. So watch this space.
Pub recce. In the first of what could become a regular pub checking trips, need a name for it, any suggestions? Our intrepid Pubs Officer and a secret companion went on an afternoon, correction, late morning, afternoon and early evening walk around some Suffolk lanes, taking their lives in their hands as they dodged the traffic in order to update you, our members, with the latest pub news, well someone has to!
So this is your Pubs Officer's report.
Elmswell last Thursday 16th March. The Fox by the station had GK IPA & Old Speckled Hen. Perhaps it's me but I wasn't overwhelmed by the welcome. My companion was even less impressed. Round the corner The Railway was shut despite being advertised as open. It was only just after noon but a disgruntled regular we met outside told us it wasn't the first time so we decided to move on. Still serves Abbot , apparently.
From Elmswell, over the A14 to Woolpit and The Swan Hotel Adnams Southwold on draught but the Mosaic turns out to be keg! Apparently they're going over exclusively to keg and adding Ghost Ship. More variety, less wastage. Try arguing with that from a business point of view. Both my companion and I found the Mosaic perfectly acceptable but remarkably short on gas. Key Cask? Apparently not but this needs further investigation. Note: CLOSED Sunday & Monday. On to The Bull, pictured. Southwold Bitter and 2 rotating guests. My notes let me down but one was Abbot straight from the tub and it was excellent. We had a long chat with David and Sue behind the bar, they tell us the website is being updated and the interior will be fully refurbished although no walls will be harmed in the redecorating. They even reopened the kitchen to feed my companion. Just yesterday I heard they have been accredited by Cask Marque. Definitely one to watch.
At Beyton we found The Bear refurbished and the walls have been harmed here. However, we would say the overall effect is a definite improvement. Old Cannon Bitter + 2 rotating. Do take a look. Along the green at The White Horse we find 4 Greene King offerings including Old Hoppy Hen but again my notes let me down. Open for breakfast and a drink from 8.30am!
An almost suicidal walk under the A14 to Thurston and a quick pint in The Fox & Hounds before my bus leaving my companion to carry one checking. GK Abbot Reserve, IPA, Adnams Southwold and there go my notes again. Hey ho.
Mar. 9th. Clare Bell Hotel Lovely old building on Clare Market Place. Pint of Skinner's Splendid Tackle unfortunately did not live up to its surroundings, very average. Clare is a lovely place though so will go again and try the other hostelries.
Mar 4th. Pakenham Fox. Jess, our labrador, and I take a mid-day walk and what do you know we called at a couple of bars on the way, Not just Stuart who uses dog walk excuse! By the way Jess doesn't drink beer but she does like a cheesy biscuit. Great pint of Shortts Farm Skiffle and chat in this lovely restored pub then onto the Rugby Club to watch Thurston Rangers beat Swaffham and a pint of Old Golden Hen straight from the cask. If only more lunch times were like this. Mike Ed.
Branch member Stuarts excuses for visiting our pubs getting weak judging by his latest report...
Thursday 2/3/17 after a long walk with Basil (my daughters dog ) I ended up outside the Thurston Fox & Hounds - no surprise there I hear you say. Pleased to say it is dog friendly so just had to pop in to check the beer. Hopback Summer Lightning was excelent but the next I tried was new to me. Calidonian XPA was absolutely outstanding and I will look for it again if it ever returns this far south of the border.
Tuesday 7/3/17. Another long walk and 2 good pints of JHB in the Bury St Edmunds Oakes Barn - up to the usual high standard.
Latest update from our roving Pubs' Officer Andrew.
3 March Whepstead White Horse: Wherry's Ghost Ship & Brandon's Rusty Bucket. QUIZ NIGHT first Sunday of the month Phone has changed to 01284 735760
Horringer Beehive: all well, slight adjusting opening times. Monday- Tuesday 6-11 Wednesday-Saturday 12-2.30, 6-11 Sunday 12-4, 7-10.30 Adnams Southwold rotates with Adnams Mosaic on one pump, 3 others mainly but not exclusively Bartrams
4 March Rede Plough 3 rotating beers, Ringwood Bitter, Doombar & Butcombe Bitter (excellent pint, a real old fashioned bitter) are typical offerings.
Chevington Greyhound2 rotating beers, usually an Adnams offering (Ghost Ship was excellent). At "busy times" there may be additional offerings. Run by 3 generations of the same family, I talked with the landlady Jean while grandson Toby poured me a pint. Next year will be the 30th anniversary of the family taking over. OPEN MIC NIGHT 1st Thursday of the month.
Feb 24 Our Pubs' Officer Andrew had a good night in Bury on Friday, very good judging by his report below
Beer House: St George's White Dragon punching way above its 3.6 abv
Old Cannon: Best Bitter in good form
Mason's Arms: excellent GK IPA Reserve but where's the Abbot?
Black Boy: a very nice pint ofAbbot.
Rose & Crown: still the Gold Standard.
The Dove: Oakham Inferno in good nick.
Feb 19 Great report from regular contributor Stuart about a pub that only reopned just before Christmas. Stuart writes,
"Went to the Horringer Beehive on Sunday 19.02.17 for lunch. One of the best we have ever had and the beers were great. I had a pint of Bartrams Swampwater which was very good, and as I am not a fan of dark beers that is praise in deed from me, followed by Bartrams Rougham and Ready. which was a light tasty beer with a nice dry after taste. The place was packed so they must be doing something right."
Feb 18 The Greyhound Bury St Edmunds has been visited recently by CAMRA member Nick "Been a couple of times to eat at the Greyhound on Eastgate Street. Excellent food, and a guest beer on, Tim Taylor Boltmaker last week and a Purity UBU this, both in good Nick."
Feb 17 Three Kings Fornham All Saints visited for lunch by Andrew who reports "Very good Abbot"
Feb 13-15 Regular contributor Stuart reports "Monday 13.02.17. Dodged a shower by calling into the B.St.E. Rose & Crown. Usual warm welcome from Tony and had a pint of Westerham Brewery Bulldog. Only one word for it - outstanding, so I had another.
Wednesday 15.02.17. The Masons Arms in B.St.E. A pint of Sharps Storm (I think) which was well served but not really to my taste, too malty, but then had a pint of GK Mighty Moose which was excellent followed by a visit to Wetherspoons in Abbeygate Street B.St.E. to use up the last of my vouchers. A couple of pints of guest beers - can't remember what as they change so frequently - but both were tasty and well served."
Feb 12 Shrimpling Bush. WSC member John visited last week. GK Yardbird, Wherry & Nelson's Revenge, latter tried and good. Warm welcome including log fire, good fish and chips
Feb 11 Hessett Five Bells is open and trading - pop along and let your fellow members know whats on offfer
Feb 5 Some extensive Pub reports from Peter, one of our southern members. Some visits are quite old but we sure Peter will be visiting and updating us again before long.
White horse, Waldingfield. 2/1/16 Overall impression is nice. Dining area good & separate from bar. Good pint of Mole trap. Adnams ghost is other ale. Food menu is extensive & is much the same as other pubs. Everything is neat & tidy & well presented.
Hare inn,Long Melford. 10/1/16 Spot of lunch after long walk with Les. 1st pint of IPA just about acceptable. Lunch of fish finger baguette ok, but nothing to write home about. 2nd pint of Hardys Rock-On was very sharp & vinegar like. Returned immediately for pint of IPA which was little better than first one. We were entertained by Capital FM on the TV which I thought was out of keeping with the pub.
Bay Horse, Sudbury 20/2/16 7 ales on tap including some not commonly seen. 4 unusual lagers plus run of mill lagers. Good range bottled beers & ciders. Including Belgian beers & old mount cider. Coming soon board for up-coming beers. Good range of snacks. Not the usual walkers. Live music Friday Saturday & Sunday. With free food on Sunday afternoons along with the live band. Free wifi. Friendly staff. Heated out door seating/smoking area. Pool table,2 dart boards,juke box. Darts league All this and accommodation too ! Update 19/3/16 7 ales. 2 from Woodfordes. Nice pint of Directors. Still have the 4 run of the mill lagers plus Amstel, Spindrift,3Hop,Tiger &1 other. Stout drinkers have Barista, and Guinness. Final score on small TV behind bar. Good place to watch the Football scores come in.
The Swan Little Waldingfield 16/4/16 Cycle ride to local villages. Passing the Swan it looked closed but some people emerged. When I questioned them it transpired that one of them was the Landlord who was about to shut the pub while he took his dog for a walk. He didn't want to see me go thirsty, so handing his dog lead to his friend, he disappeared inside to get me half an IPA. I then sat outside and supped it in the sunshine while he walked his dog. Above & beyond the call of duty ?!
The Bull Cavendish 29/10/16 A Pint after long walk via Foxearth and Pentlow. It's been years since I've been here. Still a nice pub, looks recently refurbished. 5 real ales plus good range wines and single malts. Big fire spacious bar with tiled floor and decent food menu. Nice pub. Update 14/1/17 Visited again on 14/01/17 doing the same long walk. Kitchen being renovated so no food. But 4 beers inc 1 from Elgoods, rest from GK.
Feb. 4th. An update from the North of our Branch area. Many thanks to Dick who did a recce of some beer outlets in Brandon
!. The Great Eastern pub/hotel No Real Ale
2. The Ram pictured As I walked into the Ram I was made welcome by the customers and staff, on looking along the bar there was 6 hand pumps (2 x Adnams, 1 Abbot, 1 Wadworth's IPA, Doombar and 1 not in use. Wadworth's was £3.30, looked good, tasted good, rated 4 out of 5. Will pay another visit soon.
3. The Bell Quite busy as I walked in but made welcome by all who were not in groups talking among themselves. 3 hand pumps on the bar (Doom Bar, one pump clip turned away so could not see what had run out and one not n use). Doom Bar £3.10 a pint, looked good, tasted ok rated 3 out of 5. Will not rush back.
4. The Flintnappers Not that busy when I walked in but made welcome. No hand pumps on bar but was served GK IPA from other bar which was not in use due to someone attempting to enter that bar whilst still in their car, oops. My pint looked good but was warm. Albeit the cheapest so far at £2.75 I will not rush back.
5. The Five Bells pictured I was made welcome on arrival, they have 5 hand pumps but only one in use, Have never heard of it before and the barmaid did not know who brewed it, it was called Yeah Yeah, looked good, tasted good and at a good temperature the best by far this evening and the best price at £2.50.
Feb 1st. More news from our scout Andrew. Hesset Five Bells is still trading, see previous notice below, and is well worth a look judging from this entry in Suffolk Camra Pub Guide.
Not far from the A14 (Beyton junction) but off the beaten track in the centre of this pretty village and opposite the Norman church, the heavily timbered Bells is a cosy pub. Two bars either side of the entrance lobby have log fires in large fireplaces. The massive Tudor brick post holding the sign above the entrance is said to be all that remains of the entry to a long demolished stately home. A record of landlords back to 1753 is framed in the bar. The pub was extensively renovated during 2014/2015. Not only is the pub itself a Listed Building; the pub sign is also Grade II Listed. The building was constructed in several phases in the 16th and 17th centuries. "Muddy boots & well behaved dogs are welcome".
Jan. 30th. On almost the last day of what has been a cold January what better sight could you have than a blazing log fire which is what we discovered today at The Dun Cow in Bardwell. Don’t know why but open fires don’t tend to be found in town pubs so this makes an additional reason to wind your way to this lovely Suffolk village. Although a GK pub there are regular guest ales and Inferno from Oakham today was in very good condition. In addition to Inferno, Wherry, GK IPA and a couple of other ales were on in the lounge. This pub has been around for over 400 years so must be doing something right. Give it a look; we’re sure you won’t be disappointed. Members Mike and Diana
Jan 24th. More pub news and information from our roving Pubs Officer Andrew
Gardners Arms (no apostrophe, apparently it's the family name so it's run by Gardners - they did change it to this) in Tostock have just completed stage one of a refurb/remodelling and are trading normally. One rotating beer, last report was of Fuller's Pride. From John, a Tostock resident.
Rede Plough Brian and Joyce will celebrate 35 years at the pub in October. Pic of the beer pumps from last Saturday, very tasty Butcombe Bitter. I believe all 3 beers rotate.
Whepstead White Horse Lee and family took over the pub last year and it now feels like a pub. More bar space plus stools to encourage punters to occupy it. Tuesday to Saturday 6-7 is a half price happy hour. Nice pint of Nethergates Stow Valley Gold. All 3 beers rotate.
Jan 23rd Picture by Tony Green of a Lowry-esk The Grapes 1 Brentgovel St, BSE, IP33 1EA Member Nick reports the pub has recently been refurbished. Has live music and karaoke, but 2 sets of handpumps too. "I have had a beer in there before, quite a friendly place". says Nick
Jan 19th.More pub news below from our roving Pubs Officer Andrew
Ousden Fox has GKIPA at £2.60, Wherry & 2 Nethergates (Stour Valley Gold and Suffolk County) at £3.
Chevington Greyhound had Colchester Brass Monkey and Humpty Bitter, both v tasty.
Jan 19th. Marquis of Cornwallis at Chedurgh closed in December and there has been an application for change of use to a pub. A public meeting was held on Mon. Jan 18th. attended by around 70 people. it seems the village wants its pub back WATCH THIS SPACE.
Jan 15th. Pubs Officer Andrew has been on his travels again this is his latest report:
"Had a pleasant hour in the Glad Abbot,Bury St Edmunds. It's had a high-spec refurb, several beers on including Tribute. Worth a look.
Ed.Great pub sign
Also checked out The Beehive, Horringer (see more information about this pub below) excellent lunch, Adnams Southwold and Mosaic, Bartram's Greenman and a prize winning honey beer also from Mr B called Bees Knees."
Vb> Jan 7th Troston Bull reopens briefly for 100 villagers - for more on this story click here
Jan 7th. EXNING near Newmarket. Pubs Officer Andrew did a charabang (no I didn't think they were still running either) trip to Exning recently and his report suggests that, ale wise, Exning is a well served village (probably for all those little men and women who ride horses thereabouts), anyway this is Andrews report:
The Wheatsheaf has just changed hands. A certain amount of refurb in progress, the aim is to be fully up and running in 2 weeks time. Greene King owned and currently serving GK IPA (hurrah!), a very nice pint of Broadside and Fullers LP. Philip (from Leeds) served us despite us arriving 20' before opening and made us very welcome.
The White Swan had GK IPA (hurrah!), Abbott Reserve and some seasonal thing I can't remember. Not a lot else to report.
The White Horse had Youngs Special (usually on and very popular), Robinsons Trooper, Broadside and Spitfire. Old Rosie cider is usually on to. Blazing fires made both bars very cosy and we received a warm welcome too.
You could spent a very pleasant afternoon in Exning, a real "drinking village".
Hessett Five Bells Andrew spotted sign outside whch says they are open from 16.30 -23.00 Monday-Saturday. Have you used the Bells recently? If so we would appreciate your feed back to let our other members know.
Felsham Six Bells has reopened Dec 26th 2016 Member Stuart writes "Called into this just reopened pub on Boxing day lunch time and discovered an absolute gem. Warm and friendly welcome, roaring log fire, friendly locals ( great as my daughter and son in law have just moved into the village ) and really good beer. A limited choice at the moment ,GK and Adnams, but the Abbot was excellent and the Southwold just as good. Plans are afoot to increase the range in the future.However please note that the pub will be closed from the first week in January until the end of the month for refurbishment."
Good news. Flempton Greyhound has reopened after a short closure
The Troston Bull expected to reopen some time in Spring 2017 -watch this page.
Jan 7th. Report in Bury Free Press New owners plan to return the pub to its former glory with exposed beams and a new garden area. It will officially open at Easter selling a mix of real ales, lagers and quality food. For more on this story click here
Another West Suffolk pub saved. The Beehive Horringer, IP29 5SN is also now open again Dec.23rd 2016 Member Stuart writes "My wife and I called in last Friday night and found a warm and welcoming pub, refurbished to a good standard (but nor spoiled). Cask beers on hand pump were one of Mark Bartrams many ales and Fullers London Pride, both of which were in good order. A limited food menu was in operation and speaking to some customers they were complimentary about the quality. Various other beers are planned and overall I would say the future looks bright and the pub is well worth a visit".
After being closed for ten years) Garboldisham Fox (below left picture from bygone era right picture opening day) has reopened as a Community Pub
PAKENHAM FOX, picture left, now reopen.
With so many pubs going to the wall nowadays it is welcome news that attractive West Suffolk Pub Pakenham Fox reopended in August thanks to the hard work of brother and sister Nick and Sheila McIlwraith who are also the pubs new landlords.
Pakenham Fox which had been closed for nearly five years has been totally refurbished and restored and now has a new bar which usually has up to four real ales available