Real ale and craft beer enthusiasts who want to find out more about Bury St Edmunds’ brewing heritage can now take part in guided walking tours of the town based on the Our Bury St Edmunds Ale Trail.
And at the end of the tour they can even try a pint of a brand new Trail of The Ale beer to celebrate the first anniversary of the initiative.
The Ale Trail was originally the idea of Our Bury St Edmunds’ director Heather Warren who owns Oakes Barn pub on St Andrews Street South.
Together with Our Bury St Edmunds business support and marketing officer Mike Kirkham they launched the Ale Trail map and brochure featuring 19 of the town’s licensed premises, offering people a chance to try ales brewed in the town or from further afield.
A year on and the venture has grown to incorporate a beer for the trail brewed by Greene King, whose brewery has been part of the town for 220 years, a walking tour of the town promoted by the Bury Tour Guides and a special video featuring all the venues to be found on the Ale Trail.
Mike Kirkham said: “When Our Bury St Edmunds first launched the Ale Trail last year we had a great deal of enthusiasm from the participating pubs and bars but to now be in collaboration with the Tour Guides and have our own beer and beer glasses for the trail too is fantastic. Our ‘Ale-versary’ video has just been released so that potential visitors can take a look at what we have to offer before taking either one of the guided Tours or their own walk around the Ale Trail.”
The first of the special tours took place recently led by Tour Guide Steve Ruthen who said: “The history of brewing and the buildings that house some of our Inns and bars in the town centre is fascinating. The tour takes around two hours and then there’s a chance to have a pint at the end. I think those taking part will be surprised at how much they can learn.”
Meanwhile drinkers in some of the town’s pubs and bars have already had a chance to sample the Trail of The Ale, a 3.9% Best Bitter from Greene King.
Kate Rayson-Joyce, from Greene King, explained: “When Our Bury St Edmunds came to us to talk about a special ale to mark this anniversary, we were only too happy to help. There’s a lot of interest for new and different beers alongside our core brands that many ale drinkers know and love. Any pub or bar that’s a member of the Ale Trail is welcome to have this beer as a guest ale so I hope it will be appearing on pumps all around the town.”
The Our Bury St Edmunds Ale Trail brochure, which has just had its fourth reprint, is available at pubs and bars throughout the town centre, the tourist information points and to download from www.ourburystedmunds.com.
The website also has details and a link to book a place on one of the tours, which cost just £6 per person and are only open to over-18s.
The next two take place on June 7 and July 5 both at 6pm. The video can be viewed via the Our Bury St Edmunds site and social media channels.
Pictured above is Steve Ruthen and Beer Elf Karen Bracchi at the Greene King Beer Café.