Suffolk pubs: 10 places to enjoy real ale
PUBLISHED: 09:09 20 November 2018 | UPDATED: 12:11 08 March 2019
Are you more partial to a Bitter or a Mild? Do you know the difference between your Pale Ales and your IPA's? If you consider yourself to be an ale aficionado then you'll love this guide to some of our favourite real ale pubs in Suffolk
1. The Cherry Tree, Woodbridge
With eight cask ales to choose from and the opportunity to enjoy them in the traditional 17th century interiors complete with wooden beams and open fires, beer lovers will not be disappointed in the Cherry Tree in Woodbridge.
Aiming to host at least eight real ales at any time and changing them up frequently – sometimes daily – while covering a wide range of style to suit everyone, the Cherry Tree even holds a very popular beer festival during the summer.
2. The Green Dragon, Bungay
There aren’t many pubs like The Green Dragon in Bungay anymore: traditional, comfortable and welcoming to all, it even has its own in-house brewery that’s been brewing a varied selection of beers from mild, gold, bitter and an IPA from whole hops and local malt since it opened in 1991.
Although beer still certainly takes centre stage, food is available in the form of snacks while there is a curry night on Wednesdays.
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3. Beer House, Bury St Edmunds
The Beer House in Bury St. Edmunds is passionate about good beers and ales, so much so that they have eight hand pumps exclusively dedicated to serving real ales which are changed regularly.
At the most recent count, they have served over 1,500 different varieties and the list will keep growing. They serve up a tasty range of bar snacks throughout the year and during the winter months they roast pork over their log fire on Friday evenings.
4. The White Lion Inn, Ufford
The quintessentially British country pub, The White Lion in Ufford, is well known for having a magnificent meadow-side setting and a warm and welcoming atmosphere. It boasts a fantastic selection of real ales that are served directly from the cask as well as its very own micro-brewery set up in the coach-house next door.
Serving a wide variety of both homebrewed and guest ales to suit all tastes, it truly is a beer lover’s paradise.
5. The Stanford Arms, Lowestoft
The Stanford Arms is a pub passionate about ale and with a whopping 12 ever-changing ales to choose from, proper beer lovers will be in heaven. Owners David and Samantha Burd have worked hard to create a warm and friendly atmosphere for visitors and locals alike, creating an atmosphere like a true community pub of old.
They don’t stock draught lagers but their selection of world beers, craft beer and bottled lager more than make up for that. Make sure to visit on a Friday where they cook up wood fired pizzas! Perfect with a nice pint of ale.
6. Stansfield Compasses, Sudbury
The Stansfield Compasses is all about tradition and whether you’re a village local, a passing dog walker or a demanding diner, a friendly atmosphere and a warm welcome is always on the cards.
The laudable selection of ales are served from the barrel with the award winning publican Tony Hook regularly brewing up ales to serve from his two-barrel plant. This is a must-visit for ale aficionados with three separate rooms each one with its own unique character and a beautiful beer garden overlooking the breathtaking vistas of Suffolk’s countryside.
7. The Angel, Woodbridge
The Angel has been providing refreshment for locals since 1153, making it approximately 1,000 years old and one of the oldest pubs in the country. In that time they’ve mastered the trade and know exactly what it takes to make a great pub.
They operate six hand pumps with a wonderful selection of real ales, a guest pump exclusively for IPAs and craft lagers for anyone wanting to try something a bit different. Currently, they don’t serve food but drinkers will find a lovely selection of bar snacks on offer may of which go perfectly with a pint. At the last count they were offering six ales, 30+ types of whiskey and a staggering 250 different types of gin.
8. The Fat Cat, Ipswich
This quirky freehouse serves up to 20 real ales and is a favourite for locals and beer lovers. Being featured in the Good Beer Guide, the Good Pub Guide and more, this pub caters for its community and has steered away from the typical fruit machines and televisions and instead encourages their clientele to mingle with each other.
Whether you’re looking for a quiet pint – sampling your way through the ale collection – or stimulating conversation and board games with fellow guests, you’ll find it at The Fat Cat. They have a huge beer selection featuring tap house beers, bottled lagers from around the world and a fair few bottled lagers. During summer the greenery filled garden is the ideal location for a pint in the sun after work.
9. The Sweffling White Horse, Saxmundham
This highly thought of pub believes strongly in supporting local and independent companies and the ever-changing list of locally sourced and produced real ales mainly from smaller, independent brew houses reflects that. A community-focused pub that was East Anglia’s CAMRA Pub of the Year in 2015, it’s the sort of place where use of its traditional board games, darts and billiards is strongly encouraged.
They also operate a small shop selling local organic food and drinks. The area is teeming with an assortment of lovely walks and as the pub welcomes dogs, it’s a great spot to stop off for a drink on the way home.
10. The Red Lion, Otten
This beautiful country pub is located in the picturesque village of Otten and they serve a fine selection of real cask ales, many of which are sourced from all over East Anglia.
Such ales are changed up regularly and there is also a good selection of real ciders and perry for those rare days when the sun is shining. Make sure to pop in and have a cold glass of one of the traditional ales and enjoy a warm and friendly welcome.
Sadly, not all of these pubs are dog friendly and we know how upsetting it is when you have to leave the pooch at home. With that in mind we’ve put together a list of some of our favourite dog friendly pubs in Suffolk so you can enjoy a pint in the evenings with the dog curled at your feet.