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Pub of the Week: The Green Dragon in Bungay

PUBLISHED: 19:00 11 February 2016

Warren Candler (pub manager). 

PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Warren Candler (pub manager). PHOTO: Nick Butcher

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The Suffolk town of Bungay was once home to dozens of pubs, with a different one for every day of the month.

The Green Dragon, Bungay. 

PHOTO: Nick ButcherThe Green Dragon, Bungay. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Today, just four remain, and one of them, the Green Dragon has been described as “one of the best pubs in the world” by the Huffington Post, and is the only one in the town to boast its own brewery.

Landlord Rob Pickard took over the pub 25 years ago with the aim of brewing and selling his own beer.

He made a total career change when he took over the venue, having previously worked as a physiotherapist.

But he was determined to turn his brewing hobby into a business.

The Green Dragon, Bungay. 

PHOTO: Nick ButcherThe Green Dragon, Bungay. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

He said: “We have brewed our own beer since we came here in 1991.

“It is brewed out the back and we make four or five different beers, the recipe is the same since we first started. We just sell it here and don’t make it for anyone else.

“The pub was totally rebuilt in about 1920 and had been called the Horse and Groom before we changed it to the Green Dragon when we took it over.”

The venue is popular with locals and visitors alike and is ideally situated on the town’s Broad Street.

The Green Dragon, Bungay. 

PHOTO: Nick ButcherThe Green Dragon, Bungay. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

The Green Dragon offers four beers, all brewed on site from whole hops and local malt, which all prove popular with the locals.

Mr Pickard said that, in recent years, the lighter ales, like Dragon Gold, have grown in popularity, particularly among those who were hardened lager drinkers but now enjoy a change.

A traditional pub in many ways, the Green Dragon has chosen to specialise in its drinks offerings rather than food, although it does offer a Wednesday curry night.

There are also a number of music events held throughout the year which also attract a great mix of visitors.

The pub is open every weekday from 11am until midnight and from midday to midnight on Saturdays and midday to 5pm on Sundays.

Manager Warren Candler takes charge of much of the day-to-day running along with three full-time staff and two part-timers.

As well as being a perfect place for beer fans from across the town and further afield, it also offers a place to grab a tea or coffee and relax.

Pub’s past

The Green Dragon is Bungay’s only brewpub.

It opened in 1991 and before then was known as the Horse and Groom.

According to the Suffolk Campaign for Real Ale, the first recorded publican on the site was “Rob. Booty” in 1791, and the first record of it being called the Horse and Groom was in 1830.

Other licensees over the years include Thomas Gris in 1900, Samuel Godling in 1891 and Fred Pipe in 1912.

Now, the Green Dragon hosts a number of musical evenings and took part in the ale trail at last year’s two-week Bungay Festival. The Green Dragon’s Gold ale was also on offer at last year’s Beccles Beer Festival, held over three days in November. Green Dragon beers are brewed in outbuildings next to the car park behind the pub.

They include Chaucer Ale (3.7pc) – a cask-conditioned full flavoured hoppy session bitter; Dragon Gold (4.4pc) – a cask-conditioned golden ale with a citrus aroma; Bridge Street Bitter (4.5pc) – a cask-conditioned strong hoppy bitter and Winter Warmer (6.5pc) – a strong winter mild with seasonal flavours.

The pub also offers a selection of other beers, wines and spirits.

For more information call the pub on 01986 892681, visit the website at www.greendragonbungay.co.uk or join their Facebook group by searching for Drinkers of the Bungay Green Dragon.

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