Ben Keenan: Raise a glass to the brewer’s art

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An old friend invited me for a drink this week and, with my traditional January detox well behind me, I happily agreed to go.

Not being a huge fan of the pub scene, I left it to him to decide the venue and after a few moments, a three word text message arrived on my phone which read OLD CANNON BREWERY. After consulting a map, as despite working in Bury for seven years, I have absolutely no idea where anything in town is located, I found myself in Cannon Street and walked into what from the outside looked like a normal pub, but on the inside was anything but.

Now I’m no expert when it comes to beer and if offered a beverage will usually opt for Guinness, decent cider or fresh coffee, but on this occasion, as I stood gazing at a room full of beautifully polished silver brewing vessels, I realised that there is far more to beer than I had originally thought and opted to try one.

Bury St Edmunds is a town synonymous with beer, mainly due to our world famous Greene King, whose golden pints are poured from Australia to Zimbabwe and have been brewed to impeccably high standards since 1799.

The O.C.B, by comparison, is a minnow swimming alongside a vast green whale, but in my opinion deserves as much respect as the King gets.

One of my favourite words is artisan, which, if you’ve ever been to Italy, is used by most creative types to announce that their product is something truly special and has been crafted with love and passion, just like my pint of 5.5% Gunner’s Daughter had been. If you’ve never been to the Old Cannon Brewery, I urge you to visit to see what can be achieved if you believe your product is worth celebrating because a pint of beer tastes so much better when you add a dash of pride.