Bury St Edmunds: Brewing up a treat at Greene King beer and food festival

Head brewer John Bexon

Head brewer John Bexon - Credit: Ian Hulland

BEER enthusiasts and ale aficionados alike can quiz the man behind

some of the nation’s favourite beers during a series of Meet the Head Brewer sessions at the Greene King Real Beer and Food Festival next month.

Those lucky enough to secure a place on one of the workshops will learn all about the art of brewing and discover what experts look for when tasting beer.

They will also get the chance to taste, smell and touch the hops and malted barley used by Greene King to make its award-winning beers, and find out more about a number of the company’s leading crafted ales including Yardbird, Old Golden Hen and Greene King IPA Reserve.

Head brewer John Bexon said: “These sessions proved so popular last year that I can’t wait to do them again.

“It’s a great opportunity to mix with our neighbours here in Bury and give them a unique insight into the love, care and attention that goes into crafting our beers.

“We’ve launched a number of new ales since last year’s festival, so it will be interesting to hear what people have to say about them.”

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The workshops will be held in the Greene King boardroom of the brewery building, where senior management have been holding top-level meetings for more than 200 years.

Guests will also get the exclusive “once-in-a-lifetime” chance to sample Greene King’s rare 5X beer – a 12% ABV brew. Greene King’s 5X is aged for two to five years in vintage oak vats, and due to its limited availability has never been sold to the public in its pure form. It is blended with the ale BPA to create the award-winning vintage ale, Strong Suffolk.

Returning for its fourth year on May 18 and 19, Greene King’s Real Beer and Food Festival is set to be bigger and better than ever before.

More than 50 local producers have already signed up, including Artisan Smokehouse, Curry with Love, Dotty Bakers and Aspalls Cyder. Food stalls will be open from 10am-5pm on both days with live music on the Saturday continuing until 10pm.

Tickets for the Meet the Brewer sessions cost £5 and can be bought from the Greene King Visitor Centre, on Westgate Street, Bury, or by calling 01284 714297. Three of the sessions are being held on the Saturday, at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. The other two are on the Sunday at 12noon and 2pm.

The visitor centre is also selling tickets for the festival, at £4 for adults with admission free for under-16s (when accompanied by an adult). Festival tickets can also be bought from the Apex box office, telephone 01284 758000.