Tue. Jun 18th, 2024

A family lunch at The Old Cannon Brewery…

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Three family birthdays. A table for seven. Easy parking within a 10-minute walk. Somewhere suitable for a young child. Decent pescatarian or vegetarian options.

Clearly, we don’t ask much when booking a meal out! Having only been living in Bury St Edmunds for a few months, we’re still finding our feet, but some online research and reading of reviews singled out The Old Cannon Brewery as a potential spot for a celebratory extended family lunch.

With the promise of its own home-brewed beer, an outside area for the child to let off steam if needed and a menu that looked varied enough to suit everyone, I booked a table. I was a little concerned that the small person would get restless while we waited for the final member of the group to arrive, but a lovely lady directed us to a huge box of kids’ activities to keep him entertained (the biggest highlight of which, for him, was sharpening some of their pencils for them!)

There’s no missing the “brewery” element of the name when you walk in. Two large, gleaming silver brewing vessels sit to the right of the bar – and if you look up when at the bar, you’ll see additional elements of the brewing process (as well as a carpet affixed to the ceiling – I have no idea why). With names like Rusty Gun, Gunner’s Daughter and Gunport Stout, there’s a huge range to choose from – as well as pictorial depictions of the brewing process on the wall for you to peruse while you’re there.

The Old Cannon Brewery, Bury St Edmunds - Brewery 1

The Old Cannon Brewery, Bury St Edmunds - Brewery 2

The tables are all fairly close together, making it a challenge to squeeze past at times, but it’s a nicely-decorated place with a modern feel. There was a fire crackling away in the fireplace next to our table, a blackboard above it highlighting upcoming events at The Old Cannon Brewery, and a side door through to the surprisingly large outdoor space, covered to make it all-weather.

The Old Cannon Brewery, Bury St Edmunds - Garden

The food menu is a definite step up from your regular pub grub. Yes, there are burgers. Yes, there are bangers and mash…but you’ll also find dishes like coconut shrimp & crispy stuffed peppers, beetroot Wellington, and duck bon bons. With mains at around the £10-£20 mark, the prices are on par with other lunchtime spots in the area.

We ordered the child’s food first so he didn’t get too restless: the “Little Cannons” menu features a main course and a brownie or scoop of ice cream for £9.95. With crispy fried gyoza among the choices, it’s nice to see a kids’ menu that’s a bit different from the norm.

He was swayed by the buttermilk chicken with skin-on fries, peas and BBQ sauce, though. The chicken was beautifully cooked and the coating well-seasoned, the portion was generous and he seemed to enjoy it.

The Old Cannon Brewery, Bury St Edmunds - Kids Buttermilk Chicken

Other orders around the table included the East London Bangers & Mash Special: £9.95 for three sausages, mash, braised leeks & peas, pea shoots, a butterflied Yorkshire pudding and a blackberry & red wine gravy. With a choice of five sausage flavours (three of them pork, two beef), the Wychwood Ruby ale, sage and ginger pork sausages that were ordered were proclaimed to be delicious. Probably the best-presented plate of bangers and mash I’ve ever seen, too.

The Old Cannon Brewery, Bury St Edmunds - Bangers and Mash

I was intrigued by the baked mac & cheese with crayfish and black treacle bacon – a little pricier at £12.95. Well worth it, though: al dente pasta, a creamy, beer-spiked cheese sauce and plenty of the crayfish and bacon. The flavour of that bacon, complete with tender fat, was incredible – though the delicate taste of the crayfish did get slightly lost.

The Old Cannon Brewery, Bury St Edmunds - Crayfish and Black Treacle Bacon Mac and Cheese

The service was fantastic throughout, with a particular shout out to the lady who made the just-turned-six-year-old feel so welcome. With quiz nights, Sunday roasts, beer festivals and more happening over the coming months, I’m definitely going to make the time to head back…

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