Britain’s original ‘beer week’ is back. Norwich City of Ale launches this afternoon, with 59 city pubs and 32 local breweries involved in the month-long event.
Running until Sunday, 25th June, there are a host of individual events planned, as well as nine city-wide ale trails.
“This year, we have the most pubs ever taking part — a fantastic 59 in total,” said Phil Cutter, co-founder of City of Ale and licensee at The Murderers.
“That means there’s a really great choice of ale trails for those coming from a distance. And people living in or around the city can, of course, do them all at a leisurely pace over the course of the month.
“Of course, you don’t have to do a trail to enjoy the festival, but they are a great way to explore the streets and alleys of Norwich, discovering bits of history, art and architecture — and gems of pubs — that you might otherwise have missed.”
He added: “Our festival really supports localism. With the exception of a twinning activity with Belgian brewers from Leuven, all the breweries involved in City of Ale are from Norfolk or Suffolk. If I were going to ask anything of pub-goers and drinkers during the festival, it would be to sample, sip, and savour beers from those breweries.
“The world’s best barley is grown and malted in North Norfolk and most of the 32 brewers use it. Sure, this makes a huge difference to HGV food and drink miles. But it might also explain why so many of the beers brewed here are award-winners.
The 2022 festival launch
“Pick up a City of Ale programme in a pub, and find out more about the breweries, the pubs, the ale trails, and the designer badges for those completing the trails. Or, to start you off, find the trails on Google Maps.”
The City of Ale launch party takes place at the Waterfront, in Norwich, this afternoon. In addition to beers from the 32 local breweries, there will be new beers made collaboratively by brewers from Norfolk and Leuven. The Belgian contingency are looking forward to discovering more about cask conditioned beer, little known in Europe.
Beer writer Roger Protz will formally open the festival. Other speakers will be local MP Clive Lewis and festival directors Phil Cutter, of The Murderers, and David Holliday, of Moon Gazer Ale.
Norwich City of Ale beer week was founded in 2011 by Dawn Leeder and Phil, and is now led by Phil and David, with, as David puts it, “brilliant support” from sponsors Farnell Clarke and Norwich BID, as well as Norfolk designer Caz Jones.
David said: “The thing I love about City of Ale is that it’s a community enterprise, a real labour of love by the pubs and breweries, as well as the organisations that support us.
“It all translates into something different, something fun, something educational, and something inspiring for local
people, as well as for visitors to the beautiful, historic city of Norwich. Community at its best.”
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