Norwich City of Ale is back at last, and this time it will for a whole month, from 26th May to 26th June.
The launch of the last City of Ale, in 2019, at The Waterfront, Norwich, with co-founders Dawn Leeder and Phil Cutter at the front. Photograph: Simon Finlay
“While it’s been away, our ‘beer week’ has miraculously turned into a ‘beer month’. That gives people more time to get round the 51 amazing pubs on the trails, and to sip and savour beers from the 27 fabulous local breweries involved.
“A Festival of Champions, at the Waterfront in Norwich on Thursday, 26th May, will launch the month of ale trails and beer delights. All the beers on the bar that night will be award winners, and they will all come from breweries in the region.
“The world’s best barley is grown and malted in North Norfolk,” added Phil. “So it’s hardly surprising that there are so many award-winning beers brewed here. It seemed appropriate for the 10th festival to have a party of champions, and the aim is to make it a champion occasion for everyone. Come along and taste for yourself!”
Individual pubs will be organising events throughout the month, but the main focus this year is on ale trails. These encourage visitors to explore the streets and alleys of Norwich, discovering bits of history, art, and architecture — and gems of pubs — that they might otherwise have missed.City of Ale was founded by Phil along with Dawn Leeder.
“It all came about because we both love our city,” said Phil. “We wanted pubs here to thrive, and also wanted to see the brilliant beers from our region being celebrated.”
It was the first ‘beer week’ of its kind, and the model has now been replicated across the country.
“Much of the success has been down to Dawn’s energy and commitment, all given on a voluntary basis, added Phil. “She shaped the festival and put Norwich as a beer destination firmly on to the map.”
Dawn stepped down after nine years co-chairing City of Ale with Phil and her role has been taken on by the energetic David Holliday from Norfolk Brewhouse, a long-time supporter of Norwich City of Ale.
Tickets for the Festival of Champions, City of Ale launch party, are available from the Waterfront here. Beer writer Roger Protz will open the festival.