Norwich has been named as the new venue for the Campaign For Real Ale's high profile National Winter Ale Festival.
After three successful years, organisers in Derby will be handing on the honour of hosting the national event, where the winner of the Winter Champion Beer of Britain is judged each year.
The event brings many thousands of visitors to the host city - keen to try hundreds of the best winter beers from across the UK.
NWAF will be moving to Norwich for the next three years, using St. Andrew's & Blackfriars' Halls (The Halls), which are currently home to the CAMRA Norwich Beer Festival; it is a beautiful venue with picturesque paintings dating from the 16th century of mayors, sheriffs and benefactors from the city forming part of the civic portrait collection.
Gillian Hough, festival organiser, said “The National Winter Ales Festival has been an honour for Derby to host and we wish Norwich well with the unique roller coaster which comes with organising a National Festival.”
The dates for the NWAF 2017 are 22nd–25th February.
Norwich and Norfolk Branch Chairman, Warren Wordsworth, commented: "This is a great honour and I am delighted that Norwich has been awarded as host such to a prestigious National CAMRA for the next three years.
"It will be a big boost for Norwich and hopefully it will add a lot to the local economy especially for the local brewers, pubs, hotels and Bed & Breakfasts in the locality and cement Norwich well and truly as a 'City of Ale'. I look forward to this festival coming to Norwich next year."
There was also a positive responce from our Branch Secretary and NWAF Organiser elect, Rob Whitmore, who was volunteering in Derby at NWAF 2016 and accepted the baton on behalf of Norwich and indeed CAMRA locally: "Today at the first day of the CAMRA NWAF in Derby, the baton to host this prestigious event was officially passed to Norwich! The venue of choice will be of course the iconic medieval halls complex in Norwich, St Andrew's and Blackfriars' Halls and will be held in February for the following three years.
"It's a great honour to take this national event on and we hope this help cement Norwich as the UK's City of Ale. Let's make this a great event for brewers, publicans and of course lovers of real ale from around the UK and maybe even the world!"