Friday, 22 October 2021

Norwich Beer Festival - Beers and Tasters, 25-30th October 2021

Organisers of the 43rd Norwich Beer Festival give a preview of the beers – and bears – at this year’s festival!

A taste of London is coming to Norwich Beer Festival from Portobello’s roasted caramel Market Porter, alongside the Portobello spicy citrus-marmalade Star. Enfield Redemption beers will be bringing Rock the Kazbek blonde and Urban Dusk ruby. 

East London of Lea Bridge are showcasing their golden Cowcatcher and blond pale and Hackney’s Five Points are supplying a chocolate and coffee full-bodied Railway Porter and fruity amber Best. 

A golden pale ale and traditional Glowfly bitter will also be available from Highgate’s Gorgeous Brewery.

For those seeking something a bit different, organisers suggest looking out for Billericay’s Chili Porter, Blue Anchor’s Special strong ale, Brentwood’s Chockwork Orange, Cliff Quay’s Magellan wheat beer or Green Jack’s Harvest Sour.

Speciality beers also include Beartown’s Bluebeary fruit beer, All Day’s Coffee Stout, Humpty Dumpty’s Lemon & Ginger tangy ale, Lincoln Green’s Green Hopped, Milestone’s Raspberry Wheat, Moon Gazer’s smoky dark Triskele, or Nethergate’s easy-drinking Umbel Ale.

Devon’s Platform 5 Brewery will be featuring their beers, including a highly hopped APA and their malt and caramel ‘Whistleblower’. 

Also from Devon, Summerskills Brewery will be offering Start Point, a golden session ale, and Plymhop, aptly named with hops from Plymstock.  

The Curiosity Bar remains the focus for the unusual – with a Chocolate Amaretto from Blue Monkey, a Rum Porter from Bexley, a fruity chocolate dark mild from Boxcar Brewery, Sabro IPA from Elephant School, a blueberry coffee stout from Hollow Stone alongside its Sorbeto Grapefruit. 

The bar offers the very tasty New Bristol’s French Toast and Turning Point’s Bourbon Ba Gravedigger's Biscuits alongside the obscurely-named space hopping Minimal Water Damage, Out Space, Lucid Dream, Cosmic Flux and Radio Nowhere all from North Yorkshire.  

Whether you like the very sweet or the very sour, or something in between, the festival’s cider and perry bar promises something for every palate, will sweetness indicators and knowledgeable bar staff to advise. 

This year look out for Castlings Heath organic cider, Radiant Rose from Scratby, Galanthus Perry by Berties and Gandhi’s Flip Flop from Apple Cottage to name a few!

Charity Beers and Bears

Enjoy a beer in the knowledge profits are going to charity – with special charity beers on order in the marquee, alongside charity lucky dip beer bags!  Staff can also bid on the charity beers.

The World beer awards have donated a range of world beers to the festival with profits going to the Festival’s Charity.

This year’s charity partner is Norfolk SEN Network, helping families with children with special educational needs.

The festival will home two cuddly Koalas to be named during the festival - with winning names to be announced on Saturday 30th October at 3pm.

The brewery that inspired this is called Drop The Bear Beer - a no alcohol brewery run by two ladies - ‘and is very good’, adds Cheryl Cade, Bar Manager. 

The festival opens its doors to the public at 5.30pm Monday 25th October – with a one-hour preview for CAMRA members at 4.30pm.  There will be evening and lunchtime sessions Tuesday to Friday and all-day-opening on Saturday. 

As always, there will be hot and cold food available for purchase and non-alcoholic drinks are available at all bars.

Stallholders include Guerilla Dining, Pewterscribe for engraving and gifts and Rookery Craft Mead.

Festival organisers would like to thank the kind sponsors of this year’s festival Barsham Brewery, Woodforde’s Brewery, Farnell Clark accountants, Camlab PPE, Kettle Foods, Crisp Malt and Mr Winter’s.

Attendees do not need pre-event tickets and can pay by cash or card at the entrance.  Entry is FREE for CAMRA members with proof of membership, or join at the festival.

Covid-precautionary measures

Additional Covid-precautionary measures are in place, further information can be found on the Norwich Beer Festival 2021 website.

Wednesday, 18 August 2021

Norwich Beer Festival returns for 2021

Norwich’s largest beer festival is set to return in October 2021!

The 43rd Norwich Beer Festival, run by Norwich & District CAMRA, will once again return to the delight of beer lovers!  

Running from Monday 25 to Saturday 30 October 2021 (October half term), the festival will again be hosted at The Halls (St Andrew’s and Blackfriars'), Norwich. 

Following the green light from the national CAMRA organisation, Norwich’s beer festival returns with many national and local real ales of every shade and style, alongside international beers and food.

The dedicated cider and perry bar will be graded from sweet to dry and the popular world beer bar, in the marquee, returns too. The Curiosity bar, featuring special beers, is returning for its 3rd year!

As usual, every day, including Saturday, visitors to October’s Norwich Beer Festival can pay on the door – and for those who like to secure advance tickets, they will be on sale soon!

For those who like to collect the Norwich Beer Festival beer glasses, the festival continues to run in chronological order, missing 2020.

This year’s charity is Norfolk SEN Network, supporting parents of children with special educational needs (SEN) and young people aged 16-25 with SEN to find the right educational placement or provision to meet their needs.

Craig Harmer, Beer Festival Organiser, commented: ‘We are delighted to once again be organising Norwich Beer Festival and supporting our local breweries. We all missed the festival in 2020 and trust it will again receive the fantastic support of customers, tradespeople and volunteers.

‘Advance tickets are only available for a limited time, so be quick!  As ever we shall be welcoming payment on the door. 

‘I would also like to add a special thank you to the breweries who supported the recent Norwich Pub Festival.’

Friday, 2 July 2021

Norwich Pub Festival launched

Norwich Pub Festival launched on Thursday July 1st. 

For the month of July, people can tour the pubs in the festival, receive a stamp in the festival guide (collectable from any of the participating pubs) and for each of the 7 colour-coded zones completed, receive a wristband at the designated final stop. 

If you have a drink (of any kind) in all 62 pubs, collect all stamps and wrist bands, a surprise gift will be presented at Norwich Beer Festival in October!

Participating breweries are supplying pubs with free beer and cider as part of the festival!  Look out for these featured breweries, listed in the guide, when visiting the pubs.

Festival pubs (for maps, see the guide):

Black Zone – Coach & Horses Thorpe Road, Jubilee, Maids Head Hotel, Red Lion, Wig & Pen, Fat Cat & Canary, Lollards Pit, Merchants House, Ribs of Beef, Kings Head, Magdalen Street

Blue Zone – Alexandra Tavern, Fat Cat, Louis Marchesi, St Andrew’s Brewhouse, White Lion, Cherry Tree, Garden House, Rumsey Wells, Strangers Tavern, Golden Star

Green Zone – Queens Head Hethersett, Cellar House, Rose Tavern, York, Beehive, Eagle, Unthank, Kings Head Hethersett

Red Zone – Norfolk Lurcher, Honingham Buck, White Hart Wymondham, Green Dragon, White Hart Hotel Hingham, Marlingford Bell, Carleton Rode Social Club

Yellow Zone – Cross Keys, White Horse, The Crown, Hop In, Kings Head Lingwood, Green Man, Shoulder of Mutton

Orange Zone – Angel Gardens, Boundary, Duke of Wellington, Rosebery, Plasterers, Artichoke, Cottage, The Brewery Tap, Malt & Mardle, Leopard

Purple Zone – Freemasons, Coach & Horses Bethel St, Sir Toby’s, Walnut Tree Shades, Murderers, Kings Arms, Pig & Whistle, Vine, Trafford Arms, Rose Inn

Getting around
Almost all the pubs taking part are on train or bus routes, and we’ll include public transport details in the festival guide. In Norwich, the central zones are walkable, and the pubs are very close to each other. 

Keep safe!
Please adhere to the latest Covid guidelines and drink responsibly.  If you need to drive or cycle, please keep everyone safe and have a soft drink, you’ll still get your stamp!

Finding out more?
Details of all the pubs and breweries taking part are in the festival guide

Social media links:
Twitter @NorwichPubFest 
Instagram @norwichpubfestival

Saturday, 12 June 2021

Champion Cask Ale of Norfolk 2021

The Norfolk branches of CAMRA (The Campaign for Real Ale) have declared Mad Wolf, a Red Ale brewed by the Wolf Brewery, of Besthorpe, the Champion Cask Ale of Norfolk 2021.

Described by the judges as having a “Well rounded malty foundation with chocolate and chestnut support. A bittersweet hoppiness provides depth and balance. Full bodied and lasting”, the brew emerged as winner after a difficult year of judging by the Norfolk Taste Panel.

Panel chair Alan Edwards commented: “The last few months have been difficult for both the public and the trade. We have appreciated the efforts made by brewers and publicans to ensure the availability of Real Ale, even when the pubs have been closed.

“The members of the panel have taken every opportunity to taste the many wonderful brews available to the Norfolk drinker.”

Second place overall went to Fusioneer, a dark flavoursome mild described as having a biscuity roast backbone, brewed by Mr Winter’s Brewery, of Norwich. In third place was Lignum Vitae, a strong ale with toffee, orange and banana notes, from the Grain Brewery, of Alburgh in South Norfolk.

Alan added: “CAMRA recently reviewed and revised both the guidelines to beer styles and the actual judging cards used by the panel. This has enabled the beers to be judged against, and where appropriate repositioned into, both traditional and modern styles of brewing.

“This has given a much better fit for many of the beers as well as recognising the new adventurous brews now available. The panel is to be congratulated for embracing the new styles with enthusiasm and seeking out the best of Norfolk brews.”

Eleven of the 40-plus Norfolk breweries are represented in the awards and CAMRA hopes they will encourage landlords to stock the many fine brews available from local breweries and customers to seek out, support their local pubs.

The Norfolk panel is always looking for new members. If you would like to join us, please e-mail -- the greater the number of people contributing tastings throughout the county, the more beers we can taste, giving more breweries the chance to win awards.

Champion Cask Ale of Norfolk 2021 results:

Overall Winners
Winner - Mad Wolf, Wolf, Besthorpe
Runner Up - Fusioneer, Mr Winter’s, Norwich
3rd - Lignum Vitae, Grain, Alburgh

Mild Ales
Winner - Fusioneer, Mr Winter’s, Norwich

Session Bitters
Winner= - Table Bitter, Golden Triangle, Norwich
Winner= - Wensum Ale, St. Andrews Brewhouse, Norwich
3rd - Norwich Bitter, Fat Cat, Norwich

Premium Bitters
Winner - Nelsons, Woodfordes, Woodbastwick

Session Pale Blonde and Golden Ales
Winner - Evolution, Mr Winter’s, Norwich
Runner Up - Golden Jackal, Wolf, Besthorpe
3rd - Lupus Lupus, Wolf, Besthorpe

Premium Pale Blonde and Golden Ales
Winner - Legacy, Lacons, Gt. Yarmouth
Runner Up - White Face, Moon Gazer, Hindringham

Red Ales, Brown Ales, Old Ales & Strong Milds
Winner - Mad Wolf, Wolf, Besthorpe

Session Stouts & Porters
Winner - Vanilla Latte, Mr Winter’s, Norwich
Runner Up - Tombland Porter, St. Andrews, Norwich
3rd - Black Anna, Chalk Hill, Norwich

Strong Stouts & Porters
Winner - Dark Horse Stout, Elmtree, Snetterton

Barley Wines & Strong Ales
Winner - Lignum Vitae, Grain, Alburgh

Speciality Beers
Winner - Honey Ale, Fat Cat, Norwich

Saturday, 5 June 2021

Norwich Pub Festival 2021

Missing beer festivals? Try Norwich Pub Festival!

A month-long celebration featuring over 100 local pubs and breweries

This July, over 60 pubs in and around Norwich will be part of a month-long Norwich Pub Festival. It is the first event of this type run by Norwich & District CAMRA and it is designed to get more people back to the pub and enjoying local beers.

Pub Festival organiser Craig Harmer said: “During lockdown we were all missing the pub terribly, and we had to cancel Norwich Beer Festival last October.

“During our online committee meetings, we started talking about how we could help pubs get back on their feet after a difficult year.

“We wanted to plan something exciting for people, as well as supporting our fabulous local pubs and breweries.”

How will it work?

People can visit pubs from within colour-coded zones, mapped out in a festival guide available from participating venues. Each zone will include between 8 and 11 pubs, with a whole month to visit as many as you choose! 

The festival is not about pub crawling, but an opportunity to enjoy and support our local pubs safely and leisurely. 

Anyone who gets a stamp from every pub in a zone can claim a souvenir coloured wristband, and if you collect all colours (one wristband for each zone), you’ll qualify for a special prize to be awarded at Norwich Beer Festival in October!

Each pub is partnered with a brewery and receives a free cask of beer from them. They’ll also have the opportunity to work together to organise promotional events for customers during the festival.

There are over 40 breweries taking part and we want to say a huge thank you to them all for their support.

Getting around

Almost all the pubs taking part are on train or bus routes, and we’ll include public transport details in the festival guide. In Norwich, the central zones are walkable, and the pubs are very close to each other. 

Keep safe!

Please adhere to the latest Covid guidelines and drink responsibly.  If you need to drive or cycle, please keep everyone safe and have a soft drink, you’ll still get your stamp!

Finding out more?

Details of all the pubs and breweries taking part will be included in the festival guide, which you can pick up in pubs from June 21st. An online version will also be available via our social media pages:

Twitter @NorwichPubFest 

IG @NorwichPubFestival

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Norfolk’s 2021 Best Bottled Beers -- Lacons announced as the clear winner!

Norwich & District CAMRA’s tasting panel have carefully deliberated over some of the finest bottled beers and have selected the very best of Norfolk.

The overall Gold winner has now been revealed as Lacons Audit Ale, a dark copper barley wine bursting with marmalade, berry and spice aromas and flavours.

Brewed by the Great Yarmouth based Lacons Brewery, Audit Ale has been named the Champion Bottled Beer of Norfolk 2021.

The 8.0% strong barley wine stood out for judges who described it as having ‘Honey, marmalade and a sweet maltiness with a bitter edge’, and was given the accolade after a year-long series of tastings by members of the local Tasting Panel.

Lacons also scooped second place, for their Imperial Stout, inspired by stronger recipes from Lacons’ past, with mighty malt flavours; this beer was described by judges as ‘A kaleidoscope of malt, caramel and dried fruit with dark chocolate throughout.’

Overall third place was claimed by the new Birdhouse Brewery with their Mild. This is the first time this West Norfolk producer has featured in the awards – with one of the brewery’s original beers, a traditional mild, full of favour.

Panel chair Alan Edwards explained: ‘Real ale in a bottle has been the only way to enjoy the many quality Norfolk-brewed beers recently, due to pub closures and restrictions due to the Covid pandemic. It has also enabled many breweries to survive.’

Many of Norfolk’s 45 breweries produce Real Ale In a Bottle (RAIB). All were invited to enter the competition. Alan went on to add ‘The number of beers judged is only part of the rich portfolio available to Norfolk drinkers.

‘There are beers to suit all tastes, and we encourage ale-lovers to try them! CAMRA is part of the battle to preserve our rich pub and brewery heritage and we urge all appreciators to do their part in supporting local pubs and breweries.’

The full list of category winners:

1ST Lacons Brewery Audit Ale - Great Yarmouth
RUNNER UP Lacons Brewery Imperial Stout - Great Yarmouth
THIRD Birdhouse Brewery Mild - Downham Market

1ST Birdhouse Brewery Mild - Downham Market

1ST Humpty Dumpty Brewery Humpty Dumpty Ale - Reedham

1ST Elmtree Brewery Snetterton Scary Tree - Snetterton

1ST Elmtree Brewery Top of the Hop - Snetterton

1ST Two Rivers Brewery Happy Hopper - Denver
RUNNER UP Tindall Brewery Summer Loving - Seething

1ST Mr Winters Brewery Twisted Ladder - Norwich
RUNNER UP Elmtree Brewery Golden Pale Ale - Snetterton

1ST Lacons Brewery Old Nogg - Great Yarmouth

1ST Mr Winters Brewery Rorschach - Norwich
RUNNER UP Tindall Brewery Caramel Stout - Seething

1ST Lacons Brewery Imperial Stout - Great Yarmouth
RUNNER UP Grain Brewery Slate - Alburgh

1ST Lacons Brewery Audit Ale - Great Yarmouth

1ST Elmtree Brewery Winter Solstice - Snetterton
RUNNER UP Panther Brewery Hunter Dry Hopped Lager - Reepham

WHAT PUB? is CAMRA’s comprehensive online pub guide. It is free to members and non-members and is easily the most complete and up-to-date pub guide in the UK – giving information on local and national pubs; including updates on re-opening, facilities and special events and links to individual pubs’ social media and websites.  

Friday, 12 February 2021

Remembering Warren Wordsworth

Sadly, Warren Wordsworth, a former chairman of the Norwich & District CAMRA branch (2013-2016) died at his home in late 2020 and was cremated on January 5th 2021.

Aged 66, and originally from Polstead, in Essex, Warren lived in Norwich for many years and will probably be best remembered by many local drinkers as the person in charge of the products stall at Norwich Beer Festival.

With over 30 years membership of CAMRA, Warren was also previously the branch membership secretary, pubs officer, secretary and public affairs officer, where his administration skills were a useful asset.

Some may also recall Warren's leading role during the National CAMRA AGM & Members' Weekend held at St. Andrew's Hall in Norwich in April 2013.

Warren also enjoyed travelling, photography and trains and was an active member of the Norfolk Railway Society.

He was a keen promoter of pubs and had published a book on pub walks around Norwich, and will be remembered by several Suffolk CAMRA members as a regular competitor at the annual bowls matches played between Norfolk and Suffolk.