Friday, 18 December 2015

2016 Norwich Beer Festival logo competition is launched

The annual competition to find the new logo for the 39th Norwich Beer Festival, which will take place from Monday 24th
October until Saturday 29th October 2016, has just been launched by members of the Norwich and Norfolk branch of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale).

The preparations for the popular annual event, which will be held again in St Andrew's and Blackfriars' Halls in Norwich and receives around 19,000 festival goers over eleven sessions, and takes ten months to plan and organise.

The members and volunteers have only just recovered from running the 2015 Beer Festival but launching the logo competition is one of the first tasks for the beer festival and the winning design will be one of the prime marketing tools for the festival.

Rob Derbridge, the festival organiser for 2015, said "We are hopeful that as ever we will receive a large and fantastic array of entries. We always receive entries on various themes, although they must include a dragon in some form, but the entrants can choose a setting or background of their choice. We always look forward to having a tough decision yet again in selecting the eventual winner!".

The main winner will be judged by the organising committee at the planning meetings in the New Year and will receive £100 along with a selection of merchandising at the festival featuring their logo.

There will be ten runner-up prizes of complementary festival tickets and also the best under-18 entrant will get a book voucher.

Entrants are asked to specify "Adult" or "Under-18" and include their name, contact details and age (if under-18) on the back of the paper design or within the email.

As always, the most important element is that a dragon must be included within the design, although abstract is acceptable, also a maximum five colours (four is preferable), including any black or white parts of the design.

Emailed entries should be in a computer readable format (JPEG, TIFF, PNG, PDF, Postscript, GIMP, Inkscape, Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw); no MS Word document files please.

Entries (one per sheet or email and with a maximum size A4) can be sent to 2016 Norwich Beer Festival Logo Competition, 4 Rectory Close, Newton Flotman, Norwich, Norfolk, NR15 1PZ or email to by Monday 22nd February 2016 at the latest please.

All entries will become the property of the Norwich & Norfolk branch of the Campaign for Real Ale and may be used for display and publicity purposes.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Norwich and Norfolk Branch of CAMRA’s 40th Anniversary Party

The Norwich & Norfolk Branch of Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) is 40 years old this year and to celebrate the branch are holding a party.

The 40th Anniversary party will take place in Duke Henry’s Room at the Narthex Centre, St John the Baptist Roman Catholic Cathedral on Saturday 28th November from 7.30pm until midnight.  It is hoped that local branch members, committee members past and present, publicans and brewers, as well as other familiar faces will come together to have a beer and banter about the good, the bad and very different times of real ale over the last 40 years in the Norwich and Norfolk branch area.

CAMRA is a national consumer organisation with over 170,000 members with the Norwich & Norfolk Branch, which covers roughly two thirds of the county of Norfolk and centred on the city of Norwich, currently having over 3,000 members CAMRA is a volunteer-led organisation and all local events, including Norwich Beer Festival, are organised by volunteers in their own time.  Our main concern is with the promotion of good-quality cask conditioned beers (commonly referred to as “real ale”) allied to traditional British breweries and pubs.

Tickets for the party are only £10 each including one free pint and a free buffet catered by The Narthex.  Commemorative pint glasses can also be purchased for £3.  Any profits from the evening (after costs) will be donated to the current branch charity, St Edmunds Society, who are based in Oak Street, Norwich.

At least fifteen local ales will be on the bar, along with some ciders.  There might even be some tunes from the 70s played to get everyone feeling nostalgic!

Tickets are available online from here.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Norwich Beer Festival music line-up announced

The Norwich & Norfolk Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) are delighted to announce the line-up of the music entertainment for the 2015 Norwich Beer Festival with some exciting new performers to the annual festival.

Local Invidia Voices Rock & Soul Choir will make their first appearance during the Wednesday early evening session which will be the first choir to perform at the beer festival.

Also two new bands will be at the festival, local modern English folk band Addison's Uncle will perform in the Friday early evening slot and the Norfolk band Sophie G and the Good Times will play early on Thursday evening in their first performance at the Beer Festival.

Sophie G and the Good Times guitarist Adam Darricott said “We were delighted to receive the request to play and also I have dreamed of playing at the Norwich Beer Festival for years as I am a regular customer”. 

As usual, brass bands play the late evening slots due to restrictions on amplified music but Norfolk is home to so many brass bands which certainly helps keep the lively atmosphere going in St Andrew's Hall until late in to the evening sessions.

We are also delighted to welcome back the Sheringham Shantymen on Saturday lunch session who always entertain the crowd.

The full schedule is listed below:
Monday late evening: Hellesdon & Sprowston Brass Band
Tuesday lunch: Minstrels Gallery
Tuesday early evening: Hayley Moyses Britgrass 3
Tuesday late evening: Music Free
Wednesday lunch: Music Free
Wednesday early evening: Invidia Voices, The Rock & Soul Choir
Wednesday late evening: Cawston Brass Band
Thursday lunch: Dave Thomas Band
Thursday early evening: Sophie G & the Good Times
Thursday late evening: Norfolk Wherry Brass Band
Friday lunch: Vivace String Quartet
Friday early evening: Addison's Uncle
Friday late evening: Norwich Brass Band
Saturday lunch: Sheringham Shantymen
Saturday early evening: The Harvs
Saturday late evening: Cawston Brass Band

Rob Derbridge, the 2015 Norwich Beer Festival Organiser, said “the wide variety of entertainment is always appreciated by many of the thousands of visitors to the Norwich Beer Festival, however music-free sessions are scheduled into the programme and also Blackfriars' Hall is always music free”.

Friday, 4 September 2015

Norwich Beer Festival tutored tastings announced

The popular tutored tastings sessions will run over lunchtimes again and this year are being arranged by two regular beer festival volunteers who are also qualified beer sommeliers, Cheryl and Mark Cade, from Norwich.
They both passed their exams earlier this year and who have started their own business, The Thirst Consultants, and have volunteered their services for free, along with all the other leaders of the tutored tasting sessions.
On Wednesday we are delighted that Keith Loney, the Beer Festival's Foreign Bar manager, will be taking you on a tour of some fantastic Foreign Beers available, exploring the flavours and culture of this diverse range.
Over Thursday lunchtime we are extremely pleased that Belinda Jennings, Master Brewer in East Anglia, will be leading a ‘Blind Beer Tasting’. She will take the tasters on a journey through the brewing process and look at a range of different beer styles.
The Saturday lunch tasting will see Mark Cade lead a Tasting of Lagers. During this session Mark will help compare and contrast traditional continental lagers with a mass produced product. The tasters will explore the extensive styles, history and brewing process of this much maligned traditional beer.
The remaining slots on Tuesday and Friday lunchtimes which will be scheduled shortly:-
One will be session on Beer blending, led by Cheryl Cade, who will explain the principles and history of beer blending to find the perfect pint. Alongside this she will assist the tasters to understand the joys of beer and food matching.
And the other will cover the beers of Great Heck Brewery, who are this year's featured brewery, and during this tasting event, the tasters will experience the range of flavours the North Yorkshire brewery produce and also discuss their influences and learn about the brewing process.
At least eight beers will be sampled at each session within small groups, which will last up to 2 hours, so we believe they will be great value, as all beer sampled is included in the price.
All tastings will start at 12 noon and the meeting point will be at the left hand side of the Merchandising stand.
Prices and tickets:
We are pleased that we have been able to keep to last year’s ticket costs. These sessions are only £10 each including beer festival entry or £8 for CAMRA members.
We will shortly be able to sell you tickets for these tastings – until then please email Cheryl Cade at to reserve your spaces.

Monday, 22 June 2015

St Edmunds Society announced as Norwich & Norfolk CAMRA branch charity for 2015

St Edmunds Society (St-Eds) have been adopted as the Norwich & Norfolk CAMRA branch’s charity for 2015 and any funds raised throughout the year will be donated to the Norwich charity.

St-Eds is based on Oak Street and delivers construction qualifications and employment skills to young people aged 14+ at risk of social exclusion.

Mainly fundraising takes place at the annual Norwich Beer Festival and staff from St-Eds will be present throughout the public session of the 2015 Norwich Beer Festival which runs from Monday 26th to Saturday 31st October at St Andrew’s & Blackfriars’ Halls in Norwich.

Lorraine Bliss, St-Eds CEO said: "I was overwhelmed when my PA and CAMRA member, Debbie Grantham, told me news of St-Eds' adoption as charity of the year for 2015. I'm particularly delighted because the charity is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and this is a fantastic present!

"On behalf of my staff team and trustees, I would like to thank the Norwich & Norfolk branch of CAMRA for bestowing this upon us and for the opportunity to highlight the important work St-Eds is doing to deliver accredited training in construction, motorcycle mechanics and nail technology to young people at risk of social exclusion in Norfolk.

Any funds which are generously raised will go towards equipping our workshop in Oak Street with the tools and equipment needed for our trainees to complete their courses and go onto meaningful employment."

Preparations for this year’s Beer Festival are continuing with orders already being placed for some of the merchandise, including with the logo depicting Norfolk WW1 heroine Edith Cavell , and volunteers are already preparing equipment and signing up to help during the festival.

Sponsors of the three main public areas, St Andrew’s Hall, Blackfriars’ Hall and the Foreign Beer Marquee are also available. Advance tickets will be on sale from Monday 3rd August with further details on the Branch’s website and Facebook pages soon.

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Beehive buzzing with top Norfolk honour!

The Beehive on Leopold Road, in Norwich, has been voted the overall Pub of the Year in Norfolk for 2015 by members of the Norwich & Norfolk, West Norfolk and Mid-Anglia branches of CAMRA (The Campaign for Real Ale).

The Beehive Pub was recently crowned overall Pub of the Year by the Norwich & Norfolk Branch and was the first time that landlady Alex Kerridge has been awarded the prestigious title (she is pictured below with her branch awards).

Ms Kerridge said: “To win Norwich City Pub of the Year, the Overall winner and now to be awarded Norfolk Pub of the Year is just overwhelming! Community pubs are invaluable, which is why I have worked so hard in growing The Beehive into the hub of the community, as well as offering an excellent range of local beers while supporting other micro-breweries from further afield.”

The Beehive beat the West Norfolk branch’s winner, The Coach and Horses in Dersingham, and also Mid Anglia’s winner The Queen’s Head, Earsham, in South Norfolk.

Martin Ward, the Norfolk Area Organiser, commented: “Many congratulations go to Alex and her team at the Beehive. With a strong emphasis on the quality of the beers and the community focus of the pub, The Beehive emerged the winner after a well fought contest between the other two Norfolk pubs in the competition. A deserved winner.”

Martin also said: “The Beehive will now progress to the East Anglian Regional level of the competition and will be up against pubs in Bedfordshire (Black Lion, Leighton Buzzard), Cambridgeshire (King of the Belgians, Hartford), Essex (Victoria Inn, Colchester), Hertfordshire (Orange Tree, Baldock) and Suffolk (White Horse, Sweffling).  The competition deadline is set for the beginning of August”.

Ms Kerridge will be presented with The Beehive’s Norfolk Pub of the Year certificate in the near future.

Monday, 11 May 2015

38th Norwich Beer Festival logo unveiled

The Norwich & Norfolk Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) are delighted to announce the winning entry in the logo competition the 2015 Norwich Beer Festival which depicts Norfolk heroine Edith Cavell in the very heart of the stunning design.

A large number of entrants to the annual competition were carefully considered and debated before the winner was chosen by the branch members at a recent Festival Planning meeting.

As always, the beer festival logo is widely used to promote the festival on souvenir glasses, pin badges and clothing and the local branch members appreciate how important an attractive yet unique design is appreciated by the thousands of visitors to the Norwich Beer Festival, one of the largest CAMRA Beer Festivals in the country.

The winning design was conceived by a group of senior nurses and matrons from two Norfolk hospitals, Dawn Collins, Rachael Cocker, Chris Parfitt, Kay Marrison, Julia Watling and Elizabeth Hogbin to commemorate Edith Cavell’s life and her work.

The designer and artist is Charlotte Hogbin, who is 21 and from Norwich, and is studying at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London and who has a passion for painting to unwind.

Liz Hogbin, on behalf of the group of Registered Nurses, said: “We chose to honour Nurse Edith Cavell in this, the centenary year of her death, and we are absolutely thrilled at this news and so pleased at the recognition and celebration of the life of Edith Cavell that this will bring.

"The design for the logo was entirely Charlotte’s creation and she decided that Edith had to be at the centre of the design, but the dragon should represent peace and protection around her to mirror her work and actions during World War I”.

Liz continued: “We are a small team of senior nurses and matrons who honour the life and work of Edith Cavell by, for example, regularly attending the memorial service held for her each year and by helping to tend her grave at Norwich Cathedral”.  This is the first time any of the group or Charlotte have entered the annual logo competition.

Rob Derbridge, Norwich Beer Festival Organiser, said the design was particularly striking and well balanced with the red dragon, which is the only design requirement given to entrants, surrounding the image of Edith Cavell.

The group wins £100, complimentary tickets to the festival and also a selection of merchandise including the glass featuring their logo.

Preparations have already started for the festival which will aim to provide an exceptional range of refreshments as ever.  Over 200 cask-conditioned Real Ales from Britain's independent brewers will be on sale, with a few festival specials as always, along with draught and bottled beers from Continental Europe and over 40 real ciders and perries.

The 2015 beer festival runs from Monday 26th to Saturday 31st October at St Andrew’s & Blackfriars’ Halls in Norwich.

For the first time the Festival will boast two qualified beer sommeliers, Cheryl and Mark Cade from Norwich, who have recently passed their exams and will assist festival goers in selecting beers and will help run the popular tasting sessions.

Monday, 27 April 2015

The White Lion is our Cider Pub of the Year for 2015

For the fourth consecutive year, the members of the Norwich & Norfolk branch of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) have selected The White Lion pub, on Oak Street in Norwich, as the branch's Cider Pub of the Year.

Pubs within the branch providing the best real cider and perry have been nominated by members and the final voting took place at the recent branch AGM.

Although the White Lion has won the award since the Cider Pub of the Year was introduced in 2012, it is the first time that Landlord Alex Waters has received the Norwich & Norfolk branch’s title although he has worked there for a number of years.

Mr Water said after being given the good news: "We are thrilled to hear that The White Lion has been awarded the Norwich & Norfolk CAMRA Cider Pub of the Year. Since taking over from Ben and Becky Ackers in August 2014, we have continued to specialise in providing a diverse range of quality real ciders from all parts of the country, with an emphasis on Norfolk cider”.

He continued: "We sell ciders from Jonty's, Crone's, East Norfolk, Harleston, Burnard's, the Norfolk Cider Company and Whin Hill, as well as 10-15 ciders from the West Country, Wales, Essex and elsewhere. We also sell lots of good real ale and home cooked, locally sourced seasonal British food.

"We are passionate about what we do here and would like to thank the Norfolk and Norwich branch CAMRA members for voting for us and continuing to drink at The White Lion."

The White Lion now goes into a head-to-head with the West Norfolk branch’s winner, The Railway Tavern in Downham Market and also the Wortwell Bell which was Mid Anglia’s winner, with the overall Norfolk victor progressing to the Regional level of the competition.

Warren Wordsworth, the Norwich and Norfolk Branch Chairman said: “I would like to congratulate The White Lion for winning Norwich & Norfolk Branch’s Cider Pub of the Year for an impressive fourth year in a row.

"The White Lion is a great pub, which actually was closed for quite a number of years but reopened in September 2008, and now has an excellent choice of ciders and perries which has helped raise awareness of local producers and the variety of these traditional, natural drinks available at pubs. I wish The White Lion and Mr Waters luck in the future rounds of the competition”.

The White Lion will be presented with the award certificate in the near future.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Kett's Rebellion is top Norfolk beer of 2015

Woodforde’s Brewery's Kett's Rebellion has claimed the top prize in the Norwich and Norfolk Campaign for Real Ale’s (CAMRA) Taste Panel.

The trained tasters have sampled 44 different beers, hailing from 14 breweries all over Norfolk, and submitted a total of 2014 taste cards from the tastings held at various pubs over the last year.

Alan Edwards, Chair of the Tasting Panel, described the winning beer as having “decent depth of flavour, well balanced and malty on the palate with a lovely sweetness coming through. Subtle hops are there to provide contrast”.

He also said that: “it is pleasing that the awards cover a variety of our 30-plus Norfolk breweries. Our largest producer can be proud that two beers, including the flagship Wherry Best Bitter, took the top awards in their categories before scooping the overall top places.

In contrast, our smaller concerns are well represented by the Golden Triangle, Lacon’s and Grain breweries. We can rightly be proud of the number of the breweries and beers they produce. There is something for everyone in the brews they offer”.

Neil Bain of Woodforde’s Brewery said he was “absolutely delighted” upon hearing the news from Mr Edwards. The Woodbastwick based brewery, which is Norfolk’s largest, also claimed the Bitter award with its Wherry.

Great Yarmouth based Lacon’s Brewery’s Affinity won the Golden Ale category. The Speciality category was topped by Blonde Ash from Grain Brewery from Alburgh, South Norfolk and the Golden Triangle brewery from Barford took the Strong Bitter award with Hop Lobster.

Mr Edwards continued: “However, what is of concern is that these beers are not as widely available as either the brewers or CAMRA would like. With more breweries starting every year, continual pub closures and domination by pub chains, large and small, the opportunity for a brewer to sell their beer at a realistic price is increasingly restricted.

"The panel is charged with tasting as many local brews as possible. However only 14 breweries products were sampled as, despite visiting many local hostelries, many remained disappointingly elusive. Brewer and Llndlord need to work together to ensure their mutual survival in the face of the voracious national and international conglomerates.

"We at CAMRA are willing and able to continue to further our relationships with, and efforts in support of, our dynamic local industries.”

Best Bitter & Champion: Woodforde’s, Kett’s Rebellion
Bitter & runner up: Woodforde’s, Wherry
Strong Bitter & third place: Golden Triangle, Hop Lobster
Golden Ale: Lacon’s Brewery, Affinity
Speciality Beer: Grain Brewery, Blonde Ash
Porter & Stout: Grain Brewery, Porter

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Champion Bottled Beer of Norfolk 2015 results

The Panther Brewery of Reepham is purring with delight after their Black Panther Stout was named CAMRA’s Best Bottled Beer in Norfolk 2015.

The comments from the tasters included “A full, slightly smoky aroma”, “Complex, with a roast and cherry liquor character”, “Mellow and smooth”.

Competition organiser Alan Edwards explained: “The panel had to taste 44 entries from 10 of Norfolk’s many breweries. To gain the top award shows a well-crafted beer produced with care.

"The panellists were pleased with the variety of beers on offer; everyone found more than one beer to match their own style choice. This was the fourth year of the competition and again we were well served by our Norfolk breweries”.

The Panther Brewery also took the top award in the Golden Ale section. When being told the good news, Martin James from Panther Brewery said: "We are delighted to have won the awards as we have worked very hard at the oldest working brewery site in Norfolk to produce delicious ales that have Bite".

In the overall category, the Silver award was taken by Why Not Brewery with Chocolate Nutter and the Bronze was awarded to Humpty Dumpty Brewery's Red Mill.

For the first time the West Norfolk branch of CAMRA hosted one of the rounds as the organisers look to take the competition to members throughout the county.

Six breweries were award winners and a presentation evening will take place at the Leopard pub, Bull Close Road, Norwich on Monday 13th April at 8.00pm and it is open to all.

Real Ale In A Bottle (RAIB) is one of the cornerstones of CAMRA’s campaign to widen the market for our local breweries. Many of the beers are sold in local supermarkets, at Farmers Markets or direct from the brewery. Alan Edwards explained: "If you can’t get to the pub, then bring the beer to yourself!"

A full list of results, along with the contact details of the winning breweries, are below.









Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Branch "Pub Of The Year" 2015 results

Members of the Norwich & Norfolk branch of CAMRA (The Campaign for Real Ale) have selected The Beehive, on Leopold Road, Norwich, as their 2015 City Pub of the Year and also the Branch’s overall Pub of the Year.

It is the first time that Landlady Alex Kerridge has been awarded the Norwich & Norfolk branch’s prestigious title and when given the good news she said: “I am extremely proud to receive this award. I have always been committed to providing my customers with a great range of good quality beers from local and national microbreweries.

"Serving up top notch beer is my passion but I could not have done it without the support of friends, family, Norwich CAMRA, loyal customers and dedicated staff”.

The Norwich & Norfolk Pub of the Year is chosen from the winners of the Branch’s Rural and City Pubs of the Year.

The 2015 Rural Pub of the Year was won by The Green Dragon, in Wymondham, which they have also been awarded three times before. The Landlord, Justin Harvey said: “Here at the Green Dragon we are delighted to receive the rural pub of the year award from Norwich & Norfolk CAMRA.

"Everybody knows the difficulties that tied houses like ourselves face and so it's always extra special to receive this kind of recognition. We would like to thank CAMRA and all of their members who so kindly support us, our regulars and of course our hard working and passionate staff.”

The Beehive now goes into a head-to-head with the West Norfolk branch’s winner, The Coach and Horses, in Dersingham, who won the top accolade last year, and possibly Mid Anglia’s winner if that is a pub in South Norfolk, with the victor progressing to the regional level of the competition.

Warren Wordsworth, the Norwich & Norfolk Branch Chairman, said: “I would like to congratulate The Beehive for winning Norwich & Norfolk Branch’s City Pub of the Year and overall Branch Pub of the Year, both for the first time, and also The Green Dragon for winning the Rural award again.

"The Beehive is a great pub, just off the ring road, with a very good real ale choice and I’m delighted Alex’s hard work over the past few years has paid off. I wish The Beehive and Alex luck in the future rounds of the competition”.

The winners will be presented with their award certificates in the near future.