Tuesday, 22 September 2020

The Hop In, North Walsham, is our Branch Pub of the Year 2020

The Hop In, North Walsham, is Norwich & District CAMRA’s Branch Pub of the Year 2020.

Congratulations to Jane Edrupt, Nigel Davies, Richard Cornwall and Sue Squires and their team on winning the overall Branch Pub of the Year for 2020!

Not only have the Hop In won Branch Pub of the Year 2020 but are also winners of Branch Rural Pub of the Year 2020.  The award was presented at the pub on Friday 18 September.

A jewel in the crown for North Walsham, The Hop In is a valued welcome to the local community and visitors of the market town. One of the best local transformations, this rare Norfolk micro pub offers a relaxed, friendly place to enjoy a good range of real ales on gravity, bottled and foreign beers and real ciders.

Richard and Sue decided to take early retirement in July 2020 and now Nigel and Jane are the co-owners of the pub. They are pleased to be joined by Julie and Adrian Hillier in keeping the Hop In going during these difficult times.

To allow for Covid restrictions, seating in the pub is restricted and there is additional seating outside and take-aways are also popular.

Richard Cornwall, previous joint owner of the Hop In, said: ‘I just want to thank all our customers for their valued support. We are very pleased that the business has been so successful and that we have been able to provide a venue in North Walsham for real ale drinkers. It has been a big team effort and we have been helped by local breweries supplying a great choice of ales.’

WhatPub entry for the Hop In.

More winners!

Branch City Pub of the Year 2020 has been scooped up by the ever-popular Fat Cat in Norwich.

The Fat Cat have twice won CAMRA’s National Pub of the Year and with 30+ real ales served all year round, it is little-surprising the Fat Cat has won Norwich’s City Pub of the Year! They also serve food and some of the most interesting lagers, craft ales, traditional perries and ciders.  

With additional seating outside now also extended to outside the Fat Percy, up the road from The Fat Cat, there is plenty of room to socially distance and enjoy something from their traditional real ale emporium.

WhatPub entry for the Fat Cat.

The White Lion is Branch Cider Pub of the Year 2020.

Many-times the winner of this accolade, the White Lion continues to be the trail blazer, offering the best cider and perries in the city, although, partly thanks to others following the trail over the past eight years, the pub won't be able to rest on its laurels!

Congratulations to landlord Oscar Gerdes, former landlord of The Garden House, who took over the popular pub from Russell Corke in early 2019. 

WhatPub entry for the White Lion.

Second ever Branch Club of the Year 2020 won by the Carleton Rode Social Club.

In the second year of this new branch competition, judged by Clubs Officer and a small judging panel, the Carleton Rode Social Club has beaten all local pubs to be awarded Branch Club of the Year 2020!

‘The whole team at Carleton Rode Social Club are incredibly proud of this achievement, to have our volunteer efforts be recognised by such a prestigious body is wonderful. Credit must also be given to the great local breweries who have helped us supply great real ales so well’.

Offering real ales and affordable drinks, congratulations go to the team, and the supporting community, on their win.

Now with protective screens and distanced tables both indoors and outdoors, the club is continuing to offer a full calendar of social events for all the family – with free membership being offered until May 2020!

WhatPub entry for the Carleton Rode Social Club.

Ian Stamp, Norwich & District CAMRA’s Pub Campaigns Co-ordinator, said: ‘Congratulations to the Hop In on their first Pub of the Year award, and to the Fat Cat, White Lion and Carleton Rode.

‘As always, the competition was very tough, as there are so many excellent pubs in the branch area. Thank you to all the CAMRA members who scored the pubs’.

Thursday, 3 September 2020

Champion Cask Ale of Norfolk 2020

Red Mill, a 4.3% Best Bitter from the Reedham based Humpty Dumpty Brewery, has been named the top Norfolk brewed cask ale by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA). 

The beer is described in CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide as ‘Full bodied, robust and fruity.  Coffee, dark fruits and caramel vie for dominance against a malty bitter base.  Powerful rich ending.’

Humpty Dumpty also scooped second place with their Swallowtail, a 4.0% Bitter with a ‘marmalade and biscuit beginning enhanced by grainy bitter notes’.

Blimey Brewery from Norwich took third place with Eleven, ‘an orangey, citrus tasting Golden Ale’.

A year long programme of tasting carried out by the Norfolk Taste Panel saw the winner emerge from a field of over 350 locally brewed beers.

Panel chair Alan Edwards commented: “As can be seen from the list of winners we have a lot of good breweries in Norfolk with thirteen, from all parts of the county, gaining awards. We hope these awards will encourage pubs to stock local brews and drinkers to seek them out.

“We need to do all we can to support local pubs and breweries.  The panel will now continue judging as we look forward to naming a winner in 2021”.

The scores are not only used to judge the Champion Beers of Norfolk, they also contribute to the selection of the East Anglian and Champion Beer of Britain (CBOB) competitions.

2020 Category Winners:

1st: Red Mill, Humpty Dumpty Brewery, Reedham
Runner Up: Swallowtail, Humpty Dumpty Brewery, Reedham
3rd: Eleven, Blimey Brewery, Norwich

Mild Ales
1st: Mild, Winter’s Brewery, Norwich
Runner Up: Mardlers Mild, Woodforde’s Brewery, Woodbastwick

1st: Swallowtail, Humpty Dumpty, Reedham
Runner Up: Norwich Bitter, Fat Cat Brewery, Norwich
3rd: Affinity, Lacons Brewery, Great Yarmouth

Best Bitter
1st: Red Mill, Humpty Dumpty Brewery, Reedham
Runner Up: Nelsons, Woodforde’s Brewery, Woodbastwick
3rd: Sirius Dog Star, Wolf Brewery, Besthorpe

Golden Ale
1st: Eleven, Blimey Brewery, Norwich
Runner Up: Evolution APA, Winter’s Brewery, Norwich
3rd: ThreeOneSix, Grain Brewery, Alburgh

Strong Mild
1st: Jubilee Mild, Humpty Dumpty Brewery, Reedham

1st: Black Anna, Chalk Hill Brewery, Norwich
Runner Up: Darkest Hour, S&P Brewery, Horsford
3rd: Milk Stout, Fat Cat Brewery, Norwich

1st: Prasto’s Porter, Boudicca Brewery, West Barsham
Runner Up: Tombland Porter St Andrews Brewhouse, Norwich
3rd: Slate, Grain Brewery, Alburgh