Beer is tops in Norwich and Great Yarmouth

Beer cakes on sale at the Earlham Arms in aid of the flood appeal. From left: Alysha Howes, Megan Harbord and Katie Hales. Photo: Bill Smith Beer cakes on sale at the Earlham Arms in aid of the flood appeal. From left: Alysha Howes, Megan Harbord and Katie Hales. Photo: Bill Smith

David Bale and Lauren Rogers david.bale2@archant.co.uk
Monday, May 26, 2014
7:58 AM

Beer was top of the agenda for many people in Norwich and Great Yarmouth on the weekend, with the first days of the City of Ale festival and the seventh Yarmouth beer and cider festival taking centre stage.

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Great Yarmouth Beer and Cider Festival 2014 at St Georges Theatre.

Picture: James BassGreat Yarmouth Beer and Cider Festival 2014 at St Georges Theatre. Picture: James Bass

One of the highlights of the fourth City of Ale festival in Norwich, which runs until Sunday, June 1, was a cake sale with a difference at the Earlham Arms in Earlham Road.

Katie Hales, who owns the pub with Matthew Pamplin, said: “All the produce from the Rose and Glory cake company in Fakenham had to be baked with beer as an ingredient to mark City of Ale week. We used beer from Jo C’s Brewery in West Barsham and Panther Brewery, from Reepham.”

The event was held to raise money - which totalled £168 - for the chosen charity at this year’s festival, the EDP’s Flood Appeal.

Elsewhere, the festival is already attracting extra tourists into Norwich from across the country.

Dawn Leeder, co-chairman of the festival with Phil Cutter, who was promoting the event at the brewers’ market outside the Forum on Millennium Plain on Saturday, said: “The aim of the festival is to get people into pubs, some of which they would not normally go to. So far, we have spotted people coming to Norwich for the event from Derby, Chelmsford, Newcastle, Surrey. There seem to be more out-of-towners this year.

Meanwhile, pints were poured and thirsts were quenched at the seventh annual Great Yarmouth beer and cider festival.

The festival, which started on Thursday and finished yesterday with a relaxed Sunday lunchtime session, attracted about 1,200 people over the four days.

More than 50 different ales and 20 ciders were on offer at St George’s Theatre and festival-goers took advantage of a pop-up beer garden on the theatre plain which was a new addition.

Organisers Day Harvey and Jonathan Newman said Beeston Brewery’s On the Huh bitter and Afternoon Delight blonde ale were among the popular tipples, but with 52 different racked beers all tastes were catered for.

“This is the second year we’ve been at St George’s and again the atmosphere has been great,” said Mr Newman.

“It brings a lot of people into Yarmouth; people who might not have come into the town centre for a while, they get the train in from Norwich and spend an afternoon or an evening here. And with the pavilion now open, they can get some food as well as a pint.

“It’s great to see local restaurants benefit too.”

A special event on Friday saw Yarmouth’s Lacons Brewery, which helped out with a hands-on approach at the festival, invite real ale enthusiasts to discuss all things beer with their award-winning brewer Wil Wood.

As well as beer and cider, visitors enjoyed a line up of live music each day with bands and singers coming from all over Norfolk.

Anyone interested in performing at next year’s festival can get in touch with organisers now via the website, www.gybf.co.uk, Facebook or Twitter @GYBCFestival.

Have you got a story about a pub or beer festival? Email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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