10,000 expected as Great British Beer Festival returns to Norwich
More than 10,000 people are expected through the doors of St Andrews and Blackfriars Halls as the Great British Beer Festival returns to Norwich this week.
It is the sister of the national summer festival in London, and is in the fine city for three years, hosted by Norfolk and Norwich CAMRA.
Running from February 20 to 24, it will be raising money for Age UK Norwich as its 2018 charity partner.
Last year, the festival raised £3,726 for its chosen charity ‘It’s On The Ball’.
MORE: Charity beer to launch at Great British Beer Festival
Local pubs will also be getting involved as the festival extends to The Fringe which runs for the whole of February, with organised crawls and treasure trails, special events, competitions and featured brewers.
CAMRA branch chairman Ian Stamp said: “We are proud to be hosting CAMRA’s national winter festival here in Norwich.
“The CAMRA summer event is hosted in London, whilst we will be hosting the winter event for three years, this being the second year.”
Susan Ringwood, CEO of Age UK Norwich, said they are “delighted” to be the official charity of the winter Great British Beer Festival.
“Any donations will help us to continue to widen our support for the older people of Norwich,” she said.
To support Age UK Norwich, visitors to the festival may donate coins in collection tins and buckets or give remaining beer tokens to the charity.
Martin Ward, Great British Beer Festival Winter organiser, said: “We all become older and the services provided by the charity are in great need and their drop-in advice centre is a great local resource.”
As always at the national festival, the Champion Winter Beer of Britain competition will be judged. Local and national brewers will compete to find a winner in each category and the winners and overall winner will also be selected and announced at the festival.
The Great British Beer Festival Winter starts on Tuesday, February 20, at The Halls, Norwich, opening with a CAMRA members-only preview from 5.30pm.
It is then open to everyone from 12 noon until 10.30pm every day until Saturday, February 24. Entrance is free to CAMRA members and £4 to non-members (£3 Wednesday) on the door.
For more information about The Festival and The Fringe visit winter.gbbf.org.uk.
Local brewers vying to be champions
Local brewers will be showcasing some of the best of Norfolk brews as they put on show their finest products.
• Lacons Brewery - a multi award-winning brewery based in Great Yarmouth that can trace its history back to 1760.
• Norfolk Brewhouse and H Banham Ltd – The Norfolk Brewhouse and H Banham, grain merchants and custodians of Maris Otter barley, will jointly run the Maris Otter Bar, giving visitors the chance to learn more about what makes Norfolk malt, its growers, maltsters and brewers special.
• Moonshine Brewery - a Cambridge-based brewery whose Chocolate Orange Stout has been a three-times finalist in the “Speciality Beers Category” at the Great British Beer Festival as well as winning the 6th Elysian Festival, Beer of the Festival, and being three times winner of the Champion Speciality Beer of East Anglia.
Bands taking to the stage
With a music-free session on the Wednesday, an array of bands will be taking to the stage every other evening at the Great British Beer Festival Winter.
Thursday evening will feature Sam Coe & The Long Shadows - a UK Country/Americana band from Norwich. Their debut EP, “Santa Fe”, was released in 2017 to critical acclaim, followed by their first UK tour and support slot with The Shires.
Friday evening sees The Collective! - established in 2007 with 25 years experience between them performing classic soul, funk, disco and rock.
Saturday afternoon sees The Shackleton Trio (formerly The Georgia Shackleton Trio) with an exciting blend of Americana, folk and self-written material. Saturday evening audiences will be treated to The Vagaband’s soulful Americana.
Food is available throughout the day and bands will entertain in St Andrew’s Hall on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.