Raise your glass to the fem-ales

A new beer festival celebrating female brewers is being held at The Plasterers Arms and organised by student Erika Horton and landlord Benjamin Thompson. Photo by Simon Finlay. A new beer festival celebrating female brewers is being held at The Plasterers Arms and organised by student Erika Horton and landlord Benjamin Thompson. Photo by Simon Finlay.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014
9:11 AM

Women brewers will be championed at a new beer festival being run in conjunction with next month’s City of Ale festival in Norwich.

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Jo C's Norfolk Ales: SubmittedJo C's Norfolk Ales: Submitted

In bygone times brewing was mainly a woman’s job and a new breed of women brewers is carrying on the tradition.

The Plasterers Arms, in Cowgate, will host the event called Fem.Ale – Celebrating Female Brewers from Around the Country on the weekend of Friday, May 23 to 25.

All 15 of the pub’s gravity pumps will be dedicated to female brewed ales with one from Southwold brewer, Adnams crafted especially for the event.

Plasterers Arms landlord Benjamin Thompson and UEA student, Erica Horton are hosting the event. Erica said: “There’s quite a burgeoning network of female brewers across the country and I thought it would be a good idea to celebrate them.”

One of those taking part is Jo Coubrough, who owns Jo C’s brewery in Fakenham. She will be hosting a spotlight beer tasting on the Saturday evening.

She said: “Brewing was traditionally a woman’s job, when water was undrinkable and the guys were out working on the land. When I started brewing four years ago the industry was very much male dominated, so it’s nice to bring it back to its roots.

“North Norfolk is fantastic for brewing – it’s the champagne region for malting barley. And people are more willing to try new real ales and trade’s really good.”

The event starts early on the Friday at a very special Beers with Breakfast event put on by master women sommeliers from the industry group, Dea Latis, which aims to get more women enjoying beer. They will serve up several breakfast courses matched with a variety of complementary beers.

Later that night the Plasterers Arms will be toasting female brewers with a soundtrack of live music, in partnership with Norwich Arts Centre.

The pub will also be looking 
into the brewing industry on Saturday, with a panel of four invited female beer experts, including British Brewer of the Year Sara Barton, of Brewsters Brewery, in Grantham.

Beer historian and author Jane Peyton will also be on the panel, discussing her experience as a woman in the industry.

There will also be a tasting of the panel’s favourite beers.

This year’s Norwich City of Ale festival runs from May 22 to June 1.

More information is available at http://cityofale.org.uk/2014/ and www.eveningnews24/loveyourlocal.co.uk

Do you have a story about a pub? 
Contact reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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