Since the mid 19th century, the Malthouse has stood at the site of the Whalebone Freehouse in Norwich.

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However, in recent times the building, which used to house the cereal grain for use in beer production by the Bullard and Sons brewery, had stood empty following its previous use as a storage facility.

But on Wednesday the Malthouse will once again come to life to coincide with the launch of the Whalebone Beer Festival and following an extensive refurbishment costing £40,000.

Mike Lorenz, the owner of the Whalebone pub, said the newly restored Malthouse would be available for private functions or business meetings, as well as providing an area for the pub customers to sit and chat and enjoy a drink.

Many features from the original Malthouse have been preserved, including the walls, while oak floor beams have been installed and seating provided for up to 40 people.

A whole wall has also been covered with a retro mural of stacked wooden barrels.

Mr Lorenz said: “As part of continuing investment to the Whalebone we wanted to create a new seating area which sympathetically reflected the feel and ambience of the old Malthouse, while additionally offering comfortable surroundings with that little extra luxury of table service.

“Many features have been preserved and a whole wall has been covered with an impressive retro mural of stacked wooden barrels. The Malthouse room will also be available for business meetings and small private functions.”

The building once stood as part of a site that included a kiln, the brewery and cattle sheds and now the pub boasts a front bar, lounge bar, conservatory bar, Malthouse and terrace area providing a Mediterranean style smoking area for pub customers.

The Magdalen Road pub’s 17th annual beer festival will run from next Wednesday until Sunday, February 9 featuring 40 cask ales from breweries all over the country, served from conventional hand pumps with others cooled and served straight from barrels in the conservatory bar.

For more details, visit www.whalebonefreehouse.co.uk.

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