Norwich Beer Festival opens for 2019 with enough drink for 50,000 pints
PUBLISHED: 17:09 21 October 2019 | UPDATED: 17:09 21 October 2019
Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk
With over 400 varieties to try and enough drink for 50,000 pints, raise your glasses as the Norwich Beer Festival opens its doors.
The popular event, organised by the Norwich and Norfolk branch of CAMRA, has returned to the historic St Andrews Hall for its 42nd year and runs until Saturday, October 26 with afternoon and evening sessions.
In the main hall, which will also host live music, there are hundreds of beers to sample from across the UK and new for 2019 there is a traditional wooden cask section known as Woody Bay.
There is also a ciders and perries bar, each graded from sweet to dry, a Curiosity Bar, which launched last year and has now doubled in size, and downstairs in the World Beers Marquee, customers can enjoy Belgian fruit and Trappist beers alongside vegan and gluten-free varieties.
Behind the hall in Blackfriars, there is a range of local beers on offer, featuring Fat Cat Brewery and Lacons, and there will be merchandise and food available.
Des O'Brien, purchasing manager at Norwich Beer Festival, said: "It started in the mid-1970s and it was a small and keen bunch of people in their twenties who were not aware they would be part of a much bigger movement.
"We were just really hacked off with the quality of beer that was available in pubs - there was no choice and it was all pasteurised wind and froth.
"The festival has lasted so long as we've adapted to people's needs and brought in new styles and in recent years introduced exotic ingredients such as rhubarb and ginger and salted caramel.
"St Andrews Hall is amazingly historic and has a lot of feel and ambience that you just don't get inside a tent."
The bars works on a cash-free system, so once customers have paid their entry price, they can pay for a beer card, which includes a £3 refundable deposit for the glass.
The beer festival afternoon sessions run from 11.30am to 2.30pm Tuesday to Thursday and until 3pm on Friday, evening from 5.30pm to 11pm on Monday to Friday and all day Saturday 11.30am to 9.30pm and entry costs from £1 to £5.