Viking voyage to bring beer from France to Norwich suffers third boat break down

The Amitie, which is carrying a friendship beer for Norwich City of Ale. Picture: Courtesy of The No

The Amitie, which is carrying a friendship beer for Norwich City of Ale. Picture: Courtesy of The Norfolk Brewhouse - Credit: Courtesy of The Norfolk Brewhous

A 'Viking' voyage to bring a boat-load of beer from France to Norwich has finally arrived - despite three vessels breaking down in four days.

Norfolk Brewhouse in Hindringham teaming up with French brewers Northmaen Brewery to brew Amitie a s

Norfolk Brewhouse in Hindringham teaming up with French brewers Northmaen Brewery to brew Amitie a special collaborative brew for Norwich City of Ale. Norfolk Brewhouse are using locally malted barley supplied by Crisp Maltings. Pictured are Bruce Ash (R) Brewer at The Norfolk Brewhouse with Dominique Camus from Northaen. - Credit: Angela Sharpe Photography

Brewers from Northmaen Brewery in Rouen attempted to sail across the English Channel on Sunday carrying a shipment of beer for the 2019 City of Ale Festival.

The voyage was supposed to replicate the journey of 11th century stone which was transported from Normandy for the construction of Norwich's cathedral and castle.

But on Monday afternoon the group, who were dressed as Vikings, suffered engine failure and had to be towed to Harwich, rather than Great Yarmouth as planned.

Despite the hiccup, they managed to have the beer transported in a van to Coldham Hall in Surlingham where it was due to be picked up by boat and taken to Norwich.


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However, as the flotilla set off this afternoon, a steamboat carrying the mayor of Great Yarmouth and his wife suffered engine failure at Surlingham Ferry.

The 125-year-old vessel, called The Falcon, had to be towed by another boat, Rum Navy, to Thorpe St Andrew.

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On arrival, another vessel carrying the 'Vikings' also broke down and also had to be towed into Norwich.

The group finally arrived at The Waterfront by using a pole to propel their vessel, the Corsair, to the venue's jetty on the River Wensum.

Despite the setbacks, they were only 45 minutes late to the ale festival's launch.

Michael Jeal, mayor of the Great Yarmouth borough, said: "I have enjoyed a lovely trip on several different boats. It has been a little more dramatic than I expected."

The cargo of beer was created by the French brewers in collaboration with the Hindringham-based Norfolk Brewhouse.

The beer, called Amitié, which is French for friendship, was brewed to mark the 60th anniversary of the twinning of Norwich and Rouen.

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