Punters hail the ale as pubs’ beer festival gets off to a flying start

The City of Ale launch in Norwich. Photo: Steve Adams

The City of Ale launch in Norwich. Photo: Steve Adams

Beer lovers in Norwich have had a wh-ale of a time over the bank holiday weekend as the third City of Ale festival enjoyed a 'stomping' start.

The 10-day celebration of real ale, during which 41 city pubs will be serving hundreds of beers from 36 local breweries, launched on Thursday and has seen several hundreds of people heading to pubs throughout the city over its opening weekend.

Phil Cutter, co-chairman of Norwich City of Ale and landlord of the Murderers pub in Timber Hill, said: 'It's gone really, really well – we had a stomping night on Friday and Saturday and Sunday was good as well.

'The bank holiday helps getting people into pubs anyway and the fact the weather was good meant we had people coming in and enjoying some beers which was really good news.'

Mr Cutter had some beer writers in over the weekend sampling some of the ales on offer and was delighted with the 'really, really positive feedback'.

In fact he said the ale had gone down so well that he had had to put in an order for some more beer for thirsty punters to enjoy.

Hundreds of people welcomed the start of the festival at the launch party last week, including Mike Benner, chief executive of the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra).

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Mr Benner was returning to the city after the watchdog's phenomenally successful annual meeting in the city last month.

He said: 'I don't know anywhere else in the UK that has an event like this. Norwich is leading the way for others to follow in the celebration of our national drink.'

Log onto www.cityofale.org.uk to find out more about what is on during Norwich City of Ale 2013 as well as the pubs, the beers and the breweries all taking part in the real ale celebration.