Beer festival a big hit with villagers

Gallons of East Anglia's finest beers went down the hatch at a celebration of the region's burgeoning brewing industry on Saturday.

Gallons of East Anglia's finest beers went down the hatch at a celebration of the region's burgeoning brewing industry on Saturday.

The 38-real ales and ciders on offer at Mattishall Beer Festival spanned the spectrum of taste, colour and potency - from the crystal clarity of Straw Dog to the smooth tar of Black Buffle.

Drinkers sinking pints in the scorching sun in the grounds of the South Green Park in Mattishall, near Dereham, praised the intoxicating variety of flavours and hailed Norfolk as a treasure trove of undiscovered beverages.

Organiser Mark Raines said: "It is a fantastic opportunity for the village and has really brought everybody out together to enjoy it.”

Mr Raines said that there were dozens of brewers tapping into Norfolk's rich supply of barley from experimental small scale offerings from The Chequers Inn in Binham to the fully fledged Wolf Brewery in Attleborough.

"You are seeing a resurgence of local brewers with a range of different ales, it is great to have so many to try,” he added.

Most Read

Twenty-three-year old Karl Garrod, of Shipdham, enjoying a pint of Windswept, said the mix of ages at the festival blew away the stereotype of real ales only appealing to bearded fuddy-duddies.

Paul Webber, of Mattishall, has been drinking real ales for 40 years but was impressed by what he saw.

“It is a very good selection of beers, the Norwich area is an Aladdin's Cave of real ales, there is a vast array of pubs and brewers, it is fantastic,” he said.

A heady mix of live rock and folk music from bands such as Magicfolk and Crossfire pulsed through the marquee and children enjoyed bouncy castle and bowling alley.

Money raised from the day will go towards the EDP Breast Cancer Appeal and the Mattishall Youth Sports Club.