Beers from England’s 48 ceremonial counties available at city beer festival

Mark and Laura White at the Fat Cat Brewery Tap, ready for their Tapfest beer festival with beers fr

Mark and Laura White at the Fat Cat Brewery Tap, ready for their Tapfest beer festival with beers from the 48 English counties. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: copyright: Archant 2013

England is divided into 48 ceremonial counties, and a Norwich pub's beer festival with a difference has brews from each one.

Mark White, landlord at the Fat Cat Brewery Tap in Lawson Road, travelled across the country to collect beers from the individual counties.

And this week he completed a 600-mile beer run to pick up those remaining.

The 48 beers available during the 'Tapfest' festival, which runs from Thursday, September 5 to Monday, September 9, will be supplemented by eight beers from the Fat Cat's own brewery in Norwich.

These will include four that are not available throughout the year, and a 9pc alcohol beer called Cat O' Nine Tails, which will be on offer for the first time.

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Mr White, who runs the pub with wife Laura, said: 'We did a lot of research, with help from our phd student behind the bar, Lettie Wickens, and found a beer from each county that had received some kind of award from Camra .

'And then we picked one beer from each county, trying not to pick ones that we had seen in other pubs; we went for the rarer ones.

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'We got a lot of the beers wholesale and for others we had to go through pubs in that particular area for help.

'The City of London did not have a Camra award-winning beer for some reason, so we went to Truman's Brewery in London to pick a beer. We got one of their traditional beers, with the oldest Truman's recipe.'

This is the couple's first annual beer and music festival, after taking over the pub about two and a half years ago.

Mrs White added: 'We wanted to do something different, and hopefully, something like this has not been done before.'

Her husband added that they felt they were now ready to hold their first festival.

He said: 'It's going well but we are still building up a business. We've come a long way, but are still improving and learning as we go.'

Both of them used to work in television, and Mrs White said they saw the festival as one of their 'productions'.

'It's also about trying to keep the summer going,' she said, 'as the children will be going back to school next week. It's something to look forward to and show that summer's not over yet.'

There will be live music throughout the festival, with the 'Return of the Proms', a 20-piece band, performing on the Sunday.

The pub was purpose-built in the early 1970s and was previously known as The Wherry.

Before the Whites took it on, it was called the Cider Shed. They renamed it the Fat Cat Brewery Tap, after the Fat Cat, which is one of the city's most popular pubs.

Both pubs are owned by Colin Keatley, who is Mr White's uncle, and the pub was refurbished inside to resemble the West End Street pub, when they took over.

Mrs White formerly worked on the Alan Titchmarsh show while her husband worked on daytime TV shows such as Trisha, the Jeremy Kyle and Jerry Springer shows.

The Evening News has been urging people to return to pubs in our Love your Local campaign.

To see more stories from the campaign visit

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