Fine city of Norwich gets ready for more than 200 fine ales during City of Ale festival

Drinkers will have a chance to choose from more than 200 beers when a festival billed as 'celebrating fine ale in the fine city' returns.

Organisers of the City of Ale event expect 45 pubs and 35 breweries to be involved during the festival's second year from May 31 to June 10.

And they will be offering at least 217 beers over the 11 days, with two or three more still to be confirmed.

Officials behind the festival met yesterday at the Rose Inn, Queens Road, to make the final preparations.

Festival co-chairman Dawn Leeder said: 'There may be a few extra beers that come in, but that's not a problem, we might even make 220 this year, which is great for Norfolk and local brewers.'

Almost 150 events are planned to take place across the city, including a political debate on pubs and brewing on Friday, June 1, from 7pm, at St Gregory's Centre for the Arts.

Norwich MPs Chloe Smith and Simon Wright will be joined by Toby Perkins, Labour MP for Chesterfield and shadow pubs minister. Questions for the panel can be sent to

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Phil Cutter, festival co-chairman and landlord at the Murderers, said: 'We are very busy; it's very exciting and we are really looking forward to this year's festival. There's been a lot of hard work and it's always going to be the last couple of weeks where everything comes together.'

Free stalls are available to companies selling local produce on Sunday, June 3, at St Gregory's. In return, they must offer a donation of food to either the event's opening or closing party, or a fundraising auction.

And pubs involved in City of Ale can still enter teams into the pub quiz grand final, at St Gregory's, on Tuesday, June 5. The Norwich Bear Brewing Company is sponsoring the event, which is �4 to enter. The winners will receive a trophy and �100 to spend in their pub.

To contact the City of Ale organisers, email There is just one more meeting before the festival, at 10am on May 21, at The Murderers.

The festival fits in with the Evening News's Love Your Local campaign which aims to get people to support local pubs. For more stories visit

What's happening at your local pub? Call David Bale on 01603 772427 or email