City of Ale Festival’s brewers’ market proves a big success

It was an ale enthusiast's dream outside the Forum in Norwich on Saturday as the City of Ale Festival's brewers' market got the beers in.

Local breweries were out in force to offer a taste of their tipples to the Norwich public and kick off nine days of promoting 'fine ale in the fine city'.

As well as Woodbastwick brewery Woodforde's there were beers on offer from the likes of Blackfriars, Grain, Winter's, Panther and Norfolk Square.

Supplemented with pork pies and crackle from Holt's Bray's Cottage, there was plenty of beer on offer as tasters and plenty of information about the local ingredients used.

The overcast weather may have put a slight dampener on proceedings but Phillip Cutter, co-chair of Norwich City of Ale and landlord of The Murderers pub on Timberhill in Norwich, felt the first day of the market was a big success.

He said: 'It's been very good, a bit slow to start with because people don't really want to drink in the morning but it shows how many good brewers are out there.

'It's lots of good local independent breweries who use ingredients that are locally grown to produce great beer, and it's all on until next Sunday.

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'There's a nomination form in the back of our programmes and we'll be naming the winners of different categories like best pub, champion ale, best mild beer on the Sunday.'

Husband and wife Jenni and Adam Nicholls of Northcote Brewery had their three beers on sale; Cow Tower, Golden Spire and Jiggle Juice.

Mrs Nicholls said: 'We've been going since October last year, we sold our first one at this event last year and have slowly built up to three from there. So an event like this is brilliant for brewers like us.

'We can get feedback from people about the beers and it has been going really well for us so far.'

Humpty Dumpty was another enjoying the Norfolk them to the day, as its Campaign for Real Ale liaison officer Sadie Skipworth added: 'It's been really successful for us, we were the first to sell at the crack of 9am this morning when we managed to get two cleaners leaving the Forum!

'There's a very strong local influence at this event and it's really good to see so many local brewers represented.'

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Are you organising a big event in Norwich? Contact reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or email

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