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7 things you need to know about CAMRA's upcoming Norwich Beer Festival

PUBLISHED: 13:00 28 September 2019 | UPDATED: 13:25 28 September 2019

The 42nd CAMRA Norwich Beer Festival is coming to St Andrew's Hall in October. Pic: CAMRA.

The 42nd CAMRA Norwich Beer Festival is coming to St Andrew's Hall in October. Pic: CAMRA.

CAMRA

Raise your glasses, because Norwich and Norfolk CAMRA's 42nd Norwich Beer Festival will open its doors to drinkers next month.

The 42nd CAMRA Norwich Beer Festival is coming to St Andrew's Hall in October. Pic: CAMRA.The 42nd CAMRA Norwich Beer Festival is coming to St Andrew's Hall in October. Pic: CAMRA.

Here are seven things about the hugely popular event which you really need to know.

1. When is it and where?

The festival will take place in St Andrew's Hall, in Norwich city centre. It will open on Monday, October 21 and run until Saturday, October 26.

The festival kicks off on the Monday with a CAMRA Members preview at 4.30pm, then is open to everyone from 5.30pm until 11pm.

The 42nd CAMRA Norwich Beer Festival is coming to St Andrew's Hall in October. Pic: CAMRA.The 42nd CAMRA Norwich Beer Festival is coming to St Andrew's Hall in October. Pic: CAMRA.

Lunchtime sessions start at 11.30am and evening sessions continue to run from 5.30pm until 11pm.

Saturday is fun day, with the festival open all day - you can walk straight in between from 11.30am until 9.30pm and pay on the door.

On entrance to the Halls, visitors may purchase a festival glass and beer cards (the bars are cash-free), and remaining beer card tokens may be returned or donated to the Nansa - the charity for people with disabilities.

2. What can I expect at the festival?

Beer. And plenty of it. There will be beers of every shade and style available in St Andrew's Hall. In the adjoining Blackfriars Hall will be local beers and hot food and in the downstairs Marquee are world beers, including Belgium fruit and Trappist beers along side alcohol-free, vegan, KeyKeg and gluten-free beers and lager.

There is a dedicated cider and perry bar, graded from sweet to the very dry.

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There's hot food and live music from local bands in St Andrew's Hall, with music-free sessions Tuesday evening and Wednesday lunchtime.

3. How can I find out what beers are available?

The free programme gives a complete beer listing and details of tutored tastings, plus a live beer list is updated throughout the festival from the Norwich & Norfolk CAMRA website - where you can even vote for your favourites.

4. What's new in 2019?

The Curiosity bar, featuring special beers, entirely new to the festival, is returning for its second year and is doubling in size, now with over 80 cask beers. There will also be a traditional wooden cask section, fondly known as 'Woody Bay'.

The World Beer Bar will feature beer sommelier selected USA beers and beers aged in Tequila. There is also an increase in the number of gluten-free and vegan cask beers this year.

5. Enough about beer, is there fancy dress?

Visitors this year are encouraged to wear fancy dress and join in 'Where's Wally Wednesdays', 'It's all about Hats, Thursdays', 'Fraulein Fridays' and this year's Saturday theme, as it's the 42nd year, is 'Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and all things space'.

6. How much does it cost?

Entry is never more than £5 or £1 most lunchtimes. Students are free on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, while CAMRA members always get in free.

7. What's on the souvenir glass this year?

The programme and festival souvenir glass this year features a magnificent red dragon perched on top of Norwich Castle, designed by Hazel Thacker.

People can also find out more about hte history of Norwich Beer Festival in a book on sale at the festival to commemorate the first 40 years, titled 'A Hazy History of the Beer Festival'.

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