City beer festival set to be ‘biggest, beeriest’ yet
- Credit: Archant
Norwich's popular City of Ale beer festival is set to be the 'biggest, beeriest' yet when it is launched later this month, organisers have said.
A record number of 48 watering holes have signed up for the 2018 event, which kicks off with a launch event at the Black Horse in Earlham Road at 2pm on Thursday, May 24.
But Norwich South MP Clive Lewis got an early taste of what was to come at a pre-launch event at The Murderers Pub, which included a quick demonstration of how to pull the perfect pint and some tasting of the Timber Hill venue's finest ales.
He joked that the festival - which runs from May 24 until June 3 - had come at a 'bad time' for him, saying: 'I'm personally cutting down.'
But he said: 'It's good for the city and it's image - and it's good for the people of Norwich who like to let their hair down.
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'It's good for pubs and microbreweries, which are a growing and important part of the city economy.
'Having this is a showcase for the best beers.'
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This year's event also includes seven ale trails, showcasing the city's rich brewing heritage.
For the first time this year the trails will include information about historic sites and landmark buildings along the way.
'The trails guide visitors through the city to provide a view of its streets, lanes and architecture through the lens of its pub and rich brewing heritage,' said City of Ale co-chairman Dawn Leeder.
'For city residents, the trails provide a similar function, guiding them to pubs they may never have visited or not been to for a very long time.
'We get many comments about what an enjoyable experience people have navigating the trails – they work as both a voyage of discovery or nostalgia.'
There are also more than 100 beer-related events for what is the City of Ale's eighth year.
'There is plenty to do, plenty of great pubs to visit and plenty of good beers to taste,' Ms Leeder said.
'People really resonate with the collaborative spirit of it all. It's a really good atmosphere.'
She said it has brought about a big increase in footfall for venues, adding that 90pc of pubs surveyed last year reporting an increase in the number of drinkers.