Norwich real ale drinkers boost EDP appeal funds

David Bale, EDP reporter, with the cheque for £1000 from City of Ale organisers for the EDP Norfolk

David Bale, EDP reporter, with the cheque for £1000 from City of Ale organisers for the EDP Norfolk and Lowestoft Flood Appeal. From left, Rachel Holliday and Cathy Waller of Norfolk Brewhouse; Dawn Leeder and Phil Cutter, co chairmen of the Norwich City of Ale. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: copyright: Archant 2014

Thirsty drinkers at this year's Norwich City of Ale festival helped to raise £1,000 for the EDP's Norfolk and Lowestoft Flood Appeal.

Hindringham-based Norfolk Brewhouse brewed the special charity ale 'Tidal Gold' especially for the City of Ale festival, which ran from May 22 to June 1.

And drinkers sank 4,392 pints of the special ale with Norfolk Brewhouse donating 20p from every pint sold, which came to £878.40. The City of Ale topped up the difference making a grand total of £1,000 for the appeal.

'Tidal Gold' was also voted the best new beer of the festival, and brewer David Holliday said: 'Tidal Gold proved to be a popular pint for a very worthy cause. We brewed it twice and are delighted to have been involved and truly grateful for all the support which allowed us to donate such a great amount to the flood appeal.'

The EDP appeal was established to raise funds for the coastal communities around Norfolk and north Suffolk that were affected by the devastating storm surge on December 5 last year.

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The £1,000 donation takes the total raised for the appeal to £357,000, which has helped nearly 300 families and businesses.

Norfolk Community Foundation is administering the funds, and bosses have worked closely with local councils to identify people in real need of swift financial help.

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Meanwhile, research has shown that this year's City of Ale event was the most successful yet with 44 pubs taking part with 247 beers on offer from 39 local breweries.

Pubs on average pulled an extra 325 pints over the 10-day festival with over 54,000 pints of local ales enjoyed by festival-goers.

A separate survey of publicans and brewers found overwhelming support for the festival with 98pc finding it enjoyable and 92pc saying it was both well-organised and well-publicised; 82pc of publicans saw increased footfall and 98pc intend to take part next year.

In-pub surveys found that more than a fifth of those interviewed had come from outside Norfolk – almost double the number last year – showing that national marketing targeted at real-ale lovers earlier in the year funded by Norwich Business Improvement District (BID) had paid off.

The large variety of real ales available was cited as a key positive by festival-goers who also liked the way that City of Ale promoted local businesses.

Dawn Leeder, co-chairman of City of Ale, said: 'These results confirm our belief that national awareness of City of Ale is increasing year on year and that more people are visiting from outside the region. We are confident that this trend will continue.'

Some improvements were suggested including earlier promotion and advertising and more provision of transportation to and from pubs.

One publican said banners should be supplied to publicans at least a month before the event. There were also suggestions that more pubs should be stocking local, small brewers' beer.

The results of the survey conducted by Insight Track were shared at a meeting at the Compleat Angler pub in Norwich yesterday, and a cheque for £1,000 was also presented to the EDP appeal.

Norwich City of Ale started in 2011, and aims to promote Norwich, nationally and internationally, as the UK City of Ale.

Since its beginnings, the event has become an established fixture on the calendar for real ale lovers across the country.

And it has become the template for other cities to host their own events, with Ms Leeder and the other event organisers heading to Westminster in June to speak to an influential group of MPs.

How would you improve the City of Ale festival next year? Email suggestions to

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