Plans underway for “ground-breaking” City of Ale 2018 as festival comes to a close

Dawn Leeder and Phil Cutter launch the 2017 City of Ale. With them from left, Lord Mayor's consort,

Dawn Leeder and Phil Cutter launch the 2017 City of Ale. With them from left, Lord Mayor's consort, Paul Goymer; Lord Mayor, David Fullman; and Sheriff, David Walker. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

Preparations for the next City of Ale are already underway as the last drops of beer have been poured in the 2017 event.

With 43 city pubs, 36 local brewers, 256 local ales and 207 events over the course of 10 days, the team behind City of Ale believes even more visitors came to the city than in previous years.

It is expected hundreds of pounds have been raised for The Big C cancer charity through sales of a special brew from Woodfordes'.

Dawn Leeder, co-chairman of the City of Ale, said: 'While we do not have the figures back for sales as yet, if it is anything like the year before it will be a success.

'We also had quite a number of beer-related educational events with top beer writers and brewers. There was no excuse not to have a great time. 'Obviously we are trying to attract more and more people to Norwich year on year.

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'I would be surprised if we haven't seen more visitors in the city.'

Turning attention to next year, Ms Leeder said they would retain the signature 'ale trails'.

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She said: 'People love the ale trails because it gets local people to pubs they do not usually visit. It is an opportunity for visitors to explore the city on a ready-made walking tour of local pubs.

'The trails are the glue which holds the festival together.'

Norwich Business Improvement District has supported the festival with £10,000 of sponsorship. Ms Leeder said it would be 'very difficult' for City of Ale to continue without them.

'We have got some really far-reaching ideas for next year,' she said. 'We have got a comprehensive and ground-breaking proposal going in to a funding body and if that comes off, it will be really interesting and great for the city.

'BID have been absolutely essential to the success of City of Ale. They have been amazingly supportive and we really cemented City of Ale as an annual festival as a direct result of their help. We would find it very difficult to continue without them.'

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