Preparations underway for Fringe Festival ahead of National Winter Ale Festival in Norwich

Norwich Beer Festival 2015.

Norwich Beer Festival 2015. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

As the city prepares to host the National Winter Ale Festival for the first time in two weeks, pubs across Norwich are planning fringe events to celebrate.

The Fringe Festival will run for eight days between February 18 and 25, as a precursor for the main event at St Andrews and Blackfriars Halls.

A guide showing the featured beers and events during the festival is being distributed at participating pubs, with a Treasure Hunt around the Fringe Festival pubs.

Participating pubs will also be featuring special, one-off ales as part of The Fringe. Festival-goers will be able to track the beers available at the Fringe Festival and The National Winter Ale Festival by using an online beer list and bespoke app and can find the pubs in a Fringe Guide.

Rob Whitmore, National Winter Ale Festival organiser with the Norwich & Norfolk branch of Camra (Campaign for Real Ale), said: 'Camra not only supports quality real ale but also the great British pub, regularly organising pub trips and awards. 'We believe this to be the first event of its kind, designed to be linked to a Camra organised beer festival. For anyone visiting or living in Norwich, The Fringe will offer a guide to explore and enjoy some of the best real ale pubs in Norwich City.'

The Fringe is part of The National Winter Ale Festival, which runs between February 21 and February 25, will be hosted in Norwich for three consecutive years.

The festival will feature a range of ales from traditional dark, strong winter ales to light hoppy ales.

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Norwich & Norfolk Camra will also present a selection of live music on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings and a special musical attraction on Saturday afternoon.

As always at the national festival, the Champion Winter Beers of Britain will compete to find a winner is each category – Strong Milds/Old Ales, Porters, Stouts and Barley Wines/Strong Old Ales. The overall winner will also be selected and announced at the festival.

Local entrants include Adnams, Cambridge Brew House, Green Jack and Milton.

More information on the National Winter Ale Festival can be found at

Fringe Festival highlights

•A meet the brewer and beer tasting on Wednesday evening at The Coach & Horses, Thorpe Road

•A week-long Sheffield Tap Takeover with beers brewed with Norfolk malt at The Murderers.

•The Plasterers Arms are hosting beer tasting on Wednesday and Friday evenings, with a Meet the Brewery and Five Points Tap Takeover on Friday.

•Grand opening of a craft beer bottle shop from Thursday at The Reindeer Pub.

•At the Fat Cat Brewery Tap there is a beer sommelier session on Wednesday and a Brewery Open afternoon followed by an evening of Adult Storytelling on Thursday.

•For quiz lovers, there will be an ale-themed quiz on Monday evening at The Plasterers Arms, a beer quiz on Tuesday at The Rumsey Wells and a winter ale quiz on Wednesday evening at The Beehive.

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