Pub landlords celebrate 10th anniversary of popular Woodforde’s Ale Trail with new app
PUBLISHED: 08:30 21 June 2015
Landlords toasted the return of a popular region-wide ale trail at the oldest hotel in Norwich.
The Woodforde’s Ale Trail is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year with a new app alongside its printed guidebook, and will run from tomorrow until September 30.
It was launched yesterday at the Maids Head in Tombland.
People are encouraged to head out and explore the region’s hostelries as part of the event, supporting local pubs and earning beer-related prizes by collecting stickers.
More than 500 pubs across East Anglia are taking part this year, including 282 in Norfolk.
Rupert Farquharson, managing director of Woodforde’s, said: “It’s a great event as it works for everyone.
“It works for pub-goers in that they get some beer merchandise, it drives people into pubs and it works for the brewer as we sell beer on the back of it.
“We feel we have a responsibility to drive customers into pubs, which is the big challenge for the industry nowadays.
“Pubs are part of the social fabric of this country and we’ve got to support them all we can.”
He added that the printed ale trail book doubled as a “comprehensive guide” to the best pubs in East Anglia.
The app, new this year, allows people to locate participating pubs nearby, as well as collect Woodforde’s Ale Trail stickers virtually.
“We hope it will appeal to younger people and get them out into pubs as well,” said Mr Farquharson.
Phil Cutter is landlord of the Murderers pub in Timber Hill in Norwich, which has taken part in the bi-annual trail since it was launched a decade ago.
“It’s brilliant, the same as City of Ale,” said Mr Cutter. “Anything that brings people into pubs is great for everybody, and the trail book and the app are absolutely fantastic.
“It gets people criss-crossing the city, looking at everything we’ve got on offer.
“It’s about enjoying what’s around you and not just drinking beer.
“This gives people a reason to get out and go into pubs they wouldn’t normally go in.”
Mel Cook, of Visit Norwich, said: “Tourists look for new experiences, something they won’t get at home, and the Woodforde’s Ale Trail offers just that.”
Christine Malcolm, general manager of the Maids Head Hotel, said: “We always want to support local businesses.”
The ale trail is co-ordinated and run by real ale brewery Woodforde’s, based in Woodbastwick, which was named Brewery of the Year by the Good Pub Guide 2015.
People following the trail can collect stickers – one per outlet – for prizes ranging from a limited edition T-shirt to bottles and boxes of beer.
Stickers can be collected up to and including September 30, and prizes must be redeemed by October 31.
The ale trail app is free and can be downloaded from Apple and Android app stores from June 21.