Record breaking real ale event celebrated in Norwich

The Campaign for Real Ale is holding its AGM in Norwich this weekend. A delegate bones up on the age

The Campaign for Real Ale is holding its AGM in Norwich this weekend. A delegate bones up on the agenda at St Andrews Hall.Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Bill Smith - Archant

Real ale drinkers hailed the quality and variety of Norfolk's local beer and pubs as Camra's national AGM came to an end today.

Officials from the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) were celebrating after a record number of members attended their annual meeting in Norwich to vote on new motions and sample local brews.

More than 1,300 people attended the three day event, which was held in St Andrew's and Blackfriar's Halls over the weekend with members coming from all over England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and some from as far as Europe and America.

Attendees voted on 19 motions on a range of issues by deciding not to get involved in the debate on the government introducing a minimum price on a unit of alcohol and voted against banning the term 'craft beer' from their organisation.

Members also had plenty of time to sample more than 60 local ales on offer at the AGM and also went on tours to the likes of Woodforde's, the Grain Brewery, Green Jack, Humpty Dumpty and other ale, cider and perry breweries in Norfolk.

Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis, who is the government's pub minister, also spoke at the event on Saturday.

Warren Wordsworth, of the Norwich and Norfolk branch of Camra, said it had been a real privilege to host the event, which has been more than nine months in the planning.

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'It has been a big boost and the last time Norwich hosted the AGM was in 1990. We have not just broken the attendance, we have smashed it. Norwich is a fine city for real ale and there are so many pubs in the city and that is why it is so popular with members,' he said.

Owen Ogletree, of Georgia, USA, who flew to England especially for the Camra AGM, said he was trying to promote real ale in America.

'England has the best beer in the world and Norwich is now one of my favourite cities and it has been great to meet so many friendly people. Craft beer is the number one beer in the US and it is fizzy and strong and I prefer a 3.5pc that you can enjoy,' he said.

Neil Walker, press manager at Camra, added: 'It has been a fantastic event and the organisers have done a fantastic job. Norwich is brilliant for real ale.'

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