Vintage bus takes Mayor and Sheriff to Norwich City of Ale launch party

A vintage bus transported Norwich's Mayor and Sheriff to the launch party of the City of Ale 2012 event earlier tonight.

This year's event is bigger and better than last year with 45 venues, 35 breweries, 219 local ales, hundreds of pub events, ale trails, a 'Bloomin Ale Trail', heritage films, talks and walks, a political debate, and an auction all set to be crammed in to the 10-day event.

The launch party was held at St Gregory's Centre for the Arts in St Gregory's Alley, which will be the festival hub.

Dawn Leeder, co-chairman of the festival, welcomed publicans and brewers to the event and said that beer writer Roger Protz, who opened last year's event, had left a message of support praising the festival and Norwich's turnaround as the UK's city of ale.

Ralph Gayton, the Lord Mayor of Norwich, said: 'Trading is difficult in all retail sectors at the moment, but here in Norwich the pub and brewing industry is proving itself resilient. We have a long tradition of being good at brewing and have a great number of really good pubs through which to sell the locally made beer. The next 10 days will enable the pubs and breweries to showcase their wares.'

The event runs until Sunday, June 10.

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