Next month Norwich hosts the National Winter Ale Festival, starting with a trade day for landlords, pub staff, media, press and brewers from across the country.
The trade and press session on Tuesday 21 February from 3pm to 5pm is ‘an opportunity for all sectors of the trade to come together, to meet and network with other industry members and to sample some of the finest beers on the market,’ organisers say.
The final of the Champion Winter Beer of Britain competition takes place in the morning of 21 February, behind closed doors. Winners will be announced in the afternoon.
The National Winter Ale Festival is one of the UK’s largest beer festivals. Run by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), it will feature more than 300 real ales, ciders, perries and international beers.
This year it takes place 22 to 25 February in the medieval friary The Halls in Norwich.
Local brewers Woodforde, Norfolk Brewhouse, Lacons and Green Jack will run headline brewery bars.
Woodforde’s, with the flagship Wherry bitter, pioneered the new wave of artisan brewers in the 1980s; Norfolk Brewhouse will include collaboration brews with growers and maltsters, as well as an imported ale, at their Maris Otter Bar.
Lacons, with a pedigree going back to 1760, has recently returned to critical acclaim after a 45-year break from brewing, and Green Jack is a multi-awarding winning traditional real ale brewery based in Lowestoft in Suffolk.
Festival organiser Rob Whitmore said, ‘This is the first year that the National Winter Ale Festival is taking place in Norwich, and we are really pleased to be able to use the event to promote the fantastic local breweries in East Anglia as well as the rest of the UK and give people an opportunity to meet with brewers directly.’