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What was the highlight of Norwich City of Ale for you? Let us know below.

Norwich City of Ale is over for another year: Flashback to Lord Mayor Keith Driver at the launch of  the event. Photo: Bill Smith

Norwich City of Ale is over for another year: Flashback to Lord Mayor Keith Driver at the launch of the event. Photo: Bill Smith

Bill Smith

Norwich City of Ale is over for another year - and now thoughts are turning to organising the 2015 festival.

The fourth annual event ended yesterday with publicans, brewers and visitors all describing it as a “great” festival.

This year’s 10-day celebration of local pubs, breweries and real ales, boasted more events than ever before with live music, sport, quizzes and barbecues all proving popular.

The ale trails proved very popular with many festival-goers completing the stamp sheets to show they had visited all the pubs involved across the city.

The trails were so successful that, last weekend, two pubs, the Ribs of Beef and the Plasterers ran out of lapel pin badges which had to be replenished.

Co-chairman of the festival Dawn Leeder said: “This year it felt like City of Ale really stepped up a gear with 44 pubs and 39 breweries taking part.

“Publicans reported increased footfall and brewers did very well too. There were 247 local beers this year - a record.

“Several breweries brewed City of Ale specials including City of Pale Ale by Lacons, City Hoppers from Humpty Dumpty brewery and Kitty of Ale from the Fat Cat.

“There were many more events too, up over 30pc on last year with mini-festivals in several pubs, a local brewery pop-up shop at The Jubilee, a FEM.ALE festival at the Plasterers, and tutored tastings with beer writer Roger Protz at the Earlham Arms and Fergus Fitzgerald, head brewer of Adnams, at the Compleat Angler.”

She said the City of Ale bus was popular again with its mystery tours to a dozen pubs and out to local breweries S&P, Wolf and Humpty Dumpty.

Ms Leeder added: “The brewers’ market at the Forum on the first Saturday was also a great success after a damp start.

“Social media played a major role in getting the news out to the festival’s followers and we have received warm messages of thanks.

“All in all it’s been a truly great year and we are so grateful to all our sponsors, especially Norwich BID, for their support. Once the dust has settled we shall start to plan for 2015.”

Next up for the City of Ale organisers is a visit to the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group next week where they will be presenting the good news story that is Norwich City of Ale.

Organisers will present the genesis, execution and development of the event and the impact achieved for Norwich.

Have you got a story about a festival taking place in Norwich in the next few weeks? Email


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