Al Murray blow for Norwich’s first city ale festival

Organisers of a major new beer festival who were hoping Al Murray might be able to give the event a boost have been told the pub landlord is too busy.

Those responsible for Norwich's very first City of Ale Festival, which takes place between May 26 until June 5, had wanted the larger-than-life character to help promote the festival when he visited Norwich for a show at the Theatre Royal on April 17.

But Phil Cutter, a member of the City of Ale Festival's steering group, who emailed his management earlier this year, said: 'Al Murray's management got back and said he hopes it goes well but he's on tour and so is a bit busy. But I still hope that he might pop in.'

The festival is being launched by Good Beer Guide editor Roger Protz at St Gregory's Church, St Gregory's Alley, off Pottergate, Norwich on Thursday, May 26.

It is hoped the festival, which already has the support of more than 40 pubs and breweries, will make Norwich a world-renowned centre for real ale.

As part of the festival, which has its own logo and website, Colman's Mustard Shop will be holding an exhibition of the city's brewing past throughout the duration of the event.

Dawn Leeder, co-chairman of the steering group, issued a call for owners of old film footage or pictures of pubs to get in contact to provide items for a separate exhibition at Fusion in the Forum during the event.

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Anyone with any items of historic pub memorabilia that they can loan Norwich HEART for the Mustard Shop exhibition, should call 01603 305575 or alternatively log on to

Anyone with footage or pictures for the exhibition at the Forum should email

The next City of Ale meeting will take place on Thursday, March 10 at the Murderers pub, Timberhill, Norwich at 10am.

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