Historic trade voyage to return as French beers sail into city
PUBLISHED: 16:45 12 March 2019 | UPDATED: 16:45 12 March 2019
Angela Sharpe Photography 2018
More than nine centuries ago trade boats sailed up the Wensum with a cargo of precious white Caen stone.
Their haul has stayed in the city ever since, chiselled to form the walls of the city’s castle and cathedral.
This year the vovage will be made once more as Rouen-based craft brewers Northmaen are set to sail into Norwich with a boat-load of beer.
It will mark the launch of this year’s City of Ale festival and the 60th anniversary of the twinning of the two cities.
The sailing boat will moor up to deliver at the Waterfront, which itself was originally a Truman’s brewery bottling factory and maltings before being transformed into a music venue in the 1990s.
David Holliday, of Norfolk Brewhouse, who is helping to coordinate the journey said: “We are thrilled that the brewers at Northmaen have embraced this project and that through the shared love of beer we can cement the strong links between Norwich and Rouen, and indeed the county of Norfolk and Normandy.”
The City of Ale launch party will be on May 23 at 5.30pm where beer lovers can sample dozens of ales from local breweries served by members of the local CAMRA branch.
Northmaen Brewery, in partnership with Moon Gazer Ales, will be manning a French craft beer bar with nine French craft beers in keg and bottle, and also serving three one-off cask ales created in collaboration and only available on the night.
“This is the first time we’ve held our launch party at the Waterfront” said Dawn Leeder, City of Ale co-chair.
“It is such a fitting venue with its fabulous river frontage and its location on King Street which is steeped in pub and brewing history.”
Golden Star Morris will be dancing along with live bands and street food.
Tickets are on sale at £10 to include three free pints through the UEA box office: tinyurl.com/CoA-Launch-2019
Norwich City of Ale is a city-wide celebration of pubs, breweries and beer running from 23 May – 2 June 2019. For more information see: cityofale.org.uk