City of Ale event has put Norwich firmly on the real ale lovers’ map

2013 City of Ale launch at St Gregory's

2013 City of Ale launch at St Gregory's - Credit: Archant

Real ale pubs within Norwich selling local cask ale are being urged to sign up for the fourth City of Ale festival – with this year's event set to concentrate more on beers from our region.

The three previous City of Ale events celebrating city pubs, breweries and beers have firmly established Norwich as the real ale capital of the UK, with the festival now on the city's calendar.

Next year's event, which will run from Thursday, May 22 to Sunday, June 1, once again taking in the May bank holiday weekend, is set to be the biggest and best yet, according to organisers.

Dawn Leeder, co-chairman of Norwich City of Ale, said: 'City of Ale 2013 was a great success, with a generous grant from the Norwich Business Improvement District which allowed wide-reaching advertising of the event.

'This really paid off; market research showed that footfall rose for the majority of publicans, typically by between 10-25%, with most seeing new faces and more visitors from outside the region.

'The majority of both publicans and brewers saw a notable increase in revenue and expect the festival to benefit their business in the future.

'Interest in the 2014 festival is very high, with most agreeing that it should focus exclusively on local beers.'

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Research also revealed that, while most people at the event were from Norfolk, more than one in 10 came from outside the county, with most stating they were visiting a particular pub specifically for the event.

Visitors to the festival came from as far away as Belfast, Blackburn, Dorchester, Gloucester, Manchester and Preston.

And a quarter of those questioned at a pub in the city said they were there specifically for the event. A similar number said they found out about the event through the Evening News or our sister paper, the Eastern Daily Press.

Festival co-chairman Phil Cutter, who runs the Murderers pub in Timberhill, Norwich, said next year's event would be bigger and better.

He added: 'The feedback from this year's event is that publicans saw a significant increase in footfall and the number of real ales consumed across the 10 days.'

The festival fits in with the Evening News' Love your Local campaign, which aims to get people back into pubs and supporting local breweries.

Pubs can sign up for City of Ale 2014 at

To see more stories from the LYL campaign, visit