Norwich heritage group backs City of Ale Festival

The organisers of a major new festival in Norwich have received backing of a high profile organisation which promotes the city across the country and beyond.

Nearly 50 pubs and brewers have already signed up to take part in Norwich's first City of Ale festival, which aims to make the city a world-renowned centre for real ale. And now Norwich Heart (Heritage Economic and Regeneration Trust), which highlights what the city has to offer to a wide audience, is backing the festival.

Dawn Leeder, co-chairman of the festival's steering group, said: 'We cannot get a main sponsor for the event, as we have tried and failed and no one has any money, but there are plenty of people out there willing to give us product for the festival, and it's also great that Heart is backing us.'

Norwich Heart's Chief Executive Michael Loveday said the festival tied in with two of its core priorities. He said: 'Firstly, we believe that the industrial heritage of Norfolk and Norwich is something which deserves a much higher profile and the city's brewing history, with at one time more than two dozen breweries and nearly a couple of pubs for every day of the year, forms a key component of this.

'Secondly, Heart is passionate about unique offerings specific to Norfolk and Norwich and its breweries and pubs can today make a very significant contribution to the distinctive local offer here.

'We wish the initiative well and will lend our weight to supporting it.'

Heart has also raised the possibility of hosting exhibitions on pubs and brewers at the Mustard Shop in the Royal Arcade, which it runs, and also at the Fusion gallery at the Forum.

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As reported, the editor of the current Good Beer Guide, Roger Protz has agreed to officially launch the Norwich City of Ale at St Gregory's Church, St Gregory's Alley, off Pottergate, Norwich on Thursday, May 26.

The festival, which will complement Norwich's beer festival in October, will run from Thursday, May 26 until Sunday, June 5.

A website,, has been set up to promote the event.

Landlords or brewers who want to find out more should call 07949 588207, email or call 01603 621447.

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