Norwich’s City of Ale 2014 aiming to get more women drinking beer

All set for the City of Ale Festival, publicans and brewers preparing for a bumper 2015 celebration

All set for the City of Ale Festival, publicans and brewers preparing for a bumper 2015 celebration of ale. Photo: Steve Adams

Landlords and brewers are hoping this year's popular City of Ale event can be used to encourage more women to drink beer.

With a host of events from ladies' tasting sessions to a celebration of female brewers, the festival will take place from May 22 to June 1.

Now in its fourth year, around 50 pubs are expected to take part in 2014 and they will be supplied by 36 local breweries from Norfolk and Suffolk showcasing a variety of new beers.

Benjamin Thompson, landlord of the Plasterer's Arms in Cowgate, will be hosting Fem.Ale on the first weekend of City of Ale, which will feature beers brewed by women.

He said: 'Traditionally it was quite common for women to be brewers but now it's a very male dominated industry.'

The pub will also host a beer with breakfast tasting event with Dea Latis, a group which promotes beer as a drink for women and Belinda Jennings, a brewer at Adnams has been lined up to make a special tipple for the pub.

Mr Thompson said: 'Sometimes people don't think they like beer, but often that can be because they've only had rubbish beer in the past.

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'We want to encourage them to try good beer and give people the chance to realise that they can love it.'

This year City of Ale is also supporting the Flood Appeal run by the Evening News' sister paper the Eastern Daily Press as its main charity.

Hindringham-based Norfolk Brewhouse will be producing a specially-brewed beer and have pledged to donate 20p per pint to the fundraising efforts to help communities affected by last December's tidal surge. The beer will be a five per cent gold IPA containing 10kg of hops, it promises to be a hoppy, tasty, flavoursome experience.

A competition to name the beer has been launched and the winner will receive a demi-pin of the ale and a pair of VIP tickets to the launch party.

Rachel Holliday, who set up the brewery with her husband David two years ago, said: 'Situated not far from the north Norfolk coast and some of the communities affected by last winter's terrible storm, we are privileged to have been chosen to brew this year's fundraising ale and support such a worthy local cause in the EDP Flood Appeal.'

Dawn Leeder, co-chairman of City of Ale, said: 'Norfolk Brewhouse submitted a very impressive proposal and we're very pleased that they will be brewing this year's charity ale. We're delighted to be supporting the EDP Flood Appeal and hope to receive lots of interesting suggestions for a name for the new beer.'

Send your suggestions for a name for the City of Ale charity beer to by the closing date, Friday, April 18.

Do you have a story about a pub? Contact Kim Briscoe on 01603 772474 or email