Pubs boost for Norwich’s second City of Ale festival

More than 20 pubs have so far signed up for Norwich's second City of Ale Festival which aims to celebrate all that is good about pubs and brewing in the area.

The first festival, held last year, involved 31 pubs and 35 breweries and proved an enormous success in terms of raising the profile of pubs and real ale in Norwich.

But organisers hope this year's event, to be held from May 31 to June 10, will be bigger and better and are delighted to have had 21 pubs sign up so far.

Dawn Leeder, co-chairman of Norwich City of Ale, said: 'It's very, very encouraging. It looks like pretty much all the pubs that took part last time will be taking part again and we've got three new ones and still more lined up.'

It is hoped as many as 50 pubs might take part in the event, which fits in with the Evening News's Love Your Local campaign, but Ms Leeder said she would be pleased to have 40 or so participating.

She said: 'I would settle for 40, but we will certainly have more than we did last year, which will be a good thing. It's been a very busy time for landlords at this time of year but we've had quite a flurry of forms coming back over the past two or three days.'

This year's festival is set to include a number of events at St Gregory's Church in Pottergate which is to be an information hub during the event.

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A Barrel of Laughs stand-up comedy night sponsored by Attleborough-based Wolf Brewery, a pub quiz sponsored by Norwich-based Bear brewery and political debate will be among the events visitors will be able to attend.

There is also set to be an auction with Keys providing an auctioneer to conduct the fundraising event during the festival.

At the end of this month a delegation of beer writers will be descending on Norwich as part of a preview weekend to promote the festival, the city and its pubs.

It will see the likes of Mark Dredge, Pete Brown, Jeff Evans, Tim Hampson, and Melissa Cole attending.

The next City of Ale meeting takes place at The White Lion pub, Oak Street, tomorrow at 10am.

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