Vikings armed with beer to take over Norwich following two-day voyage
PUBLISHED: 09:12 07 June 2018 | UPDATED: 09:12 07 June 2018
Angela Sharpe Photography 2018
It was a monumental and no doubt perilous journey which defined history.
But now the two-day voyage between Rouen and Norwich, which first brought the stone from which two of the city’s best-loved structures are constructed, will be recreated - but this time for beer.
Staff from the Norfolk Brewhouse are dusting off their best Viking outfits and setting sail in a recreation of the trip.
The strong link between the city in northern France and Norwich is being celebrated during the City of Ale festival next year.
The Vikings will make the two-day journey from Rouen to Norwich in a historic reenactment of the famous journey of the Normandy stone.
Instead of carrying the stone, which was used to build Norwich’s Normandy Cathedral and Castle, it will be a precious cargo of beer hitting our shores.
The specially-brewed beer from Normandy brewer Northmaen will be transported by the ‘Vikings’ on May 23, 2019.
“We want to replicate the journey as much as we can, apart from under the bridge,” said David Holliday, 52, from Norfolk Brewhouse.
The friendship beer will be made at the French brewery near Rouen and transported from the barges at Normandy, down the River Wensum and in to Pulls Ferry.
The creation of the specialty beer has merged the minds of the two breweries and used a combination of French and Norfolk barley as well as French hops. The beer has been distributed to more than 30 pubs in Norwich which have poured more than 3,000 pints.
“The sight of a Vikings arriving in the heart of Norwich laden with beer will raise a few eyebrows,” Mr Holliday said.
The boat Amitie - which is French for friendship - will carry the Vikings and beer across in a exciting adventure, but Mr Holliday hopes it will also draw attention to the twinning of the two cities and celebrate the history of the Norman invasion to a younger audience.
“It is also a serious reminder that there is a close relationship and strong links of the two cities, hopefully we can get 20 to 30 year olds involved and reignite the twinning,” Mr Holliday added.
An invitation has been extended for locals to join in on the voyage whether they intend to get a boat involved or make suggestions for the monumental Viking event.