Plans continue as beer festival organisers put date in the diary

Norwich Beer Festival 2015.

FLASHBACK: The 2015 Norwich Beer Festival. - Credit: Archant

Plans are continuing for this year's Norwich Beer Festival, as organisers keep their fingers crossed for an October return.

The team behind the 43rd Norwich Beer Festival hope the event will take place from Monday, October 25 to Sunday, October 31, and that coronavirus restrictions allow it to go ahead.

Similar to last year, when the event was cancelled, they will make a final decision on the festival in July.

The prime minister has said he hopes to lift social distancing restrictions by June 21, giving hope to events and festivals, but said that would only be if tests over coronavirus rates, vaccinations and new variants were met.

Craig Harmer, of the Norwich and District CAMRA branch and organiser of the event, said: "It takes quite a while to organise it and we did the same last year. We started making plans with the hope that it would go ahead."

Norwich Beer Festival 2018 at St Andrew's Hall.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Norwich Beer Festival is earmarked for October 2021 at St Andrew's Hall. - Credit: Archant

He said, if it did go ahead, it would return to St Andrew's Hall, and said planning was very much in its early stages.

First will be the Norwich Pub Festival, which is geared at getting people back into pubs and will run throughout July if restrictions allow.

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It will see breweries paired up with pubs and, though details are yet to be confirmed, could consist of ale trails, and see people given a prize if they visit all the pubs in certain areas.

Mr Harmer said: "The idea of it is that all the breweries need the pubs and the pubs need people to be going in."

Pubs in the Norwich and district branch area are encouraged to check their emails and, if they haven't heard from the organisers, should contact for more information.

The branch said spaces for the event were going fast.

The beer festival is a popular event in the Norwich calendar and attracts thousands of visitors every year. When it started in 1977 there were around 20 beers on offer, a number which has grown consistently to top more than 220.

The 36th Norwich Beer Festival .PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Organisers hope the Norwich Beer Festival can return in 2021. - Credit: Archant Norfolk