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Norwich pub named best in the city in awards celebrating real ale

PUBLISHED: 12:20 23 September 2020 | UPDATED: 17:42 23 September 2020

The Fat Cat pub in Norwich. Photo by Simon Finlay.

The Fat Cat pub in Norwich. Photo by Simon Finlay.

A popular Norwich pub has been crowned the best in the city in regional awards celebrating real ale and traditional pubs.

Fat Cat pub in Norwich, owner Colin Keatley with son and company director Will. Picture: Denise BradleyFat Cat pub in Norwich, owner Colin Keatley with son and company director Will. Picture: Denise Bradley

The Fat Cat, on West End Street, scooped the City Pub of the Year award in the Norwich and District Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) branch’s 2020 awards.

A previous winner of the body’s national pub of the year award, the drinking spot has a strong reputation in Norwich for its expansive range of lagers, craft ales, ciders and more than 30 real ales.

Managing director Colin Keatley said it was positive news after a challenging few months.

After lockdown the pub reopened for takeaway pints only, bringing them back to about 60pc of usual trade. In July, when pubs were allowed to reopen, they welcomed back both familiar and new faces.

The White Lion pub on Oak Street in Norwich. Photo: Steve AdamsThe White Lion pub on Oak Street in Norwich. Photo: Steve Adams

“We have got a good loyal trade here,” he said. “We have also seen a new trade with the takeaway business, so out of the bad comes a little bit of good.

“I can’t complain at the summer we’ve had under the circumstances, thanks to the weather.”

He said Tuesday’s curfew announcement would change their Friday and Saturday hours slightly, but that they were seeking more information about how it would work.

Elsewhere in Norwich, the White Lion pub on Oak Street won Cider Pub of the Year, an accolade it has collected several times before.

In CAMRA’s decision, the pub was described as a “trail blazer”, offering the best cider and perries in the city.

They congratulated landlord Oscar Gerdes, who took over in 2019, having previously run The Garden House.

Elsewhere, the Hop In, in North Walsham, won the overall Pub of the Year award and Carleton Rode Social Club picked up the Club of the Year award, a category which is only in its second year.

Ian Stamp, chairman and pub campaigns coordinator for the branch, said: “Congratulations to the Hop In on their first Pub of the Year award, and to the Fat Cat, White Lion and Carleton Rode.

“As always, the competition was very tough, as there are so many excellent pubs in the branch area. Thank you to all the CAMRA members who scored the pubs.”


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