Beccles – 2023 Beer Festival


Emma, from the formidable Boudicca Brewery, kindly invited Alex, Julian, Gareth and myself to the trade session of Beccles Beer Festival where she had donated a barrel of beer. We were confronted by quite large crowds at Norwich bus station which transpired to be because the bus before hadn’t turned up, which was acceptable since it was caught up in a bomb incident outside Lowestoft Aldi. Sub-optimal for all concerned.


The bus appeared and Emma and I managed to get seats. Unfortunately for Alex, the bus soared past him at his bus stop as it was so busy, but Emma made sure he knew we were on it by jumping up and down whilst waving out of the bus window. I didn’t say anything.


Safely in Beccles, we thought we’d get some food. I got a battered sausage and chips from Beccles Fish Bar and I have to say, this was really rather lovely for just over £4. The sausage was a proper butcher’s one rather than some plastic arrangement which is all too common in chips shops, whilst the portion of chips was generous and I only just finished them. I was also impressed at the way they were wrapped, but I’m easily pleased. The service was friendly and I was pleased to be able to explain that they were surprisingly busy with unwrapped orders because the beer festival was taking place a couple of doors down.


The beer glasses which took me back to being on glasses and tokens at Norwich Beer Festival a couple of weeks ago.


The glass was £3 and I later decided to keep it, even though I’ve evidently got enough glasses. And paying £3 in total didn’t seem bad value to me. There’s a free programme that comes with it, although I accidentally left that behind which I didn’t mean to.


Hmmm, a blurry photo of the bar area. Anyway, the set-up was that the beers were all free as they were donated by the brewers. The event is independently organised and takes place at Beccles Public Hall and Theatre. It got quite busy later on and everything felt well organised.


The green ones were free, whilst the yellow ones were only being put on for the main part of the festival this weekend.


Gareth turned up with sweets, he’s very reliable at that. Julian also drove due to some earlier car purchase issues, which had the advantage of meaning we could get a lift back and stay at the festival a little longer.


Cheers! As for the beers I tried, they’re listed on my Untappd account for anyone interested. Form an orderly queue and all that. The best beer was of course Emma’s Golden Torc, but I was also quite impressed at the Beccles Best, a very sessionable beer with a pleasant toffee finish.


Julian decided he’d treat himself to a sausage roll, freshly microwaved.


And back in Norwich, I was frogmarched into the King’s Head by Emma and Julian, just in time to wish Oli a happy birthday and watch Oscar acquire himself a bottle of wine. Emma and I quickly played two games of bar billiards, with the final score being 1-1, so that seemed fair. As I wrote about the other day, my own bar billiards league career is over for the year. Then there was much gossip and crisps to take me into the early hours of the morning.

All told, a lovely evening at the beer festival and many thanks to Emma for the invite! That’s three things she’s taken me to this year, Cambridge Beer Festival, Peterborough Beer Festival and Beccles Festival and I’ve loved them all.