Norwich – City of Ale Launch Party


This is the first time that I’ve been able to go to the City of Ale launch party and I was able to get a ticket to the trade session which was most exciting. It took place this year at the Waterfront and there was an excellent turnout from pubs, brewers and also from the general public in the later session.


The indoors bar with beer from thirty local breweries and to quote the organisers, “they are all based on our region, almost all using barley grown and malted locally, so helping carbon footprint to a minimum”. So, environmental, local and delicious. It would be wrong of me to name any particular brewery, but obviously I have to mention the marvellous Boudicca brewing.


The launch party is to promote the City of Ale trails, which I’ve roped various friends into completing this year. I’m going to have a good go at trying to do all of them, such is my continued desire to support the hospitality industry. Again, I don’t want to name all my favourite pubs, but I have to make a quick reference to the wonderful White Lion and its landlord Oscar.


I was surprised and delighted to see some keg beers from Toby’s Beers who were operating the outside bar.


Julian and Emma, from Boudicca, were also at the event and one of the first things that Julian suggested was getting a pizza from Luca. I agreed that this seemed a marvellous idea, it’s about having a balanced diet.


Clive Lewis, the MP for Norwich South, was there to give a little speech at the start of the event.


And here’s Oli shouting at him.


I very much enjoyed my six different half pints from various local brewers. I went for the Wild Steamer from Wildcraft, Hana Solo from Mr Winter’s (very agreeable), Okapi from Grain Brewery, Cold Snap from Ampersand, Another Day Done from Duration Brewing and the Golden Panther from Panther Brewery.


And a delight to meet Roger Protz, the great beer writer who has kindly shared a Twitter post of mine in the past and is one of my most favourite Twitter followers 🙂

This marvellous event only takes place due to volunteers and it’s responsible for thousands of extra visits to pubs in the city. The theme this year is the Strangers, the immigrants from Flanders who came to the region to avoid persecution, something also touched upon by Clive Lewis in his comments. Thanks to an idea from Roger Protz, there’s a new partnership with Belgian brewers and these collaboration beers will be available in a number of pubs during the festival, which takes place between 25 May and 25 June 2023.