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Don’t miss: The National Winter Beer Festival

If there was ever an excuse to go and drink beer in the afternoon, it’s the fact that it’s winter – dark, cold, miserable winter. But with spring now just around the corner, the timing of the National Winter Beer Festival – which opens to the public tomorrow – couldn’t be better. Just one last session of mood-enhancing, self-medication to say cheers to spring (and goodbye to winter) before throwing your winter coat in the loft and hopping out to buy flip flops (in theory).

Which tipple will you try?

Run by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), the Norwich-based festival hosts 300 real ales, ciders, perries (pear-based) and International beers at The Halls (essentially two venues: St Andrews Hall and Blackfriars Hall, both on St Andrews Hall Plain) until Saturday, with local breweries headlining the event (please take centre stage Woodforde’s, Lacons, Norfolk Brewery and Green Jack).

Catering will be provided by Norwich-based cafe and deli Pandora’s Kitchen – including a hog roast – while live music from local musicians and bands will entertain revellers on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening. This year will also see a number of pubs participating in a corresponding Fringe Festival, with special festival beers, music and food.

Here’s a taster of what will be going on when:

  • Beer tasting evening at The Coach & Horses, Thorpe Road (Wednesday)
  • Beer tasting evenings at The Plasterers Arms (Wednesday & Friday)
  • Grand opening of a craft beer bottle shop at The Reindeer Pub (Thursday)
  • Beer sommelier sessions (Wednesday), plus Brewery Open afternoon at The Fat Cat Brewery Tap (Thursday)
  • Ale-themed evening quizzes at The Plasterers Arms (Monday), Rumsey Wells (Tuesday) and The Beehive (Wednesday)

The Coach and Horses

The Fat Cat Brewery Tap

The National Winter Ales Festival runs from 22-25 February and is open from noon until 10.30pm daily.










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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Norfolk