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National Winter Ales Festival 22nd-25th February

Local brewers Woodforde, Norfolk Brewhouse, Lacons and Green Jack will run headline brewery bars at one of the UK’s largest beer festivals, the National Winter Ale Festival in Norwich.

The festival, which is run by CAMRA and is home to more than 300 real ales, ciders, perries and international beers, will be taking place next month in the historic city of Norwich at the iconic venue “The Halls” from the 22nd– 25th February. The Champion Winter Beer of Britain will be announced at the start of the event on the 21st February.  Trade day will take place on the 21st February from 3pm onwards, directly following the announcement of the Champion Winter Beer of Britain. If you would like to attend the trade day, please contact the CAMRA organisers.

Each of the local breweries was chosen to headline at the festival because of their dedication to producing quality, award-winning cask conditioned real ales.

  • Woodforde’s has been brewing in Norfolk for over 35 years, and pioneered the new wave of artisan brewers in the 1980s. Their range is underpinned by the flagship Wherry bitter, which is still recognised as one of the UK’s greatest ales.
  • Norfolk Brewhouse, like many other brewers, uses the world’s premium malting barley – Maris Otter – which is exported to over 20 countries around the world. The beers on offer at thier Maris Otter Bar will include collaboration brews with growers and maltsters, as well as an imported ale to demonstrate the global appeal of the malt.
  • Lacons brewery dates back to 1760 and has recently returned after a 45 year break from brewing to much critical acclaim. Festival-goers can expect a varied range of beautiful ales including Norfolk CAMRA champions Encore and Affinity, and some excellent winter brews.
  • Green Jack is a multi-awarding winning traditional real ale brewery based in Lowestoft in Suffolk. They have won over 100 awards at independent CAMRA and SIBA beer festivals. Green Jack beers are known for their subtle balance of sugars, malt and hops and are produced with a unique and contemporary take on traditional English beer styles.

The festival will also feature local catering from Pandora’s Kitchen and a selection of live music from talented musicians and bands on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings and a special musical attraction on Saturday afternoon. In addition, a selection of local pubs will be extending the Festival to the city centre of Norwich with the “Fringe”, hosting a wider selection of festival beers and events from the 18th to 25th February. Festival-goers will be able to track the beers available by using an online beer list and can find the pubs in a Fringe Guide.

Rob Whitmore, National Winter Ale Festival organiser says: “We feel is a huge honour to be chosen to run a headline bar at a National CAMRA beer festival, and we have some great breweries here for that. This is the first year that the National Winter Ale Festival is taking place in Norwich, and we are really pleased to be able to use the event to promote the fantastic local breweries in East Anglia as well as the rest of the UK and give people an opportunity to meet with brewers directly. We hope the Festival with the exciting addition of The Fringe and its associated events will help to boost tourism for the city of Norwich and encourage more people to make a weekend or even a weeklong trip to Norwich.”