The Oldest, The Smallest And The One With All The Awards

By Dawn Hopkins

As we now have a wonderful City of Ale Newsletter, with all the latest goings on (don’t forget to subscribe to it via the website) I thought I would use this blog to introduce those not in the know to some the of wonderful pubs in Norwich and also to our local breweries.

So I’m going to start with Norwich’s oldest and smallest pubs (it’s always good to start with some ‘ests’ I feel) and Norfolk’s most established and award-winning brewery.

The Adam and Eve

Fancy drinking in a pub that has served ale since Saxon times?  A pub that slaked the thirst of the stonemasons working on our magnificent cathedral back in 1249? A pub that has history oozing from from the floorboards (where its original owners – monks – are buried), and even has a ghost or two? Oh and a pub that is run by an amazing landlady in a beautiful setting by the river?  Well if so do we have the pub for you – The Adam and Eve.

The Adam And Eve

The Adam And Eve

A legendary pub, run by a legendary lady – Rita McClusky – this alehouse is over spilling with warmth and character and I can testify to well-kept beer and lovely food too.  And still within the city centre and just around the corner from the Cathedral.  I must just say – this pub is a must.

The Adam and Eve, Bishopgate, Norwich NR1 4EG Tel: 01603 667423

The Vine

This maybe the city’s smallest pub – it really is tiny – but it’s big on ale and huge on Thai food!  The cuisine is not surprising given that this pub is run by Aey Allen, (also tiny) originally from Thailand.  This one room pub also has a restaurant upstairs and since Aey took over in 2008 it has won many accolades for both beer and food (it is in the 2013 Good Beer Guide and also the Good Food Guide).

Inside The Vine

Inside The Vine

 Of course being a (very) small pub there really is a friendly and intimate atmosphere, and never more so then when Aey runs one of her many beer festivals – I am still astounded by the amount of beers Aey manages to have on offer in such a small space!

Another great pub run by another great landlady, The Vine is in the city centre in an area full of boutique shops, cafes and restaurants known as The Norwich Lanes. Absolutely no excuse not to visit!

The Vine, 7 Dove St, Norwich NR2 1DE Tel: 01603 627362


And no excuse not to have heard of this brewery!  ‘Norfolk Nog’ – Champion Beer of Britain 1992/93, and Champion Beer of Britain Silver 1999; ‘Mardler’s Mild’ – Champion Mild Ale of Britain 1993/94; ‘Headcracker’ – Champion Draught Barley Wine of Britain 1993/94; ‘Wherry’ – Champion Beer of Britain 1996/97 and Supreme Champion Bronze 2005; ‘Nelson’s Revenge’ – Brewing Industry International Awards Cask-conditioned Best Bitter Silver 2005 and Champion Best Bitter of Britain (Bronze) 2004– do I need to go on? Well I will!

Woodfordes have done Norfolk proud for many years, in fact since 1981 when it first produced Wherry, and Woodfordes beers are seen in pubs all over the city. The brewery itself is in a lovely setting in the village of Woodbastwick, about a 20 minute drive from the city into the beautiful Broadland area of Norfolk, with The Fur and Feathers pub onsite to keep you well fed and watered/beered.

The Fur And Feathers in Woodbastwick

The Fur And Feathers in Woodbastwick

Woodfordes first put Norfolk on the map for great ale and long may they continue to brew their multi award-winning beers.

Woodforde’s,, Broadland Brewery, Woodbastwick, Norwich, Norfolk, NR13 6SW  Tel: 01603 722218

Well that’s your first instalment – plenty more where they came from!


Fine Ale In The Fine City

By Dawn Hopkins

I know, it’s been a while, I haven’t forgotten you and I definitely haven’t forgotten Norwich City of Ale! And just in case you forget – Norwich City of Ale Festival 2013 will be held from Thursday 23rd May to Sunday 2nd June – a whole 11 days dedicated to the finest ales and alehouses our fine city has to offer. And as you can see from the new logo, we are ‘going green in 2013’, and emphasising ‘the local’ – local pubs, local breweries and local ingredients.

But let’s get back to last year’s festival, and just how brilliant it was: 35 breweries, 45 pubs, 240 beers and 192 events! We had a vintage bus, a Political Debate, heritage walks and talks, a Brewer’s Market, quizzes, music, barbeques, beer tastings, ale trails, blooming ale trails and the odd (!) Morris Dancer, as well as all the fabulous ales and pubs.

But don’t take it from me, look at what these beer and pub experts (what a job!) had to say:

Norwich is a city of superlatives’ Jeff Evans, Inside Beer

Thanks, City of Ale, for the chance to be so inspired’ Susannah Forbes, Drink Britain

Norwich takes the Real Ale Capital title’ Darren Norbury, Beer Today

So now comes the task of organising this year’s event and even though there was snow on the ground and freezing temperatures it didn’t stop us from meeting this week at The Murderers to start the fine tuning – you can rely on us!  No major changes are planned, the format so far has been very successful, but we are excited to see even more pubs may be participating this year and that there at least 3 new local breweries on the block!

Our fine, snowy city!

Over the coming months we will finalise the pubs and breweries involved and the beers that will be available, but for now – don’t worry – we’re definitely working on it!

Don’t forget – Norwich City Of Ale Festival May 23rd – June 2nd – put it in your diary now (or on your electronic digital thingamabob if you prefer)