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.
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
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).
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 www.vinethai.co.uk
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.
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 www.woodfordes.co.uk
Well that’s your first instalment – plenty more where they came from!