In the USA, beer weeks are a big thing. From San Francisco, to Seattle, to Philadelphia; almost every major city, and even smaller towns, have a beer week.
The idea is that bars and breweries come together to host events that promote the beer of that city, or rather the state within it. It’s a really cool idea, and something that was missing from the UK.
Until 2011, that is, when Dawn Leeder and Phil Cutter launched the first City of Ale, a celebration of the fine ales and pubs of Norwich and its surrounding areas.
City of Ale 2014 will be the fourth, and it runs from 22nd May until 1st June.
It’s not like a conventional beer festival whereby it’s in one building; City of Ale is spread out across 44 pubs in Norwich which is absolutely staggering. Throughout the week that it’s on, you will find many different events such as beer tastings, food & beer pairings, meet the brewers, quizzes and we’re even hosting a special edition of Norwich Bottle Share featuring local beers.
In addition to all of this, The Plasterer’s are hosting the first ever FEM.ALE festival which is all about celebrating the misrepresented women in the beer industry! Between 23-25th May, their pumps will be dedicated to beers brewed by women, featuring a beer brewed by Belinda at Adnams specifically for the event, using brand new Mandarina Hops, as well as other events!
I’ve attended many events during City of Ale, over the last 3 years and it's always very good fun! What I really love is taking friends from outside of Norwich around my favourite pubs in my wonderfully beery city, which is exactly what I’m doing again this year on Saturday 31st May!
Norwich is an awesome city, filled with wonderful pubs, architecture and beers and I'd highly recommend coming here, especially for City of Ale!