Sheffield Beer Week – A Tale of two Cities

Two of the UK’s most famous beer cities are joining forces to share best practice and great beers to further enhance their respective city-wide festivals. Sheffield Beer Week takes place in the second week in March with more than 40 beer-focused pubs, bars and beer shops featured throughout Sheffield. Norwich City of Ale is a ten-day celebration at the end of May/beginning of June with 45 pubs and 40 local breweries taking part last year. Both festivals are distributed throughout each city: Norwich, the smaller and more compact city, has its pubs connected by walkable ale-trails devised by the local CAMRA branch whilst Sheffield has an excellent tram and bus network to speedily propel visitors round the venues. Dawn Leeder and Phil Cutter, Co-Chairs of Norwich City of Ale will be visiting Jules Gray, Chief Instigator of Sheffield Beer Week on Wednesday 8th February. Jules, who runs Sheffield’s Hop Hideout, was invited to Norwich for last year’s festival where all agreed to work closer together in future and this reciprocal visit intends to put that plan into action. Phil is the landlord at the Murderer’s Arms in central Norwich and will be sourcing Sheffield beers for the National Winter Ales Festival being held in Norwich for the first time at the end of February. He is tracking down Sheffield ales made with Norfolk malt to further highlight the beery connections between the two cities. A series of joint seminars and tutored tastings are also in the planning stages. Last year Norwich City of Ale held a number of widely acclaimed tasting sessions pairing some notable beer writers such as Roger Protz and Adrian Tierney Jones with local brewers. These sessions are both informative and entertaining and the organisers will be creating and sharing seminar templates so that the same events can be successfully delivered in various venues and at different times. The overall aim is to reinforce the two cities’ reputations as must-visit beer attractions. There will be a photo opportunity at 2pm on Wednesday 8 February at the Sheffield Tap where the organisers will be able to answer any questions about this exciting new synergistic alliance.

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