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So this trip Jon and Myself headed out to Norwich, mainly to attend the Valentines week beer festival at The Trafford Arms, and visit a couple of pubs we missed on our last visit which you can read about here! Saying that, we have now been twice, and still have a number of pubs we want to head to! Although that leaves a good excuse to come back again and again.
So we got off the train around lunch time, and met a good friend Matt, who currently lives in Norwich, and acted as our unofficial tour guide and helped us not get too lost. We found ourselves ravenous after the train journey, so started off through town to find somewhere cheap and cheerful. Well we decided on a Wetherspoons, called Queen of the Iceni which is a huge two floored pub, and actually one of the nicest Wetherspoons I’ve been to! Its situated on ‘the riverside’ and what looked like a high street, and ran all the way up to the river. It boasted a large open plan downstairs seating area, and then more seating on the second floor upstairs. Apart from the actual layout of the building, and how nice it was it was a standard spoons, with a standard selection of beers on, at good prices, and the usual menu of reasonably priced pub food.
We each had a chicken burger, and a Guinness, and both were delicious. The food was good, tasty, and filling, and the Guinness was cool, fresh, and refreshing. A good start to the day, and at under a fiver each how can you go wrong!
After filling our bellies, we decided to visit The Ketts Tavern, which is the second pub run by Norwich Bear Brewing. We visited the other pub, The Rose, on the last visit so thought it only right to visit this one and have a chat with Dawn of Bear Brewing.
Now unlike last time, Norwich weren’t playing so we could actually move in the pub which was nice. The Ketts is a lovely pub, a large outside seating area to the side, and a smaller decking covered area to the rear. Inside is clean and much like The Rose has the traditional pub feel around the bar area, with wooden décor and classic pub tables, but then becomes more modern with comfortable sofas and seating towards the back near the pool table and decking area. We first sat outside which was nice but then headed in for the second pint. We sat in one of the nice sofas and had a game of pool, and enjoyed the welcome feel of the pub.
They have a good selection of beers, of course a number of Bear Brewing beers. They also have a large selection of Belgian style bottles and other craft bottled beers. There is a beer list menu, and also what’s on the hand pumps displayed above the bar. The bar staff were friendly, and it was not overly busy so we got served straight away. So the beers we tried were all brewed by Norwich Bear Brewing –
Jon started with a Legend at 4.3% – This was reminiscent of a broadside, but lighter. An amber colour, with a crisp refreshing flavour and hints of zesty marmalade, a very nice beer.
I had the Paddington Bear at 4.2% – This was a dark malty beer, with a lovely roast taste. It was a great dark beer and very refreshing.
I then had a N.P.A at 4.7% – A lovely hoppy IPA, great crisp and smooth texture, with lovely hops bursting through, giving that lovely tang. Great beer!
Jon also had the Platinum Blonde at 5% – This was a lovely blonde beer, very refreshing with a slight bitterness from the hops. Pale tasting and very tasty.
The next pub we visited was just around the corner, The Jubilee, another nice traditional looking pub. They had tweeted us previously to see if we could pop in so we made sure we did. There was a small crowd as the football was on, so we had a great seat in front of the big screen to watch Soccer Saturday. Again there was a good selection of beers on, and a number of hand pumps. We were served quickly, by the very friendly and lovely Katie! Who was also the person who tweeted us earlier. She knew the beers and also where they all came from, most of them being local!
Also worth mention, as we were enjoying our drinks, her shift ended so she came over for a chat, and showed us a map produced by Woodfordes, showing a London tube style map of pubs in Norwich! It was nice to have a friendly chat with a member of staff and can see how it could be a very nice local! The beers we had here were –
I had a Sharp’s Doombar at 4% – A classic Cornish bitter, one of my favourites. didn’t disappoint here, was cool, fresh, and delicious. A lovely session bitter.
We then headed off to the main event which was the beer festival at the Trafford Arms. We had been invited down to this by the landlord Chris after the last event when we visited, and had it planned on our calendar for some time! It was busy as expected, but nothing compared to last time when Norwich played at home, so we actually got a chance to explore the pub a bit more, and more importantly we got a seat indoors!
Now as we mentioned on our previous visit, its another traditional pub with a large long bar, and a number of ales on tap inside. The seating runs along and around the outside of the pub, and as you walk through you realise it just keeps going! The beer tent for the festival was then through the back door in the carpark. However you wouldn’t even realise you had left the pub when you stepped out, it was lovely and warm with tables and seating area, and a rack of kegs with a great selection of ales! We had a chat with Chris the landlord, and had a look at what ales were on offer. Also worth a mention, are the cheesy chips we ordered. They were a good price, and we each had a bowl full of chunky cheesy chips, which were delicious!
So the beers we made our way through were –
I had a Frog Island Old Chestnut at 4.4% – This was a lovely dark nutty beer. A slight malty sweetness comes through, and a slight bitter taste from the hops.
Jon and I both then had a Tally Ho from Adnam’s at 7% – One of our favourites to see at a beer fest, a lovely rich malty beer. You can taste the strength and a lovely dark beer with coffee and toffee notes coming through.
So our day out was a great success! As I said we will definitely be heading back to Norwich again, and hopefully soon as there are many more pubs we would like to visit, and many we want to re-visit!
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See you on the flip side,