Savour the aroma of best local brews

DRINKERS with a thirst for quality will find plenty to savour at this year's Great Yarmouth Beer and Cider Festival.A host of Norfolk and north Suffolk's best independent breweries are lined up for the festival throughout the May 23 to 26 bank holiday weekend The eagerly anticipated event is being held at the majestic Noble Hall in the town's medieval Priory Centre.

Second Hand Blues pic

TOES will be tapping to some great tunes at this month's Great Yarmouth Beer and Cider Festival.

Drink a toast to the top bands lined up for the festival throughout the May 23 to 26 bank holiday weekend.

Folk rockers, the Lorebreakers, raise the curtain on Friday night for what is set to be four days of musical merriment at the historic Priory Centre.

Catchy combo Pete Kiwi Keegan and his Skiffle Band are making Saturday evening swing along.

Pete formed his first band way back in the 1950s and has helped to convert a whole new generation of fans to skiffle music since picking up his guitar again.

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The Rockin' Johnnies are rolling back the years during the Sunday evening session from 7 to 10pm.

Duo John Dunn (bass and vocals) and John Langham (guitar and vocals) have been in countless local bands since first playing together in 1968 and teamed up to form The Rockin' Johnnies seven years ago.

The band will be rampaging through a repertoire of late 50s and early 60s rock and roll, blues, soul, country, pop, folk-rock and rhythm and blues with occasional ventures into the bizarre - all delivered with panache and idiosyncratic style.

Catch the straight up, no-nonsense Second Hand Blues on stage during the Bank Holiday Monday session.

Band members Jon (vocals and guitar) Darby (bass) and drummer and vocalist Justin have been performing for over a decade receiving rave reviews on the gigging circuit.

The band's first album, Playing Live, sold out within a month of recording and had to be re-pressed three times.

Expect a set tearing up songs from some of the biggest names in blues ahead of an album of original material later this year.

The festival, organised by Yarmouth's very own Blackfriars Brewery, attracted around 1,000 real ale enthusiasts when it was held for the first time last year.

Once again it is providing a showcase for the best locally produced beers and ales and for the first time a range of ciders, perries and apple juice.

A dedicated team of volunteers is needed to pour the pints at the festival throughout the Whitsun bank holiday weekend.

In return, there is a free T-shirt, free meal during each shift, a chance to taste some of the beers and free admission to another session.

Anyone interested helping out at the festival should call Jonathan Newman on 01493 745828 or e-mail

Tickets are available on the door for all sessions ands cost £3 for lunchtime and £4 for evening sessions.

The Mercury has 10 pairs of tickets to give away to lucky readers for the Bank Holiday session at the Great Yarmouth Beer and Cider Festival.

More than 60 tipples from the best of Norfolk and north Suffolk's independent breweries will be on tap at the event, expected to attract real ale enthusiasts from far and wide.

To be in with a chance of winning simply answer the following question- Where is this year's Great Yarmouth Beer and Cider Festival being held?

It is so easy to enter the competition: simply answer the question on the entry form and send it to Beer Festival Competition, The Mercury, 169 King Street, Great Yarmouth NR30 2PA to arrive no later than next Friday, May 23.

The first correct entries out of the hat will be the winners and normal Archant competition rules apply.