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Shazam! My spellbinding beer

PUBLISHED: 17:06 01 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:18 30 June 2010

At the hop: Beer festival contest hopeful Laura Goodman get some tips from Bill Russell.

At the hop: Beer festival contest hopeful Laura Goodman get some tips from Bill Russell.

REAL ale enthusiast Laura Goodman is hoping to conjure up something special at this year's Great Yarmouth Beer and Cider Festival.

Yarmouth's mayoral and civic events officer is among those planning to produce a top tipple for the beer- making competition at the festival, being held over the Whitsun bank holiday weekend.

REAL ale enthusiast Laura Goodman is hoping to conjure up something special at this year's Great Yarmouth Beer and Cider Festival.

Yarmouth's mayoral and civic events officer is among those planning to produce a top tipple for the beer- making competition at the festival, being held over the Whitsun bank holiday weekend.

And Laura is hoping that magician husband Sean has a few tricks up his sleeve when it comes to producing the perfect pint.

The beer-loving couple even drank ale at their wedding instead of champagne.

“I have no idea what we are going to call the beer, but it's definitely going to be a bit fruity,” she said.

“It will be the first time I have ever tried home brewing, but I have a lot of experience drinking beers so should know a good pint when I see one.”

Laura was at Yarmouth's award- winning Blackfriars Brewery this week to receive a bevy of beer-making tips from owner Bill Russell.

And rivalry is already brewing at the town hall, with mayor Tony Smith and borough council chief executive Richard Packham also taking part in the contest.

The cost of entering the competition is £5, or £10 with a brewing kit that can be bought at Blackfriars Brewery, in Main Cross Road.

The winner will receive £100 of beers from Blackfriars Brewery, a trophy given by former Lacons head brewer Michael Falcon and a Ritchies home brewing kit.

Anyone interested in brewing cider for the competition can call Mr Russell on 01493 850578.

Mr Falcon will be among the judging panel along with Mr Russell, who says: “A good beer is a bit like a happy relationship: it needs patience, love and affection. Beers can have everything from chilli to chocolate in them, so there is plenty of room for experimentation with flavours.”

The Mercury is proud again to be the media sponsor of the festival, which runs from Thursday, May 27 to Sunday, May 30.

More than 120 beers and ciders will be available from Norfolk and north Suffolk independent brewers. Evening sessions will be accompanied by musical entertainment, and there will be snacks available from the Priory Café throughout the festival.

Last year, attendances rose by 22pc, and organisers are optimistic there will be another record turnout in 2010.

Advance tickets for the festival will be available through the Mercury, so look out for coupons in forthcoming issues of the paper.


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