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Taste of middle ages at festival

PUBLISHED: 17:39 31 January 2008 | UPDATED: 10:21 03 July 2010

A taste of the middle ages will be adding to the strong historical flavour at this year's Great Yarmouth Beer Festival.

Award-winning Blackfriars Brewery is producing medieval-inspired ale for the town's King John Charter celebrations.

A taste of the middle ages will be adding to the strong historical flavour at this year's Great Yarmouth Beer Festival.

Award-winning Blackfriars Brewery is producing medieval-inspired ale for the town's King John Charter celebrations.

And the light-coloured coriander and orange flavoured beer is sure to be a popular tipple with drinkers at the Beer Festival from May 23 to 26.

Work began producing 600 litres of charter ale under the watchful eye of head brewer Maurice Leybourn last week. It is set to be the perfect accompaniment to the series of lavish events marking the 800th anniversary of the charter that made Yarmouth a free borough.

The first bottles will be served to diners at the Guildhall Feast at St Nicholas Church on May 17.

“The ale is loosely based on a medieval recipe, but because hops were not used then, beer would have gone off very quickly,” said Mr Leybourn.

“It seems that anything would get thrown into the brew in those days, but beer was drunk a lot because it was safer than water.”

Now in its second year, the festival is expected to once again provide a big draw for real ale fans from far and wide.

The event is a showcase for small independent breweries from Norfolk and north Suffolk with a range of local ciders also available this year.

A line up of musicians and comedians will also be adding to the merriment at the festival held at the town's medieval Priory Centre, one of Britain's few surviving Benedictine monasteries.

Founded in 2005, Yarmouth-based Blackfriars has since gone from strength to strength since reviving the noble tradition of brewing in the town.

Blackfriars owner Bill Russell said: “We are looking to build on the great success of last year's festival. Once again we will be celebrating the range of good quality beers currently produced by small local breweries.

"We have been inundated by queries about the festival, when will it be and where can tickets be bought so we are all looking forward to a bumper event.”

The Mercury will be publishing details about how to buy tickets, festival times etc and a beer festival website is due to be launched later this month with information about the more than 60 ales which will be available.

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