10 real ale pubs in Norwich you need to visit
- Credit: Archant
From traditional pubs to CAMRA-recommended freehouses, when it comes to real ale and craft beer, we’re spoiled for choice in the city of ale. We pick 10 places to go for a pint in Norwich
Tucked behind Magdalen Street, The Plasterers on Cowgate boasts 15 cask taps for real ale and cider and eight keg lines for craft lager and ale. The line-up changes regularly, with ales from local breweries such as Golden Triangle and Moongazer, plus the latest from Brewdog, Magic Rock, Beavertown and Siren – and that’s before you get to the bottles of world beer. The friendly local has all the ingredients for a cracking pub – a billiards table, board games, live music, sport and Voodoo Daddy’s pizza. Try the ‘Return of the Mac’, a pulled pork and macaroni-fuelled pizza that will change the way you think about takeaway food.
If you’re on the Norwich real ale trail, the King’s Head on Magdalen Street is a must-visit. The no-nonsense city pub is well known among the ale-drinking community as a destination for well kept local beers. Expect to find a regularly changing selection on hand pump from breweries such as Green Jack, Three Blind Mice in Cambridgeshire and North Norfolk micro-brewey, Panther in addition to the house beer, KHB, brewed by Winters. While cask beers are the main attraction at the keg-free pub, the selection of bottled beers, ranging from German Pilsner, Trappist beer, fruit beer and even a Japanese beer, will keep even the most fickle of drinkers happy.
The north Norwich pub has a friendly, unpretentious atmosphere and a wide selection of real ales. The team continually research British breweries and distilleries to ensure that there is always something new to try among the 35 different cask and keg beers on offer. Expect to find live music and a high-spirited regular pub quiz. If you start to feel peckish, order some chips from the new MotherChip, with delicious creations including Cattlestar Galactica, chips with salt beef, pickles and mustard mayo.
Awarded Norwich & Norfolk CAMRA Pub of the Year 2015 and City Pub of the Year 2015, The Beehive on Leopold Road boasts seven hand pumps with a strong focus on smaller local breweries. The pub holds regular music events, Wednesday quiz nights and takes part in the Norwich City of Ale celebration, in addition to its annual Beehive Beer Festival in the summer.
Just off Dereham Road, this award-winning traditional real ale pub is a well known destination on Norwich’s ale trail. With more than 30 real ales on gravity and handpump, the hardest part will be deciding whether to opt for one of the Fat Cat Brewery’s own brews or a pint from another local brewery – Green Jack, Boudicca and Oakham are all regular fixtures.
On the corner of Grove Road, the NR1 pub is known for its local, community atmosphere and cask ale selection. Expect to find 10 regularly changing real ales and craft beers at the CAMRA recommended pub.
A friendly Golden Triangle pub with a chilled-out local atmosphere, The Alex offers real cask conditioned ales from the local Chalk Hill Brewery among others, plus up to six guest ales. There is a tempting menu of locally sourced bar snacks ranging from stuffed vine leaves and hummus to herby potato chunks with stilton, that make the perfect accompaniment to an evening sipping real ale. With its fireplace and traditional pub games, this is a great cosy pub in the colder months. Come summer, grab a table out front to watch the world go by.
Formerly known as the Iron Duke, the popular free house on Waterloo Road is a chilled out spot that champions ale from Norfolk’s Wolf Brewery among others. With seven real ales on hand pump and 13 beers on gravity that all change regularly you can opt for something different every time – or just stick with a tried and tested session beer. Head down to the folk music evening every Tuesday or try your luck at the highly addictive game, Shut the Box.
The Coach and Horses on Thorpe Road shares a site with Chalk Hill Brewery – a 15 barrel plant that brews six beers from Norfolk maltings and hops. Chalk Hill ales are a regular fixture on the bar in addition to three guest ales. The traditional pub is a lively venue to watch the football, head down on a Saturday morning for brunch before the game.
With an imaginative range of burgers, including the Johnny Cash or the Stevie Wonder, it’s not just a good pint on the menu at The Rose Inn. Expect to find Norwich Bear Brewing Company ales sold here in the former Adnams pub, with the in-house microbrewery on display in the bar.
Like this? Check out the best places to eat Sunday lunch in Norfolk.