Away Day; Couple of Norwich Gems

The Norwich Tap House

The Norwich Tap House – stands out on the corner of Redwell Street/St Andrew St

A long Easter weekend is a great time to get away somewhere different and find some new pubs and beers to drink, and being one not to shy away from a challenge, I hopped on a train and visited the historical city of Norwich.

I’ve heard good things about the city beer wise, and I’m glad to say I didn’t see a single pint of Green King (OK so a bit of snobbery there – I’m just not a fan of their beers).

I was actually in Norwich for three nights, as I had a 20 hour or so two day punk gig to attend, but of course there was still time on Friday night (and Sunday lunchtime it turned out) to visit a few pubs.

Research had not revealed a great deal craft beer wise (which is my usual target these days), so fresh off the train and hotel checked in I walked to the fairly new (ish) Norwich Tap House, which is both a craft beer bar and also off-license, with several fridges full of bottles and craft cans for take-away.  The pub is a fairly standard wood floor / wood stools by the bar, few tables in the  main bar room, with a little snug hidden at one end.

A flight of beers Norwich

A flight of beers at the Norwich Tap house

No food, but 20 taps of beer to choose from, as well as a large selection of wines (good wines too), and those bottles and cans.  Local brewery Redwell features highly, with five of their beers on offer (three forms of larger and a pale/IPA).  I had the White IPA, and it was pretty damn good.  Both Redwillow beers on offer were also fantastic (Souless and Faithless), and I did come back on the Sunday and have a very fine Brew By Numbers 11-03 pale ale.

I had a flight of three 1/3rd pint beers to make sure I tried a good selection, and the lady behind the bar was very social, she loves her beers so could recommend her favourites.   When I mentioned that I was trying to visit a few pubs that evening I was told to try and Kings Head (a proper local/real ale pub), and the Plasterers Arms, which I was told has interesting beers and great pizza.  Those tips were followed up and I wasn’t disappointed.

I did return Sunday lunchtime – they aren’t normally open on Sundays, so be aware of that if you’re visiting the city – it wasn’t the only pub/restaurant I noticed was closed all day Sunday.

The beer list at Norwich Tap House

The beer list at Norwich Tap House

The Kings Head is a real ‘locals’ pub, and I was greeted in a friendly manner by said locals the second I stepped in the door – with some banter about me having only a half of ale.  The beer was kept well, and if my memory is correct, the pub has several bar areas, with pool table/bar billards in their own room near the toilets.

Plasterers Arms beer list

Plasterers Arms beer list

I was starving, so didn’t hang about long, I went to find the Plasters Arms and the promised home made pizza.  The pub was busy (but friendly), and almost the second I stepped in to take a stool at the bar did a set of locals start playing some pretty good traditional music on a table-full of instruments they had in front of them – I filmed a little bit so you can get the feel of the fantastic atmosphere of the pub.   People were enjoying the (great) beer, food, and it was a very lively place to spend a couple of hours.  The pizza is quite varied and very good – a decent sized pizza on a wooden board for about £8 (my memory isn’t 100% at this point in the evening!).  The beers were going down a treat, with several changed during the couple of hours I was there.

The Siren / Collaboration with Omnipollo beer “Lifes a Peach” beer was especially good – a ‘cream’ IPA with added peaches.  The cream being added lactose.  Something really different and a highlight of my evening.

I also have to mention one other pub – the venue for the two day gig I was there for.  It’s called “The Owl Sanctuary”, and it’s a place that’s really been turned around (from what I’ve been told by locals).  It hosts many a night of music in it’s underground stage venue, and it also prides itself on usually having three real ales on, all priced at £3 no matter the strength.  That’s pretty decent going for a ‘venue’, and the fact I enjoyed pints of Grain IPA (6.5%), and Thornbridge Jaipur (5.9%) both cask version for just £3 is fantastic.  If you like your music (punk/rock) then this is a great place to seek out, as they seem to have bands on most weekends from the posters on the walls.  It also has a pinball table – something very rare these days in pubs, and something I really miss!

The Plasterers Arms

The Plasterers Arms bar – at least you can’t forget where you are 🙂

Norwich tap house;  8 Redwell Street, Norwich, Norfolk NR2 4SN, United Kingdom
Kings Head freehouse; 42 Magdalen Street, Norwich, Norfolk NR3 1JE
The Plasterers Arms;  43 Cowgate, Norwich, Norfolk NR3 1SZ
The Owl Sanctuary;  25 Cattle Market Street, Norwich, NR1 3DY

Pint of Jaipur at Owl Sanctuary

Pint of Jaipur at Owl Sanctuary

Fantastic blue cheese pizza at the Plasterers Arms

Fantastic blue cheese pizza at the Plasterers Arms



Author: Krispy Brown

EX-CAMRA member and real ale and craft ale fan. I've left CAMRA as I feel they've become more about gaining members (and money) and their petty narrowmindedness around the whole craft/keykeg/cask puts me off them. Good beer is good beer! I do the odd brew myself - having spent a couple of grand more than I should on home brew kit (Braumeister and SS Brewtech gear). Always learning about the craft and the ingredients. I've a blog post here about a day with a local craft brewer making a new beer. I can often be found propping up the bar at Peterborough's best (only) craft beer bar, The Stoneworks. 22 lines of great beer, and decent gin too! I'm probably known by too many of my hometown's landlords, oops. I created the local CAMRA Peterborough Beer festival mobile web app several years ago, and am a regular festival judge helping pick the champion beers. Developer (PHP, Wordpress, Java), Webmaster of many sites, husband and cat owner. I also help put on DIY Punk gigs in my spare time, as part of group of mates called "The Scary Clown Presents...".

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