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Boat owners needed to help with epic voyage of beer from France to Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 16:08 29 April 2019 | UPDATED: 16:08 29 April 2019

The Norfolk Brewhouse and Normandy brewer Northmaen are looking for boat owners to help complete an epic voyage of beer from France to Norwich. Picture: Courtesy of The Norfolk Brewhouse

The Norfolk Brewhouse and Normandy brewer Northmaen are looking for boat owners to help complete an epic voyage of beer from France to Norwich. Picture: Courtesy of The Norfolk Brewhouse

Courtesy of The Norfolk Brewhouse

Brewers in north Norfolk and France are looking for boat owners to help complete the journey of a cargo of beer sailing over from Rouen.

Bruce Ash, of Moon Gazer, and Dominique Camus, of Northamen Brewery, are looking for boat owners to help complete the journey of a cargo of beer sailing over from Rouen. Picture: Angela Sharpe PhotographyBruce Ash, of Moon Gazer, and Dominique Camus, of Northamen Brewery, are looking for boat owners to help complete the journey of a cargo of beer sailing over from Rouen. Picture: Angela Sharpe Photography

The Moon Gazer ale team at the Norfolk Brewhouse, based in Hindringham, has collaborated with Normandy brewer Northmaen to create an ale which will launch at the Norwich City of Ale on May 23, and also mark the 60th anniversary of the twinning of Norwich and Rouen.

The epic sea journey is marking ties between the two cities which goes back some 900 years.

Norfolk Brewhouse co-founder David Holliday said: “Norwich has been twinned with Rouen since 1959 but the strong cultural links go back centuries.

“People often marvel at the stone which built Norwich castle and cathedral but may not realise that it is Caen stone which was sailed over from Rouen on barges.

Thomas, Simon and Donique of Northmaen Brewery with David Holliday of Moon Gazer and Phil Cutter of The Murderers at last year's Norwich City of Ale. Picture: Courtesy of The Norfolk BrewhouseThomas, Simon and Donique of Northmaen Brewery with David Holliday of Moon Gazer and Phil Cutter of The Murderers at last year's Norwich City of Ale. Picture: Courtesy of The Norfolk Brewhouse

“Our good friends at Northmaen, who first came and brewed with us last year, were determined to recreate that journey but this time the cargo would be beer.”

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The boat is described as a magnificent sailing vessel from the 1960s with a 20-metre-high mast which will complete the journey in a little over three days.

However, the magnificence of the mast has created its own problem.

Mr Holliday explained: “The simple fact is that 900 years ago there wasn't a Norwich southern bypass and a concrete bridge across the Yare like there is today.

“All of the other river bridges into Norwich can be raised, but sadly the planners obviously decided that Norwich's days of having tall boats in the city were over and the bridge has a clearance of just 10 metres.”

Instead, the boat will complete its great voyage at Coldham Hall, in Surlingham, on Wednesday, May 22, which is where the brewers are looking for help.

Mr Holliday said: “We are looking for a business or individuals who has a boat that will meet us at Coldham Hall and give the beer and French brewers a lift into The Waterfront, in Norwich, where we will disembark and host a party which will also include ales for 27 local brewers.

“It's that real Dunkirk spirit we are reaching out for – can Norfolk welcome its French friends and get them to their destination?”

If you think that you can help, contact David Holliday and his Moon Gazer team on 01328 878 495, or visit their website at moongazerale.co.uk.

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