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York and Norwich go head-to-head in ale contest
YORK’S bid to become the UK ale capital has turned into a north versus south battle after Norwich announced it was mounting a rival challenge.
Enthusiasts in York announced plans last month for the city’s first beer census, hoping to show that York’s pubs have more different ales than any other city in the country. But ale aficionados in Norwich have said they will do the same thing on the same day, in an attempt to thwart York’s bid for glory.
Volunteers in both cities will now pound their respective streets on June 30, visiting every local pub and logging the beers on offer, to fight it out for Britain’s beer bragging rights.
Yesterday, the civic leaders of both cities joined in the fun, flying the flag for their local landlords. Coun Ralph Gayton, Lord Mayor of Norwich, said: “We are certainly very near the top, if not at the top, for beer. With due deference to York, we will take some beating.”
But York’s Lord Mayor Keith Hyman said: “As people in Norwich will know, York’s Lord Mayorality takes precedence over theirs - and I am sure we will also prove that our beer range outshines theirs.”
York’s census has been organised by the city’s branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra), in conjunction with The Press, and has been backed by tourism body Visit York.
Similar ventures have been held previously in Nottingham, Sheffield and Derby, as well as Norwich.
Lucy Buykx, one of the York organisers, said: “York has a buzzing beer scene, with great pubs and a growing range of really good beer.”
Ian Stamp, Pubs officer for the Norwich Camra branch, said Norwich had more pubs in the Good Beer guide than any similarly sized city, and at least a dozen with eight or more handpumps.
He said Norwich conducted a survey last year and found 215 beers in a city of 125,000.
He said the battle on June 30 was “a bit of fun” but said York, with more pubs and a bigger population “could be a serious challenge for us”.
To volunteer to help with the York census, visit yorkcamra.org.uk/beercensus2012
On twitter, use the hashtags #ukalecapital, #pubsurvey or #beercensus
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