Real ale pubs in Norwich you need to visit

PUBLISHED: 16:03 07 June 2019 | UPDATED: 16:53 04 November 2020

The Plasterers Arms in Cowgate

The Plasterers Arms in Cowgate


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

- The Plasterers Arms

43 Cowgate

Tucked behind Magdalen Street, The Plasterers on Cowgate boasts 20 cask taps for real ale and cider and keg lines for craft lager and ale. The line-up changes regularly, with ales from local breweries, plus the latest from further afield - 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 pizza. Try the Korean BBQ with a sesame BBQ base, Korean pulled pork, spinach and mozzarella. If you're feeling decadent, loaded fries come piled with tempting toppings.

- Kings Head

42 Magdalen St

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 of up to 14 hand pumps.

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.

- Fat Cat Brewery Tap

98-100 Lawson Rd

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 many 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 loaded chips from MotherChip, with delicious creations including buffalo and blue cheese fried chicken with a ranch drizzle on chips. Sharing cheeseboards are also available to share between two to four people, and can be augmented with loaded MotherChips.

- The Beehive

30 Leopold Road

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.

- The Fat Cat

49 West End St

Just off Dereham Road, this award-winning traditional real ale pub is a well known destination on Norwich's ale trail. With nearly 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.

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Beers are also available to takeaway in containers of one, two, four, 17 or 34 pints.

- The Trafford Arms

61 Grove Rd

On the corner of Grove Road, the NR1 pub is known for its local, community atmosphere and cask ale selection. Its cosy interiors retain some original Victorian touches with brick fireplaces and dark wooden furniture for added cosiness.

Expect to find 10 regularly changing real ales and craft beers at the CAMRA recommended pub.

- The Alexandra Tavern

16 Stafford St

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 toasties and French bread pizza to herbed 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.

- Duke of Wellington

91-93 Waterloo Rd

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 real ales on hand pump and 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 quiz evening every Monday or you might catch a beer festival in the summer.

- Coach and Horses

82 Thorpe Rd

The Coach and Horses on Thorpe Road shares a site with Chalk Hill Brewery - a 15 barrel plant that brews six beers from Norfolk malts 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. Keep an eye on the events page on the website and social media for the latest beer launches and occasions.


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