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The Beer, Beer and more Beer Tour


NorfolkNog

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Looks like a while since anyone did a holiday tale, so I’ll start having a bash at one. If it gets boring though tell me and I’ll stop!!!

After having such a good time out in December last year, we thought we would do it again. So Fair Regent 3 was duly booked from Faircraft Loynes.

Thursday

Came down on the train a day early to spend a day in Norwich. I won’t bore you with this unduly as it’s not Broads related but visited the Fat Cat and the Kings Head. Both superb pubs, the latter being a keg free zone with 11 real ales on tap plus real cider. There are many other excellent pubs in Norwich, its now quite a Mecca for pubs, quite a turn around from the Watney era.

Friday

Caught an early train to Wroxham and arrived at FL just before nine. However we were told that Fair Regent was ready, so twenty minutes later the handover was complete. I must say that with one exception, all the FL staff are very friendly and helpful.

We locked up and went up to Roys for a big shop up. Prices are very reasonable and a lot of local produce is stocked. We got so much stuff we struggled to carry it back to the boat. Then off back to the garden centre to buy a sack of corn so Mrs N could feed the ducks.

Then we set off on a gentle chug down the river, stopping off at the Swan for refreshment. It was a thorny dilemma whether to go to the Christmas bash or to the Humpty Dumpty weekend. After much soul searching we opted for the HD open days, sorry Sue! :cry

We thought we’d call in the Swan to see if there were any early arrivals. No sign so we had lunch washed down with a pint of (I think) Brains. Beer quality was quite good, not too cold and the sparklers appeared to have been removed for the winter. Good. However as the Swan is a Mitchells and Butlers outlet the choice of beer is a bit unimaginative. Great shame.

Time for Mrs N to feed the locals with some corn and then cast off, en route for the overnight stop at Ludham Bridge. I wanted to visit the Dog, having been very impressed in the summer.

There was a lot of activity going on at Horning, work well advanced on another bijou little waterside pad, new quay heading at the New Inn and the old Aston’s fleet at the new Ferry Boatyard.

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Howard, what a shame we missed you, Sue,Hank and myself were about there all day, in fact in your last picture my Shetland with the white canopy can be seen moored up on the public Staithe. Sue's "Evenstar" was moored just in front of me.

Aw, that is a shame! plonker that I am, I only looked in the pub!!! :oops: You never know, I've just about convinced Mrs Nog to go back in February and we are already booked for June!!!

Perry, the heating was very good although it got a bit carboned up by the last day. More beer to come including the trip to Humpty Dumpty :grin:

Gandalf, I've been enjoying your tale and scratching my head over the music clues!!!

cheersbar

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Friday continued

Chugged up from Horning to Ludham Bridge. As well as visiting the Dog, the idea was to get in striking distance of Yarmouth to transit about 11 ish. The thing with winter cruising in a hire boat is that you are limited to daylight hours so in December every minute counts.

Anyway moored just above the bridge near the water point with the help of a very nice May Gurney operative. Went up to the Dog with a torch, as although there is a footpath, its bit dark with no street lighting. Had a great night in the pub (reported under the Dog Inn thread). Must be about the only pub on the Northern broads to sell beer from some of the excellent smaller breweries. Very enjoyable evening chatting to Lorraine and meeting her four legged friends. :grin:

Dragged ourselves back to the boat ready for an early start. I wanted to be off around 7.30 to catch the tides through Yarmouth.

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Can't believe we missed each other

We were moored on the staithe while you were at Horning and when we talked to Lorraine in the dog she said you were in the night before - you avoiding us? cheersbar

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Thanks Jonny!

Saturday

Got up early as we wanted to get through Yarmouth for about 11 to 11.30. I always like to leave it a while after slack water as the tide seems to take a while to move up the Bure and should already be flooding across Breydon Water. After a few coffees we set off at about 7.45. The tide was ebbing nicely and as we turned into the Bure you could really feel the effect. Very little throttle needed and we were making very good progress. Through Acle and a stop off at Stracey arms/Pontiac for a spot of late breakfast before the last stretch down to Yarmouth.

I know many hate this stretch but there are things to see, I always look out for the boots, which were still hanging on their post. It didn’t seem long before the white wall at the marina hove into view. Check of the height gauge but there was plenty of room, over nine feet. Under the bridges and round the yellow marker which seems to have been painted, it was more rusty colour last time we went through.

I seemed to remember reading about the shifting sandbank and kept well to the middle after Breydon Bridge. It was very quiet across Breydon until we were overtaken by a flappy thing. Although it had sails up, I think it was cheating and had a hidden engine.

:Sailing

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Safely over Breydon we moored up at the Berney to stretch our legs. It was closed obviously, shame as John and Tracey are doing great things there and I could have fancied a pint of Humpty Dumpty. Thought of Jonny as I noticed that they had shore power. Not sure if this is new or I have just missed it before. The sockets are up the bank though, so you would need a long lead. No idea what the charge is.

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Then it was onwards up the Yare to Reedham. It was great to moor on the deserted quay. Contrast that to the summer!!!

No water though, the hoses are removed in winter. I had to pop into the Lord Nelson, just to check the Humpty Dumpty was OK you understand. I was not disappointed. This beer just gets better and better. Time to get the corn out and Mrs Nog soon attracted a hungry crowd.

It rained whilst I was in the pub and when it stopped a beautiful rainbow appeared.

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Its us you are talking to you know
:lol:

Rod, i had a feeling that the Berney closes at the end of the season? I think John and Tracey mentioned it but then again it was a good night on the HD so I could be mistaken!!! ;)

Yes, hoses all gone at reedham. we got water at Brooms and it looked to be on at Goodchilds. Bit sparse on the Southern rivers though.

In fact I am always up for a pint of HD
:dancecheersbar

A man of impeccable taste Rod :bow

cheersbar

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Saturday (continued)

Cast off again on the last leg which was to take us to the Reedcutter at Cantley. We both love live music and sadly it is like hens teeth on the Broads. Tosh was playing at the Reedcutter that night. Heard a lot about him but never actually caught up with him. I popped into the pub just out of courtesy to make sure we were Ok to moor.

We got in early about quarter to eight. St Austell beer was on which was very pleasant. Anyway after a while this sold out and to my delight the superb Tipples Longshore appeared. What a beer. It tasted like Wherry did about 15 years ago. Absolutely superb.

Anyway Tosh appeared and set up his gear. He played an incredible range of music and some amazing takes of Rolf Harris songs complete with the long pipe thingy (didgery do??) he is not only a very talented musician but a great entertainer as well and can really work the audience. He was giving out ‘rattles’ full of beans and encouraging everyone to join in.

Mrs Nog went up to have a word later on (as she does) and it transpires Tosh is actually from the Black Country originally but has settled in Norfolk. Great night, great beer and even a few bottles of Tipples to take away.

In my humble opinion (again) the Reedcutter is another on the ‘must visit’ list. Highly recommended.

cheersbar

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Not too bad a beer Howard although I think of the St. Austell beers I like Proper Job IPA the best which isn't anywhere as common as the Tinners down there, it's suprisingly strong at 4.5% for an IPA. Personally I prefer to sample some of the Sharps or Skinners beers. cheersbar

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Where was I? Oh yes…

Sunday (continued)

It was icy cold and the river was covered in mist. We decided to cast off and have a chug up to Brundall to see if we could get some water at Brooms and hopefully Budgens would be open. As we went up river the sun broke through and it was a beautiful day on the water. We passed the Beauchamp Arms basking in the winter sun. Not sure if it opens in winter but it would have been too early anyway.

After a very pleasant trip we arrived at Brundall. The Brooms service quay was empty and sporting a closed sign. I wondered if the water was on. Pulled out the hose. Nothing. Suddenly realised it was still freezing. Anyway after a couple of minutes the water started to gurgle through. Filled up the tank and thought about shopping. We didn’t want to leave the boat on the service quay so we nipped over to the Riverside Stores. It was covered in no mooring signs but as the stores appeared to be shut we thought we could chance mooring there for a few minutes. We tied up and walked through Brooms yard, past the Yare and up the hill. It did look as if there was a short cut but not being sure of the way we stuck to the route we knew. Had to be careful going up Station Road as there was lots of black ice around.

Budgens was doing a lively trade on the Sunday morning. Staff very helpful as always. Stocked up with some more milk and the bits and pieces that you always seem to forget. Went back to the boat and with great relief found that it hadn’t been clamped. Chugged back down the river. The sun was now absolutely glorious and some flappy things were disporting themselves on the river. Got round them without incident and chugged towards Reedham. The Cantley factory seemed to be in full flow, normally when we come by in the summer it is in the close season. We moored up at Reedham in eager anticaipation of the Humpty Dumpty Open day……….

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I had been looking forward to the Humpty Dumpty open day with eager anticipation. These excellent beers are starting to become more widely available. With some 28 breweries now based in Norfolk the situation creates some healthy competition and the standards are extremely high.

The brewery is actually quite a way from the riverside, its up near the Petitts Animal park. We walked up the hill, over the railway and up to the top road, then turned right. We soon found the brewery!

It was like stepping into heaven, the brewery shop was crammed with bottles, not only from Humprty Dumpty but from other quality Norfolk brewers. There was also a stillage with 4 casks of beer on tap.

Superb afternoon. As this isn’t really Broads related, I’ll post up a fuller account on the Humpty Dumpty thread. Meanwhile a couple of photos…..

cheersbar

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