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Lowestoft beer wins Meal Ale event

PUBLISHED: 14:25 02 June 2009 | UPDATED: 09:54 06 July 2010

DISCERNING diners who like to wash their meal down with a beer have chosen their winning brew at a sellout contest in Norwich.

More than 400 people flocked to the Meal Ale event, which aims to get drinkers back into pubs and boost sales during the recession.

DISCERNING diners who like to wash their meal down with a beer have chosen their winning brew at a sellout contest in Norwich.

More than 400 people flocked to the Meal Ale event, which aims to get drinkers back into pubs and boost sales during the recession.

One of the main ideas behind it is to get people to think about real ale as a perfect complement for a meal - in the same way they think about wine.

People sat German-beer festival- style at the Masonic Rooms in St Giles' Street, on a long table with three ales - voting for their favourite with each course.

And the overall winner was Green Jack Orange Wheat, from the Lowestoft-based brewery, which was also considered the best brew to have with a starter.

Event organiser Oli Franzen said the event was a great success.

“All ales on the night were of a superb quality, proving that our microbreweries are among the very best in the country,” he said. “The awards were really hotly contested and I'm delighted for Green Jack that they won the supreme champion ale as it's great to see such a small-scale Lowestoft brewery producing such a good-quality product.”

The 10 microbreweries which sponsored all the beer were Wolf, Woodforde's, Spectrum, Humpty Dumpty, Iceni, Elm Tree, Fat Cat, Blackfriars, Grain and Green Jack.

The categories were: Best beer with starter - three real ales matched with a carrot and ginger soup; best beer with main - three real ales matched with a roast sirloin of English beef with chateau sauce; best pudding beer - three real ales matched with locally produced cheese and biscuits; and overall supreme champion.

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