Norwich drinkers sampling the winter ales in Blackfriars Hall yesterday – photo © The Eye Snapper

Moor Brewery’s Old Freddy Walker has been crowned Champion Winter Beer of Britain at the National Winter Ales Festival in Norwich.

After over a year of local tasting panels and regional heats leading up to the finals, CAMRA has announced that today Old Freddy Walker is the winner of the Best Winter Beer in Britain at The Halls, Norwich on Tuesday 21 February.

The Bristol 7.3% Old Ale was crowned Champion at The National Winter Ales Festival, organised by the Norwich & Norfolk Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA). The Festival continues to run until Saturday 25 February where ales from the competition finalists are available to sample, together with many other winter and golden ales, ciders and foreign beers.

Festival Organiser, Rob Whitmore commented

“Old Freddy Walker is a very worthy winner of one of CAMRA’s highest accolades. Our judges in Norwich were impressed with the quality in each category.

“We can all raise a glass to the great team of volunteers, brewers and judges here in Norwich, as well as the Fringe Festival host publicans, for launching the 2017 National Beer Festival in style.”

The old ale was crowned the Winter Champion over a host of other finalists in four different beer categories (barley wine & strong old ales, old ales & strong milds, porters and stouts), including beers from both small microbrewers and large regional brewers.

This year’s runner up went to Sulwath’s Black Galloway, while Dark Arts by Magic Rock took home the Bronze award.

Nick Boley, CAMRA’s National Director responsible for the competition, commented on the winning ale, Old Freddy Walker,

“We were very impressed with the balance of the beer with fruity and chocolate flavours – the perfect dessert beer”.

Ian Stamp, Chairman of Norwich & Norfolk CAMRA added

‘We are delighted local brewers received awards in their own categories, with Green Jack’s Ripper Tripel winning a silver and Adnams Old Ale winning a joint bronze’

Local brewers Adnams and Green Jack received awards with Green Jack receiving a silver award in the Barley Wines & Strong Old Ales category for their Ripper Tripel and Adnams secured a joint bronze award in the Strong Milds and Old Ales category with their Old Ale.

The CAMRA National Winter Ales Festival (NWAF) runs until Saturday 25th February 2017 at the St Andrew’s and Blackfriars’ medieval friary halls in Norwich – the home of the popular Norwich CAMRA Beer Festival. The winter festival will run in Norwich for three consecutive years and offers a range of winter ales, as well as golden ales more usually associated with a summer festival, ciders and foreign beers. There is a range of hot and cold food, including a hog roast, offered daily with live entertainment at The Halls from Thursday evening until Saturday.

Here are the CAMRA National Winter Beer of Britain 2017 winners

Overall winners-
Champion Winter Beer of Britain – Moor, Old Freddy Walker
Silver and runner up – Sulwath, Black Galloway
Bronze – Magic Rock, Dark Arts

Barley Wines & Strong Old Ales –
Gold – Moor, Old Freddy Walker
Silver – Green Jack, Ripper Tripel
Bronze – Orkney, Skullsplitter

Strong Milds & Old Ales –
Gold – Grainstore, Rutland Beast
Silver – Sarah Hughes, Dark Ruby Mild
Joint Bronze – Old Dairy, Snow Top together with Adnams, Old Ale

Porters –
Gold – Sulwath, Black Galloway
Silver – Elland, 1872 Porter
Bronze – Tavy Ales, Tavy Porter

Gold – Magic Rock, Dark Arts
Silver – London Brewing Co, 100 Oyster Stout
Bronze – Loch Lomond, Silkie Stout

Norwich & Norfolk CAMRA have also teamed with Norwich pubs to create a week of celebration. The Fringe Festival is being hosted in pubs in central Norwich and is an 8-day event from 18 to 25 February. Pubs across Norwich city centre will host fringe events, including special real ales, food, festival events and music to celebrate CAMRA’s National Winter Ales Festival. Further details can be found in the Fringe Festival brochure at participating pubs and in The Halls, Norwich or at

The National Winter Ales Festival in Norwich is also pleased to support On The Ball, a Norwich based Charity which aims to raise awareness of Testicular Cancer and provide support to those affected. It is the most common form of cancer in young men, but, if detected in its early stages, is curable in 98% of cases. The most important message is for men to check regularly and to seek medical advice if they detect any abnormalities. Visitors to the festival can provide donations of unused vouchers, change or beer glasses at The Halls to the Charity. For more details about what they do, please visit

The National Winter Ale Festival is taking place at the Halls in Norwich from the 22nd-25th February 2017. The festival is open from noon until 22.30. (22.00 on Friday) with reduced entry costs for CAMRA members. There is no afternoon break unlike the Norwich Festival – this lot of staff are relentless!

CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, is a not-for-profit consumer group with nearly 185,000 members that has been operating since 1971. Their vision is to have quality real ale and thriving pubs in every community.