Sometimes in life you receive unexpected news in your inbox, but rarely have we received one at The Norfolk Brewhouse which stopped the whole team in our tracks as much as a very short note from a gentleman called Alan. The stand out line was – “Did you know your beer saves lives? Think I’ve got off very lightly so I’m going to enjoy life to the full.”

It was only when we pieced together the link to our charity beer Tobis Tipple that the enormity of such a few words came home. Tobi’s Tipple is an ale which we produce to help raise awareness for local testicular cancer charity – It’s on the Ball.

Throughout January so many pubs across Norfolk were supportive of the ale – simply by selling it, it got men, and women, talking about the previously taboo subject of the importance of men checking testicles for signs of cancer. Hey, and while chatting they were enjoying a fine pint too! Alan was one of those happy drinkers, simply enjoying a pint, but taking in the It’s On the Ball message.

However, for Alan the fun of chatting about balls and drinking beer soon became very serious, when he realised that the symptoms mentioned in the campaign were evident on him.

Imagine how devastating that must have been.

Thankfully 98% of testicular cancer can be cured if spotted in time – and at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital we have some of the very best experts and care that there is, and they soon had Alan in treatment.

A few months on, Alan has completed a course of treatment, and while he and the disease will be under surveillance for a number of years, the outlook is positive, and in Alan’s words he is ‘living life to the full’.

We did the easy bit, we just brewed a beer, the pubs did the nice bit, they got to serve the beer and chat to their community – the real hard work is done by the small and totally dedicated team at Its on the Ball – who, with limited resources, do all that they can to help raises awareness of this killer disease.

Do please take a look at the work that they do: helping them is easy, just start talking about the disease.

Our small team is immensely proud of the work which we do for Its On the Ball and there is plenty more to come from us – and opening up the email which we got from Alan not only puts life into perspective – it helps to make it all the more worthwhile as well.

Cheers from The Norfolk Brewhouse Team