Can you help Team Moon Gazer with a nautical challenge?
We and our French friends at Northmaen Brewery are looking for Norfolk boat owners to join in the fun and help complete the journey of a cargo of beer sailing over from Rouen.
We have collaborated with Normandy brewer Northmaen to create an ale which will launch at the City of Ale on May 23rd and also mark the start of a host of vents celebrating the 60th anniversary of the twinning of Norwich and Rouen.
However, this epic sea journey is marking ties between the two cities which goes back some 900 years.
You see Norwich has been twinned with Rouen since 1959 but the strong cultural links go back centuries. People often marvel at the stone which built Norwich castle and cathedral but may not realise that it is Caen stone which was sailed over from Rouen on barges.
Our good friends at Northmaen, who first came and brewed with us last year were determined to recreate that journey but this time the cargo would be beer!
The boat is a magnificent sailing vessel from the 1960s with a stunning 20-meter-high mast which will complete the journey in a little over 3 days. However, the magnificence of the mast has created its own problem.
The simple fact is that 900 years ago there wasn’t a Norwich southern bypass and a concrete bridge across the Yare like there is today. All of the other river bridges into Norwich can be raised, but sadly the planners obviously decided that Norwich’s days of having tall boats in the city were over and the bridge has a clearance of just 10 meters.
We realised this and courted with the idea of simply doing the journey in a boat with a smaller mast but concluded that would not do the journey justice. So, the plan now is that the boat will sail over as planned but will moor up at Coldham Hall on Wednesday 22nd May, where it will then transport the cargo. That’s where we are looking for help.
We are looking for a business or individuals who has a boat that will meet us at Coldham Hall and give the beer and French brewers a lift into The Waterfront, in Norwich, where we will disembark and host a party which will also include ales from 27 local brewers.
It’s that real Dunkirk spirit we are reaching out for – can Norfolk welcome its French friends and get them to their destination? There will be 6 of them in totals and a few kegs of beer but we are happy to use one big boat or a couple of smaller boats, so if you have ideas do please get in touch.
If you think that you can help you can contact David and the Moon Gazer team on 01328 878 495, or view our website: moongazerale.co.uk
If you don’t have a boat but would like to join in the party then you can buy tickets for this unique beer event for £10 which includes 3 pints via the UEA Box Office: https://www.ueaticketbookings.co.uk/ents/event/7381/