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Last weekend the English county of Norfolk, East Anglia, celebrated Norfolk Day with a Transatlantic twist. The annual event, which took place this year on Saturday July 27, is a celebration of the county and its history.
Ahead of this year's event, local brewer David Holliday, of the Norfolk Brewhouse, decided to reach out further to the many other places across the world called 'Norfolk', which led to a link up with Porter Hardy, President of the Smartmouth Brewing company from Norfolk, Virginia. Norfolk, VA, was originally settled by colonist Adam Thoroughgood, who immigrated to Virginia in 1622 from the town of King's Lynn, Norfolk, giving the two locations a special historical link.
The collaboration saw the creation of two special ale recipes. The UK version is a light golden ale using a mix of American and British hops, whilst the US version is slightly stronger. Both versions use Norfolk Maris Otter barley, and bear the clever name, 'Pond Hopper'.
Norfolk Day saw over 70 pubs in the region offering the Transatlantic brew on tap, whilst Porter Hardy and his family flew from America to the UK to take part in the day's events. As well as enjoying an English tea, Hardy met with David at The Shoulder of Mutton pub in Strumpshaw to pour a symbolic pint of Pond Hopper ale (pictured). Back in the States, the Smartmouth Brewery raised its own glass to Norfolk Day with traditional British Fish and Chips.
Discussing the project with local newspaper the Eastern Daily Press, Porter said "I was honoured when David reached out to us, he's been great to work with. We all love beer and it's just nice to bring the two Norfolks together". David Holliday added "It's been great to show Porter and his family around Norfolk, it's like we've known each other for ages because the project has been building up for so long."
It's hoped that this collaboration becomes the start of many Transatlantic Norfolk Day celebrations and relationships. It doesn't hurt to start with a nice pint - huge congrats to all, we raise a glass to the Special Relationship in ale form!