TV broadcaster helps Diss opticians toast 100 years with charity beer

TV broadcaster Jake Humphrey (centre) brews the Cat's Eyes charity ale with Justine and Damian Conway, of Diss opticians Dipple and Conway.

TV broadcaster Jake Humphrey (centre) brews the Cat's Eyes charity ale with Justine and Damian Conway, of Diss opticians Dipple and Conway.

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A well-known TV broadcaster has joined a Diss opticians to concoct a special brew for charity, in celebration of the shop’s centenary year.

Dipple and Conway, located in Market Place as well as stores in Norwich and Swaffham, commemorated 100 years in business by brewing the Cat’s Eyes limited edition ale alongside the local Fat Cat brewery, with ten pence from every pint sold set to go to the Norfolk-based charity Break.

The fundraiser has been supported by BT Sport football anchor Jake Humphrey, a patron of Break, which helps vulnerable children, young people and families across East Anglia.

Mr Humphrey, who is also a father-of-two from Norfolk, said: “Local businesses are key to us.

“I love it when they choose Break as a charity to support and I want to thank them for everything they have done.

“This is a win-win for everyone. Break makes some money, real ale drinkers get a real treat, and when their eyes glaze over, Dipple and Conway can help them out.”

The brew’s name and artwork was inspired by Coco, the cat belonging to Dipple and Conway director Damian Conway and his wife Justine.

Cat’s Eyes has now been placed on sale at Fat Cat brewery’s pubs and it will also appear to the upcoming Norwich Beer Festival.

Mr Conway, whose grandfather established Dipple and Conway in 1916, stated the whole family was excited to be marking their 100th year in “such a novel way”, having raised £20,000 for Break in events over the last six years.

“I and my brothers have several children between us. Family life has always been very important to us and we have been very fortunate,” said Mr Conway, who runs the business with brothers James and Robert.

“We like to be able to acknowledge that by doing our bit to help those who have been dealt a less fortunate hand in life.”

“Some at Dipple and Conway are members of Camra (Campaign for Real Ale) and we thought having our own real ale would be an ideal way to celebrate our centenary.”

Colin Keatley, who owns the Fat Cat brewery, added that this was the first time in 13 years his firm had produced a brew with another company.

He said: “It’s a wonderful idea. Like ourselves, Dipple and Conway is a very good, well-established local business run by well-known community people.

“It makes perfect sense to come together for a celebration like this.”