Nottingham 2011 breaks its own records, again

Nottingham CAMRA have created a juggernaut that quite simply does not look like stopping, and the cat is now well and truly out of the bag!

We have a few pubs we need to look at but first I had to sign the 2011 festival off with a (very!) short article, despite going two out of the three days I didn’t manage to see everything the festival had to offer, I managed to catch a mere one act at the band stand and only had a nosey round maybe a quarter of the stalls set up! I did bag some curry chocolate though which I certainly hope will be back in 2012.

One massively important lesson to learn from 2011 was it’s now being finally recognised as the number 1 beer festival in at least the UK as reflected in the ticket sales, 2012 I think will see ticket sales far exceeding even this year (which caught many out) as people ensure their entry, I wouldn’t be surprised to see even Thursday becoming a lot busier with Friday and Saturday again being mostly ticket only.

How on earth does it to continue the trend of improving every year? somehow it does, 2011 had 928 beers and 170 ciders/perry; hopefully 2012 will break the magic 1000 beers mark! heres a couple of interesting takes on the festival,

eating your way through the festival

a view from daan sarf

Oh, and what beers did I rate? well I obviously rated the ones I suggested in my tips article! but I was introduced to the following and will be looking out for more!

Buxton – Wild Boar
Lymestone – Pounamu Green Stone
Sherfield Village – Threesome
Brightside – Maverick IPA
Highland – Island hopping

DATES HAVE ALREADY BEEN RELEASED FOR 2012! OCTOBER 11th -> 13th GET THEM IN YOUR CALENDAR!

NottsBrew Tips for the Nottingham Beer Festival 2011

 

Well, Nottingham CAMRA released the list of 925 beers click this text to view it!
So here are our runners and riders for the festival, after-all horse racing and beer festivals are very much alike, they’re always full of people who don’t really know what they’re doing, and some mare always ends up on its back.

We will be tweeting live from the Nottingham Beer festival 2011, get involved! tweet us your tips or ‘avoids’ to @NottsBrew or leave a comment here!

I’m not bothering recommending reserve beers as nobody knows when they will be on, but Hoppkins is, so there will be a couple in the mix but if there’s an obvious omission (ie last year’s winner Kipling) this may be why. A few perhaps ‘expected’ breweries are not represented this year at the festival, maybe some of them spent too much time calling everyone ‘scamp’ and constantly trying to sell them shares (even when like me, you’re already a shareholder!) Recent Sheffield festival 2011 winners Bradfield’s omission reminds us all we need to go to Sheffield now and again!

So without further ado, here are our sure fire ‘no lose’ tips on this once again world record breaking festival, (short printable list at the bottom of the page)

Milkmans’ Tips in Black Hoppkins’ Tips in Blue

Castle Rock

002 Harvest Pale 3.8%
006 Screech Owl 5.5%

Ok it’s entirely lame to recommend this beer really given that you can get it from pretty much most Nottingham pubs! (certainly all Castle Rock establishments) but it did win national beer of the year 2010, and for that reason it deserves a mention.

Nice and strong, very hoppy and totally excellent.

Brew Company

038 Cut Throat IPA 5.4%

Ah the Brew Company, one of Sheffield’s many fine breweries and brewer of one of my favourite beers of 2011, they only have 2 beers here, expect them both to sell out quickly.

Full Mash

078 Bhisti 6.2%

This very beer kicked my arse last weekend at the Portland Arms, deliciously drinkable (perhaps too much so) tread carefully!

Thats a lot of IBUs (International Bittering Units, basically how bitter the beer is) The average is between 40-75 I would say for regular beers and IPAs. One i will be trying for sure.

Funfair

082 Dodgem 4.7%

Always loved funfair ales and dodgem is one of the best. Nice, pale and strong.

Springhead

225 The Leveller 4.8%

Another one that’s quite easy to get round Nottingham but it’s a very accessible and delicious dark beer.

Blue Monkey

303 Infinity 4.6%
304
Guerrilla 4.9%
306
Big Blue 6.8%

Ah Blue Monkey with your cheeky new mini, both Infinity and Big Blue are freely available at the Organ Grinder (the blue monkey flagship pub) but make no mistake both are knock out beers, especially the Big Blue weighing in at 6.8%, as with Full Mash – Bhisti, take it easy!

Infinity is without a doubt in my top 10 beers of all time, grapefruity and refreshing! Guerrilla is one of the few darker ones I can quaff with reckless abandon.

Alkazar

314 Vixens Vice 5.2%

Had it fresh in the Fox and Crown, a delight with curry. Failing that fine without!

Brampton

333 Golden Bud 3.8%
337 Golden Bud Speciale 5.8%

Speciale is one of my favourites and it’s good to see it back year after year, a delicious drink and if it’s a bit too strong for you try its younger brother.

Derventio

366 Cleopatra 5.0%

Complex and fruity, one of few beers good in a bottle as well as cask, my favourite from the Derventio stable

Great Oakley

401 Wagtail 3.9%

Last year Wot’s Occurring was the best new beer I had tried at the festival, alas it doesn’t appear to have made it back! They do have 6 beers on mind (400 -> 406) I chose Wagtail because of the NZ hops. I wouldn’t blame you for trying more of their beers though!

Hook Norton

413 Hooky Gold 4.1%

Hook Norton do a steady range, Hooky Gold gets the tip of my hat for this one, edging the also consistently good Old Hooky.

Dancing Duck

442 Nice Weather 4 Ducks 4.1%

Described as fruit salad in a glass though I don’t personally think it’s quite that extreme, but if you don’t like fruit salad maybe give it a miss, unless they took the blacks out, or is that midget gems? I dunno.

Loddon

456 Hoppit 3.5%
457 Hullabaloo 4.2%
459 Bamboozle 4.8%

Boy do I like Loddon beers, consistently superb and the 3 above I have had on numerous occasions yet they have never disappointed, just great and unfortunately hard to get here in Nottingham, be warned, they usually sell out quickly for this reason.

Milestone

475 Raspberry wheat beer 5.6%

Potentially hit and miss, when its good…its good when its not…well you get the idea

Nutbrook

483 Responsibly 4.4%

I touched upon this beer earlier in the year, it’s a top pint and well worth checking out, I look forward to reminding myself just how good it is!

Potbelly

498 Potbelly Best 3.8%
502 Crazy Daze 5.5%

Potbelly are another firm favourite of mine and their entire beer range is generally excellent, and be warned, these also tend to sell out very quickly!

Rebellion

513 Rebellion IPA
514 Rebellion Mutiny 4.5%

Another favourite making a triumphant return, as with the other popular excellent brewers these sell out very quickly!

Titanic

536 Iceberg 4.1%

Years back I thought this was rubbish, turns out I had a bad pint, even in bottle form this is a wonderfully crisp beer, razor sharp and thirst quenching.

Thornbridge

573 Sequoia 4.5%
579 Jaipur 5.9% (if you’re new to this and have never tried it)

Oddly last year’s beer of the festival Kipling is on the reserve list, it’s pretty much a sure fire bet that this area will be sold out by Friday unless they have reserve barrels (likely) I love and hate Thornbridge, they’re the Manchester United of real ale.

Nottingham

583 Knights Tale 3.9%
587 Dolphine 1530AD 4.4%
588 Legend – 4.0%
590 EPA 4.2% 

Supreme? no they still don’t brew it, swines! So I suppose we all have to ‘make do’ with the rest of their range. They will bring back Supreme someday though, infact if you buy a Nottingham beer ask them to brew it again! (supreme that is, not the beer you just bought)

EPA as always a firm favorite of mine. Pale and delicious, Legend is one of those greats you can just drink and drink, always worth a go and increasingly hard to find.

Magic Rock

676 High Wire 5.5%

Magic Rock are already making waves despite being a relatively new brewery, I’m hoping to try some of their other beers, but High Wire is definitely one to recommend.

Oldershaw

711 Alma’s Brew 4.1%

The sublime Heavenly Blonde would have to be on bloody reserve wouldn’t it, oh well ‘make do’ with Alma’s Brew, which I tip as slightly better than the often spotted round Nottingham Old Boy.

Prior’s Well

718 Gardners Tap 3.8%

I had no idea these guys where from Nottingham, I have only seen their beers sold in Sheffield! Regardless I have had Gardners tap twice and it’s a top drink, they have quite a range on so give the others a try too.

Steel City

743 Westby Rant 5.2%

Where the hell is Steel City’s superbly named Masters of the Spooniverse!? gutted, I could have a rant about that, but instead you can try a Westby Rant, terrible link and I’m off to hang my head in shame.

Acorn

911 Quantum 4.5%

I have had numerous Acorn beers and they have all been excellent, I have yet to try Quantum but unless it tastes of the dishwasher powder of the same name, it’s a safe bet.

Dark Star

913 Hophead 3.8%

A very popular brew this and it’s not hard to see why, this is there only beer on at the festival so expect it to sell out pronto.

NottsBrew no lose super beers in printable form!
Milkman = Black – Hoppkins = Blue

002 Harvest Pale 3.8%
006 Screech Owl 5.5%
038 Cut Throat IPA 5.4%
078 Bhisti 6.2%
082 Dodgem 4.7%
225 The Leveller 4.8%
303 Infinity 4.6%
304 Guerrilla 4.9%
306 Big Blue 6.8%
314 Vixens Vice 5.2%
333 Golden Bud 3.8%
337 Golden Bud Speciale 5.8%
366 Cleopatra 5.0%
401 Wagtail 3.9%
413 Hooky Gold 4.1%
442 Nice Weather 4 Ducks 4.1%
456 Hoppit 3.5%
457 Hullabaloo 4.2%
459 Bamboozle 4.8%
475 Raspberry wheat beer 5.6%
483 Responsibly 4.4%
498 Potbelly Best 3.8%
502 Crazy Daze 5.5%
513 Rebellion IPA
514 Rebellion Mutiny 4.5%
536 Iceberg 4.1%
573 Sequoia 4.5%
579 Jaipur 5.9%
583 Knights Tale 3.9%
587 Dolphine 1530AD 4.4%
588 Legend – 4.0%
590 EPA 4.2%
676 High Wire 5.5%
711 Alma’s Brew 4.1%
718 Gardners Tap 3.8%
743 Westby Rant 5.2%
911 Quantum 4.5%
913 Hophead 3.8%

I ain't tried these, roit?

Tips from the world of Twitter

@Davomanic  @NottsBrew why are there no @BuxtonBrewery beers on the recommended list? Wild Boar and Axe Edge are sublime! Ah well, I’ll drink ‘em…
(Wild Boar is 347 and 5.7% Axe Edge is 348and 6.8%! POW!) 

@bluemonkeybrew Just tasting the Guerrilla Whisky Cask – @nottinghamcamra Beer Festival goers are in for a treat – it’s awesome! twitpic.com/6wfueo
(a Blue Monkey Guerrilla special in a whisky cask then!)

@simonhjohnson @NottsBrew Hopshackle Aniseed Porter and Resination, especially the latter. Fantastic West Coast USA-style IPA
(108 for the porter, and 109 for the Resination, 7.0% though!)

Beers I am suggesting purely on speculation or a good name! (I have yet to try these and will be working my way through myself!) at least you can tweet us your thoughts if you try any @NottsBrew

Burnside

047 Mad Dogz IPA 3.8%

As a life time Notts fan ‘Mad Dog’ Martin Allen has been a breath of fresh air at meadow lane, will his namesake be as good here? A dry Golden IPA suggests so.

Craddocks

055 Billy Nomates 4.8%

Oh Billy, sitting in the corner alone, IPA with New Zealand hops suggests this will infact have quite a few mates.

Grafters

091 YIPPEE I.P.A. 5.2% (NOTTSBREW PUNTASTIC NAME OF THE FESTIVAL)

A Die hard reference! I don’t really care that it has strong fruity floral aromas, ‘next time you have a chance to try this beer, don’t hesitate’ – ‘thanks for the advice!’

Moorview

144 Goldilocks & the 3 beers 3.6%

A cheesy name with 3 malts and is a refreshing golden ale, sold!

North Riding

149 Pedros Shorts 3.7%

Nelson Sauvin is a green light for me, as is working with a man called Pedro who recently had to stop wearing shorts due to a company clothes policy, couldn’t make it up!

Tunnel

549 Honnibal Necter 5.0%

Honey, citrus and bittersweet assumedly no cannibalism is involved.

Foxfield

640 Sonic Encouter 4.0%

The program notes say this ‘A new beer, brewer has no idea of taste!‘ what kind of idiot sends a beer without a clue of its taste? A BALLSY ONE THATS WHO, and that’s why I am recommending this, so what if it transpires to actually tasting like balls.

Partner’s

716 God’s Own Ale 4.2%

Blimey don’t be subtle about it! you’re like one of those overly proud parents to toot your horn like that, unless you’re referring to the 1991 amiga game by the bitmap brothers, I tell you what I’m just going to pretend you are and recommend it.

Mansfield Road Holy Gr-Ale turns out to be Holy-Fail

Over 100 beers? erm no actually, not really, and if there ever where it would require a myriad of *† and other cautionary disclaimer notes after the number 100… It’s possible that 100 beers where on sort of, but not at once and some pubs where paying lip service compared to others. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still worth going as they have some great beers on, but the claims of 100 beers whilst true, in a nutshell it’s not ‘all at once’.

Pea

We started at the Peacock Inn, I like this pub and we are due to do a review but I was surprised to see no beer barrels, just the bar full up to its normal quota, that was ‘it’ thankfully Bath Ales – Summer Hare was superb and pulled them out from embarrasment, they had about 7 beers on including regulars, this was not the start hoped for.

Moving onto the Golden Fleece we where greeted with this board,

Fleace

That’s better I thought, but the reality was unfortunately again not all beers being available, inside was a smaller sized menu with ticks showing which where currently on, about a third where available to buy at the time. Thornbridge Jaipur was a great pint but costly at £3.20, but hey at least thats 5p cheaper than in the center of London, because Mansfield Road and the center of London are clearly in a similar business position…

Ok so fair enough moving on to the Nags Head, they do a quality beer festival out in the great patio area they have, the board this time didn’t promise so much but at least all beers where on and available, so fair play to the Nags Head.

Nags

Not promising a massive selection, but fair play for having it all on the bar to buy.

Next off to the Lincolnshire Poacher, which roundly trounced the previous pubs with its usual great bar selection, and just under 20 on gravity available.

Poacher

£2.80 for all festival pints was again reasonable

Many will think after my previous glowing reports of the Lincolnshire Poacher that I have some kind of agenda, well I don’t! I think normally it’s over priced, but tonight again it showed that it was the best of the bunch!

We went at this point to next door,  it seems Fade and the hard to find cafe just plain pulled out, we went there to be told abruptly, and I quote,

we’re not stamping cards

They had 2 beers on, and that was your lot.

Fade

 

This was a festival/crawl that promised a huge amount and didn’t quite live up to expectation, claims of 100+ beers is deceptive given the showing we saw. We didn’t try the Rose of England or Forest Tavern but given the experience from all the other pubs, I think a mixed reaction is the best we can give it, here’s hoping that if this event is back on in 2012 some of the pubs that gave a poor showing pull their weight, as they put the brakes on what could have been a fantastic night out.

Mansfield Road announces beer festival, onlookers confused.

Mansfield Road Holy Gr-ale Festival 

Thursday 12th May – Sunday 15th

 

You have to take notice when an entire road announces a beer festival, and Mansfield Road is a huge one.

In a first for at the very least Nottingham, 7 pubs serving over 100 beers are coming together to form the mother of all pub crawls!

They are (in order of walking away from town)

The Peacock Inn
Rose of England
Golden Fleece
The Nags Head
Lincolnshire Poacher
Fade and the hard to find Cafe
The Forest Tavern

Filling in a trail collectors card gets you a free beer, if you’re out shopping on the Saturday morning and see some people covered in tears and vomit outside the Sony Centre, don’t feel sad, they probably had a bit too much to drink the night before and just rolled their way back down the hill. The only question remaining is, will you work your way up, or down?

ps, no, this isn’t an April Fool.

Ah, a list has been released, though it isn’t in any real order, nor does it specify what will be where!

Castle Rock Harvest Pale

Batemans Spring Breeze

Caledonian Double Twist

Downton Light

Exmoor Gold

Newby Wyke Summer Session

Batemans XB

Castle Rock Kiss Me Kate

Black Sheep Bitter

Harviestoun Born to be Mild

Jarrow Red Ellen

Magpie Midnight Mild

Mordue Ginger Ale

Ossett Milbridge Mild

Newby Wyke Bear Island

Priorswell Silver Chalice

Saltaire Stateside IPA

Poachers Bog Trotter

Newby Wyke Chesapeake

Titanic English Glory

Blue Monkey Original

Blue Monkey BG Sips

Blue Monkey Evolution

Bluemonkey 99 red baboons

Kelham Island Easy Rider

Kelham Island Pale Rider

Newby Wyke  Black Funnel

Abbeydale Moonshine

Newby Wyke HMS Dreadnought

Abbeydale Absolution

Oldershaw Heavanly Blonde

RCH Old Slug Porter

Oldershaw Sunny Daze

Castle Rock Screech Owl

Newby Wyke HMS Revenge

Ossett Milbridge Mild

Shardlow Reverends Eaton

Castle Rock Albert Ball VC

Nottingham Legend

Wells Bombardier

Wychwood Hobgoblin

Sharps Doombar

Flip Side Dark Denomination

Titanic Captain Smith

Oakham Inferno

Mordue Radgie Gadgie

Magpie Thieving Rogue

Dark Star Festival

Black Hole No Escape

Cotleigh Barn Owl

Shadlow Mayflower

Titanic First Class

Adnams Lighthouse

Everards Whakatu

Russels Mild

Wadworth Lilly the Pink

Shepherd Neame Canterbury Jack

McMullen Country Bitter

Castle Rock Elsie Mo

Wychwoods Elderwych

Gales HSB

Nelson Pieces of 8

Milton Dyonysus

Theakstons Lightfoot

Leeds Funfair

Holdens Golden Glow

Saltaire Trio Pale

Caledonian Flying Scotsman

Robinsons Dizzy Blonde

Shardlow Golden Hop

Titanic Life Boat

Spire Dark side of the moon

Hook Norton Hooky Gold

Magpie JPA

Nottingham EPA

Thornbridge Jaipur

Shepherd Neame Master Brew

Castle Rock Preservation

Milestone Crusader

St Austell Tinners

Adnams Broadside

Green King Abbot

Shepherd Neame Spitfire

Brains The Reverend James

Rudgate Ruby Mild

RCH Steam Pole

Castle Rock Gate Keeper

Derby Dashingly Dark

Jarrow Swinging Jibbet


Ciders

 

Broadoak Moonshine

Cornish Orchards Strong & Dry

Westons Scrumpy

Gwynt y Ddraig Vintage 06

Torkard Festival Special

Westons Raspberry Cider

Gwynt y Ddraig Fiery Fox

Mr Whiteheads Midnight Special Perry

Biddendens Dry

Gwynt y Ddraig Autumn Magic

Torkard CBC

Hecks Vintage Dry

Westons Old Rosie

Moles Black Rat

Westons Vintage

Torkard Floppy Tabs

Gwyntt Y Ddraig  Black Dragon

Thatchers Cheddar Valley

Broadoak Kingston Black

 

Perry


Moles Black Rat Perry

Broadoak Perry

Gwynt y Ddraig Two Trees

 

 

Castle Rock Harvest Pale

Batemans Spring Breeze

Caledonian Double Twist

Downton Light

Exmoor Gold

Newby Wyke Summer Session

Batemans XB

Castle Rock Kiss Me Kate

Black Sheep Bitter

Harviestoun Born to be Mild

Jarrow Red Ellen

Magpie Midnight Mild

Mordue Ginger Ale

Ossett Milbridge Mild

Newby Wyke Bear Island

Priorswell Silver Chalice

Saltaire Stateside IPA

Poachers Bog Trotter

Newby Wyke Chesapeake

Titanic English Glory

Blue Monkey Original

Blue Monkey BG Sips

Blue Monkey Evolution

Bluemonkey 99 red baboons

Kelham Island Easy Rider

Kelham Island Pale Rider

Newby Wyke  Black Funnel

Abbeydale Moonshine

Newby Wyke HMS Dreadnought

Abbeydale Absolution

Oldershaw Heavanly Blonde

RCH Old Slug Porter

Oldershaw Sunny Daze

Castle Rock Screech Owl

Newby Wyke HMS Revenge

Ossett Milbridge Mild

Shardlow Reverends Eaton

Castle Rock Albert Ball VC

Nottingham Legend

Wells Bombardier

Wychwood Hobgoblin

Sharps Doombar

Flip Side Dark Denomination

Titanic Captain Smith

Oakham Inferno

Mordue Radgie Gadgie

Magpie Thieving Rogue

Dark Star Festival

Black Hole No Escape

Cotleigh Barn Owl

Shadlow Mayflower

Titanic First Class

Adnams Lighthouse

Everards Whakatu

Russels Mild

Wadworth Lilly the Pink

Shepherd Neame Canterbury Jack

McMullen Country Bitter

Castle Rock Elsie Mo

Wychwoods Elderwych

Gales HSB

Nelson Pieces of 8

Milton Dyonysus

Theakstons Lightfoot

Leeds Funfair

Holdens Golden Glow

Saltaire Trio Pale

Caledonian Flying Scotsman

Robinsons Dizzy Blonde

Shardlow Golden Hop

Titanic Life Boat

Spire Dark side of the moon

Hook Norton Hooky Gold

Magpie JPA

Nottingham EPA

Thornbridge Jaipur

Shepherd Neame Master Brew

Castle Rock Preservation

Milestone Crusader

St Austell Tinners

Adnams Broadside

Green King Abbot

Shepherd Neame Spitfire

Brains The Reverend James

Rudgate Ruby Mild

RCH Steam Pole

Castle Rock Gate Keeper

Derby Dashingly Dark

Jarrow Swinging Jibbet

Ruddington beer festival June 2011, final dates and information.

We wrote previously revealing this years Ruddington beer festival dates, well heres some more info…

Thursday 2nd – Sunday 5th June, midday to midnight.

Rudd

It has now been confirmed that good beer guide author Roger Protz is chosing 50 of the beers as his ‘micro masters’ assumedly the other 25 will be local/ish beers

This year omits the Victoria Tavern, which is wise given its poor showing last year.

You can see more information and some of the confirmed beers on the festival website by clicking here.

 

West Bridgford Monarchs (hockey club) Beer Festival – Thu 3rd -> Sat 5th March

Thursday 3rd March 6pm – 11pm / Friday 4th March 4pm – 11pm / Saturday 5th March 12 midday – 11pm

The previous WB Hockey beer festival was in November, I reviewed it here and I had nothing but praise for it, I’ve been to many of these now and they offer a great atmosphere and most importantly the organisers always choose top beer, as well as charging a very fair £2.40 a pint they set it up a week prior to the festival.

WB Hockey

Good cheap food, and well priced beer, yes please.

If you fancy looking at the previous festivals list it’s here but without further ado, here’s the March list (not listed is an undisclosed scrumpy cider)

(A very pale to E very dark)

E BEARTOWN PANDAMONIUM 4.8% Strong Congleton stout
B BLINDMANS GOLDEN SPRING 4% Straw coloured brewed with lager malt
B BLUE MONKEY APE ALE 5.2% Pale strong and very drinkable
A CASTLE ROCK HARVEST PALE 3.8% The award winning pale
A COPPICE SIDE SCARY CROW 5% A strong blond from new Heanor brewery
C DANCING DUCK 22 4.5% Another new brewery with growing reputation
A DERBY BREWING PERFECT 10 4.5% Pale golden ale with hoppy finish
A KELHAM ISLAND PALE RIDER 5.2% Infamous Sheffield pale ale
C MAGPIE JPA 5.2% A special brewed in honour of the landlord of the Globe
B NEWBY WYKE HMS REVENGE 4.2% Golden beer with fruit / floral hop aromas
A NOTTINGHAM BULLION 4.7% Triple hopped premium golden beer
A OAKHAM BISHOPS FAREWELL 4.6% Golden ale with citrus and dry hoppy aftertaste
A OSSETT SNOWDROP 4.2% Very pale beer with malty hints
C PURITY UBU 4.5% Premium amber ale
A ROOSTERS ORANGE BLOSSOM CREAM 3.9% Very pale beer with citrus aromas
E SARAH HUGHES DARK RUBY 6% The best ruby mild from Sedgley W. Mids
C SHARPS DOOM BAR 4% Balanced blend of spicy hops and sweet roasted malt
B SUMMER WINE ZENITH 4% Dry hopped pale ale with notes of lime

How do you get there? well, jump on the number 10 bus; where Asda is you need to get off at the stop just after it (assuming you are coming into West Bridgford from town) then it’s a 7/8 minute walk up the main road, next to the fire station. Check out the WB Hockey website for more information.

Nottingham Beer Festival 2011 : what to expect

Nottingham Beer festival, 13th October 2011 -> 15th October 2011.

We will be tweeting live from the festival Thursday and Friday, if you fancy following us to get live tweets on what’s worth drinking, follow us @NottsBrew

October 2011 update : beer list released! 928 currently, click here for the list! stuck? check out our what to drink guide!

September 2011 update: 900+ beers have been confirmed as have 120 ciders/perries, get your drinking hats on people.

June 2011 update :Well it would appear that this year is indeed going to break all previous records with the organisers aiming for a monsterous 1000! Ales, ciders and perry sellections are all due to increase even further on last years gigantic selection and to cater for this a new ‘mini token’ system is coming into play, as well as a third of a pint being offered for the first time to allow for even more variety than ever.

With last years Nottingham beer festival still in recent memory lets take a look at what this years Nottingham beer festival 2011 could bring, and hopefully help attract more people from around the UK to visit. Despite last year having well over 800 beers available, yes that’s more beer on offer than even the GBBF (Great British Beer Festival) it seems a host of potential visitors are yet to sample this truely unique event, infact many still have never heard of it!

banners

Last years list met expectations of even more! as demanded from festival goers, infact so much so it’s almost daunting if you show up with no idea what to have, hopefully this year some kind of colour wheel system will be implemented to give you more of an idea of what you’re buying.

Can the organisers squeeze in more? we spoke to Steve Westby after the festival close last year and whilst the grounds are vast, the amount of usable flat land is almost up to its limit, though with that said I’d imagine they will be keen to break last years record! edit – we have recently read that they’re going to try and break their own 848 record!

If you’ve never been you can see the grounds here the main marquee area used is to the left of the castle in the main picture, with smaller marquees setup above near the bandstand.

glasses

It's easy to forget you're in a castle grounds at times, despite not being allowed to wander round inside in a full suit of armour singing 'take me home' the surrounding area constantly reminds you of how special this is.

We wrote a few articles regarding last years beer festival including our review but the best piece of advice we can take from previous festivals is get there early, if you want to try all the beers go Thursday, and if you must go on Friday late, or at all Saturday consider pre-purchasing tickets as the beer turnover rate is astonishing; the number of festival goers will be north of 20,000 so popular beers can start to sell out Friday afternoon, even if they put on multiple barrels!

2010 was hands down the best festival yet improving on every aspect of previous years, if they even match nevermind exceed last years it will yet again be unmissable.

We will keep updating this article as the year progresses (last update 6th October 2011) leave us a comment if you have any questions.

SIBA National Champions Beer Festival : Nottingham 2011

This is a compararable festival to the champions league, each region of the UK has its best beers put forward to fight it out in various categories for the SIBA gold medal, the best beer of the entire festival then being given the prestigious top SIBA award.

Halves range from £1.30 – £1.50 with NO CAMRA discount.

As per 2010, 56 handpulls on an impressive custom length bar. This was taken at 5.02pm, by 5.20pm it was completely rammed.

Thornbridge Kipling has been steamrollering pretty much everything recently and to be quite honest rightly so, but not tonight, the Kipling on offer was a good to average beer that left its self open to the competition, fortunately for Thornbridge the rest of the strong bitters category where of a similar dissapointing ilk; all failing to impress having tried the lot other than the Cairngorm – Wildcat (5.1%), that seemed to have been off from the word go. Kipling then will no doubt get this category victory but perhaps a little cheaply, regardless on the night it was in our opinion the best strong bitter.

The top award however? well, this is where the current Nottingham Beer Festival champion (and others!) is left trailing in some fashion, Salopian – Prohibition (4.6%) with its wonderful fresh citrusy grapefruit feel and a sublimely dry finish was in a different class and surely in with a good shout to top the premium bitters as well as the festival champion, closely followed by Dorset Brewing Company – Ammonite (3.8%) a full bodied pint with a lot of depth that belies its alchol content, a shoe in we reckon for the bitters & pale ales up to 4.0% category, a nod also due to a speciality beer Coach house brewing Co – Blueberry classic bitter (5.0%) beers like this can usually go one of two ways, crap, or great, it went the latter.

We are far from done though as things could change tomorrow night, we have had most, but not quite all of the beers so far!

http://www.siba.co.uk/events/?page_id=883

SIBA festival returns in new year

Well happy new year and all that, here’s some great news, the canalhouse is welcoming back the SIBA festival!

SIBA national beer competition/ SIBA champions beer festival

Thursday February 10th – Saturday February 12th

SIBA

It's a bit different with all hand pumps, no gravity.

It’s nice to see this competition return to Nottingham again, hopefully they have found a new home!

A list of the competing finalists can be found below

http://www.siba.co.uk/events/?page_id=883

Lincolnshire poacher – winter beer festival review

The Lincolnshire Poacher is a bit of a gem on Mansfield Road and always has a wide selection of beers, so it was good news then to hear them announce a winter beer festival with 25 beers on gravity, on top of the 8 or so well kept beers they usually have on the bar(s).

I’ll admit despite being a good beer list I thought this festival would be a complete rip-off, I was wrong and all beers where £2.80 a pint which is fairly reasonable, if you thought that was still too pricey you could of course just stick to the 5%+ beers, but that’s a little extreme. It’s worth making note of the fact that Nottingham Beer Festival winner Kipling was amongst these beers, and unsurprisingly was shifting very well.

Main Bar

For once the Poacher main bar was not the focus of attention.

As expected the festival beers where well kept and as always the staff where very polite, however as I have previously touched upon in an article some of the none festival beer pricing on the bar was daft, Fullers London Porter at £3.40 a pint must have been rolled up from London by Mr Fuller himself, of course nobody is forcing you to buy it.

(unless you went into the back garden where Mr Fuller was hanging around with a lead pipe threatening people : disclaimer for idiots and the PC lot, that is of course a joke.)

Board

Beers from the 25 where being replaced as and when needed, this board changed repeatedly on the Friday night, and already had been doing so judging by the chalk smudges.

Space was at a premium with the snug area playing temporary home to all the extra beer so it was a little tight at times, this didn’t seem to bother anyone as people made do with propping up against walls, hey support is support right? Best beer then, for me at this festival I’d give it to Ossett – Vivian May 4.1%.

A great beer festival and hopefully this won’t be the last, judging by the volume of beer being shifted I doubt very much it will.