Exclusive : Inside Blue Monkeys new powerhouse, The Organ Grinder

The Organ Grinder opens this Friday at 4pm, with free pork pies assumedly while they last!

Organ Grinder

There’s been a lot of talk, and given our web stats a lot of interest in Blue Monkeys new flagship boozer The Organ Grinder; head honcho John Hickling himself was kind enough to let us have a nosey round and answer a few questions this afternoon.

Blue Monkey Organ Grinder bar

8 pumps, beers facing away on the corner right are the regular Blue Monkey beers BG Sips and Guerilla

4 Blue Monkey beers will be available, 2 rotating and 2 regulars. The other 4 being proper guests, not just sourced from around Nottingham. John himself was enthusiastic about the selection, with beers and lagers (more about that in a moment) coming from all over the place backed up by a landlord with over 30 years experience, 2 of which running the award winning Crown at Beeston, it’s not hard to see why!

Money is being talked about more than ever, if you want a cheap pint Batemans XB is always on at £2.20 a pint, it’s a steady drink, and that’s a good price for the budget conscious, Blue Monkey beers vary in price but the excellent session beer Original will be £2.50 a pint, again a reasonable price, and if you can’t get a good pint of it here I don’t know where you will.

Lager lager lager...

A highly polished (literally) section of Lagers and speciality beers accompanies the ale selection. And yes, that's Jaipur on nitrokeg, somewhat of a wild card! Be warned though, typical speciality beer prices.


Constantly rotating cider and perry.

Being a freehouse allows you to do what you wish with your drinks, and it’s nice to see such a fine selection of lagers, ciders, and fruit wines, these are often overlooked by other pubs. The saying goes you can’t please everyone all of the time, but they’re giving it a go! They’re even going to be doing tea and coffee…

A proper fire

Yes that burner works, and will be on "as soon as it's cold enough"

Work was still ongoing during our visit, but it looks set to be easily one of the best pubs in Nottingham and is likely to be the jewel in the crown of a canning circus pub crawl that must be looking more and more tempting than ever!

Doors open Friday 24th June, 4pm

Address: 21 Alfreton Road, Nottingham.  NG7 3JE.

Opening hours: From Midday every day.

Manager: Angus Clark

Click for official site.

Blue Monkey to open flagship real ale pub, “The Organ Grinder”

View our exclusive look inside by clicking here


UPDATED PIC AS OF 25th May 2011

Looks like The Organ Grinder is coming along!


Recently on the way to work I noticed a certain closed down pub near Canning Circus (*COUGH* The Red Lion) had a familiar logo in the window as below:

Ok, its blurry…I was in a bus so sue me…if you need a further clue as to which brewery is taking over this pub how about this

If you need more clues then you must be colour blind. I dont mind hiding i’m totally stoked about this being a huge fan of the Blue Monkey Brewery…

Blue Monkey have taken over ownership of the red lion pub near canning circus and are totally rennovating it into a real ale haven. John from Blue Monkey kindly shared this press release with us.

Stay tuned for more news as we get it and obviously stay tuned for a review of the pub as soon as it opens!


The Organ Grinder Comes to Canning Circus!

You may well have heard the rumours about Blue Monkey opening a pub in
Canning Circus, and we can officially reveal that they are true. The Red Lion
at the bottom of Alfreton Road (opposite the Running Horse) has been bought
by the brewery. They have renamed it ‘The Organ Grinder’, and are investing
a significant amount of money to totally renovate it and turn it into a Mecca for
real ale fans. The new pub looks set to build on Canning Circus’s cracking
reputation for real ale, and should be a real boost to the area.

Blue Monkey’s John Hickling said “We’re currently doing all the structural
stuff that’s been neglected for years, such as re-tiling the roof, sorting out the
electrics and installing a new heating system. Next we’ll be moving on to the
décor, which needs a lot of work. We’re aiming for a proper ‘pub like’ feel to
the interior, but with a modern twist – anyone who knows how grotty the pub
was when it closed six months ago will be in for a pleasant surprise! I love
real fires in pubs, so we’ve opened out the old fireplace and fitted a lovely cast
iron log burner, which will be roaring away come Autumn.”

“I’d like to think that Blue Monkey has a great reputation for brewing
consistently good beer, and I’m absolutely determined that we’ll carry that
forward into selling and serving beer in a first class pub. So the first job was
to rip out all the beer dispense equipment which was filthy, and start from
scratch. Unusually, we’re paying for all the cellar and dispense equipment
ourselves, so we’ll not be in any way tied to a particular brewery or distributor
– it will be one of only a few genuinely free houses out there. The plan
is have the best range of ales in Nottingham, kept and served in perfect
conditions. I think we’ll launch with 8 ale handpulls, maybe 10 if I’m confident
that the turnover of beer can justify it. The pub has a massive cellar, cut
deep into the sandstone, so it’s perfect for a real ale pub – having plenty of
storage space we’ll be able to make sure the beer is really well conditioned
before it goes on sale. Obviously we’ll have plenty of Blue Monkey beers
on, but also about half the pumps will be given over to other great breweries
from near and far. I want to make the ale range really distinctive, so we’ll be
going to quite some effort to bring in beers that you won’t find anywhere else
in Nottingham. As for other drinks, we’re still finalising the details but we’ll
definitely have several unusual real ciders and perries available, a distinctive
range of keg beers that you’ll not find elsewhere and a quality wine range
available for the non ale drinkers.”

All being well, the pub will be opening in late June. At the time of going to
press, a manager is still being sought for the pub so anyone with solid pub
management experience, a great personality and a passion for real ale should
get in touch with John at Blue Monkey if they fancy a new challenge.