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.

Plough Inn Radford, Nottingham / Nottingham Brewery

What a diverse area I thought, as I caught the bus from Upper Parliament street outside the ‘private triple x’ shop, and progressed my way from the city centre into Radford, destination, The Plough Inn – home of the Nottingham Brewery.

Carpark

It looks like a normal carpark, because it is. Behind this though is the brewery.

The Plough is a bit of an odd one to get to from the city centre, it requires a 10 minute or so bus ride and then a short walk that you really need to look into on google maps before setting off, with that said it is easy enough to find once you have a general idea of where you’re going* you would be forgiven for being a bit touristy in trying to find it, especially as other than the group I was with I didn’t hear anyone else talking English.

*we took the number 28 bus on the pink line and got off when we saw the white horse cafe (which looks like a pub) then walked up St Peters’ Street

 

Plough

The Plough, untouched by time.

After a stroll through modern Britain it was nice to see the Plough is an old fashioned honest boozer, much like their rivals Castle Rock the Nottingham Brewerys Plough is very much of a traditional decor, or as some would pen them ‘spit and sawdust’ the interior is what it is and after seeing the picture of one of the lounges below, you will know if it’s for you or not.

Interior

One of the lounges.

I set out to the Plough for one reason if I’m honest, to try one of my favourite all time beers again NottinghamSupreme, I hadn’t seen it in what seemed like forever, so where else better to go and get some? Well, as it turns out they canned brewing Supreme 2 years ago, this news knocked me back like a pint glass to the face (not that I have exprienced that, but it was unpleasant news) this was not the start I was hoping for.

Board

Add 4p due to todays budget.

The Nottingham Brewery do some great beer, we’re both huge fans of Rock Bitter and E.P.A, so despite the Supreme dissapointment I made my way through their card. I always get my hopes up when going to a brewtap expecting the beer to be the literal best example I have ever had, however it simply wasn’t the case; now don’t get me wrong they where good pints so perhaps I got my hopes up too high, another thing to keep in mind is I have had Nottingham beer in countless pubs round Nottingham, consuming a huge number of pints, versus the 5 on this one evening!

Which really brings me to this, despite being a very nice pub it’s hard to recommend  this colourful trip out when Nottingham beers are so freely available in the city centre.