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Welcome Firstly, I’d like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year. I hope the year to come delivers what you’re hoping for! Reflecting on 2017, I think we suitably celebrated our 40th anniversary. We held our inaugural staff bash on the first Tuesday in January, where teams from across all areas of the business came together for an awards ceremony, drinks and food, giant inflatables and human-sized foosball. In May came our big birthday bash in the brewery yard. It kicked off with our Beer of the Year awards, followed by a three-day beer and music festival. Due to the success of these events, both will be repeated in 2018 (9th January and 17th-19th May retrospectively). That means our pubs will be closed on 9th January, so we can treat our hard-working staff to a belated Christmas celebration. I hope you’ll visit them on the 10th when we’re back open as usual, with many stories to share I’m sure. At the back end of 2017, we opened three new sites. First came the Fox & Grapes in Sneinton market, which opened in September in a revitalised closed-down pub. Next came Yarn at the Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall in November, followed by the Barley Twist in December, which you can read more about on page 11. It’s the highest number of sites we’ve ever opened in a single year, let alone within four months! If you haven’t done so already, add them to your list of things to do this winter. We also launched the new 2.0 series of beers in 2017, with great success, and this year are bringing you at least three new recipes. Go to page 8 to find out more about what we’ve got planned. Our classic recipes still prove popular and continue to win awards, with Elsie Mo picking up a certificate at the Society of Independent Brewers (Midlands) gathering in early November. Our pubs excelled too and were recognised with numerous CAMRA Branch Pub of the Year Awards (step forwards Poppy and Pint, Horse and Plough and the Rook and Gaskill). Other awards were picked up across the group, throughout the past year. My deepest thanks and congratulations go to these amazing teams. So, to 2018… We can’t predict the future, but what we can promise you is that we will continue to be the best version of ourselves that we can be. We’ll push ourselves to bring you best possible range of quality beers and quality food, we’ll innovate and collaborate, we’ll invest in our pubs and our people and we’ll endeavour to provide you, our valued Castle Rock customer, with the best possible pub experience! Thanks for your support. Cheers

Colin Wilde Managing Director @SheriffTipple

Queensbridge Road, Nottingham NG2 1NB

Telephone: 0115 985 1615

General enquiries: Sales enquiries: Recruitment:

CRQ is edited by Liv Auckland and designed & produced by freerbutler limited •


Castle Rock Pubs

YARN TAKES CENTRE STAGE Our new bar opens at the Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall With the Autumn chill came a new cosy bar for Nottingham’s city centre, nestled between the beloved Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall. Yarn opened in early November with a warm reception - full of friends, fizz, and beer! Castle Rock’s work with the Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall (TRCH) is a joint venture with Leeds-based CGC Event Caterers, and spans across all bars at the venue, including the cherished Dress Circle restaurant on the first floor. While work continues behind the scenes at the TRCH, Yarn is one of the key components of the venue’s 3.3-million-pound transformation project which took place during the summer of 2017. So, what’s it like? Formerly the Green Room, Yarn is a one-room pub on the ground floor of the Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall. A restored wooden bar runs the length of the room, with smooth curving walls, a mix of dining tables, plush and bar seating, and huge windows for people-watching. Yellow and chrome pendant lights run the length of the room, hanging from a forest-green ceiling, while the walls at either end of Yarn are adorned with images and clippings from the landmark’s archives.

Located opposite the Cornerhouse, Yarn can be found beneath the architectural-meets-sculptural white canopy, which lights up at night and provides some privacy from the bustle of the city. Come sunny spring days and the bench seating beneath the canopy will be an added bonus for Yarn-goers. If you haven’t popped by yet, please do! As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions. And be sure to follow Yarn on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. There’s a ticket give-away on the horizon!

Yarn is managed by Damian Brandon, a familiar face for Castle Rock regulars of the Vat and Fiddle and the Stratford Haven. While three of our own core brews are on the bar permanently, Damian is excited to order in some weird and wonderful craft beers from Nottingham and beyond. There’s a total of eight cask lines, with a wall of ten keg beers gleaming enticingly. Two real ciders are also available, alongside a great selection of spirits, soft drinks, bottles and cans. Open from 10am every day, Yarn is a great city spot to start your day, with top-notch coffee roasted by Stewarts of Trent Bridge. Pair your cappuccino with mouthwatering croissants and jam, served warm, and you’ll be feeling fresh as a daisy in no time. For lunch and dinner, Yarn’s food menu includes a variety of tapas dishes, alongside farmhouse sandwiches, pizzas and antipasti boards. The name ‘Yarn’ was chosen in homage to our city’s rich history of textiles and literature. At a venue where playwrighting is celebrated, in a UNESCO City of Literature (which also happens to have an impressive heritage of actual yarn spinning), we couldn’t help ourselves. A few of our ever-entertaining customers have voiced concerns that knitting groups will turn up to Yarn. We can assure you…they’ll be very welcome if they do!


Pictured above at the opening of Yarn is Charlie Blomeley (left), head of food and beverage at TRCH, with manager of Yarn, Damian Brandon OPENING TIMES: Sunday-Thursday 10am-11pm Friday & Saturday 10am-Midnight Facebook: Yarn bar • Twitter: @yarn_bar Instagram: @yarnbarnottingham Website: • E-mail:


Castle Rock Beers

2018 BEERS 2018 is going to be a good year for Castle Rock beer Over on page 8 you can read all about what to expect with our 2.0 range in 2018. Meanwhile, let’s have a peek at the other tasty brews to look out for in the first few months of the year. Nottinghamian Celebration Ale number 30 hits bars in January, and this time round we are celebrating Dennis McCarthy, who joined BBC Radio Nottingham as a broadcaster shortly after the station opened in 1968. The beer, a porter brewed with local coffee, is not only to celebrate Dennis’ life, but also 50 years of BBC Radio Nottingham. We’re keeping it in the family by brewing Dennis’ namesake beer with the help of his daughter, Tara. We’re always looking for people to celebrate with our Nottinghamian Celebration Ale range, so if you have any suggestions, please get in touch. Another beer to keep on your radar in January is Fool’s Gold, which is all about showcasing the outrageousness of Citra. Clocking in at 4.5%, Fool’s Gold will have a fairly simple malt bill of Maris Otter with a touch of Cara Red, to bring the colour to a more golden hue. A hefty dry hop load of Citra gives juicy tropical fruit loveliness. Look out for very pale ale Snowhite, which is available throughout January and February. This January we also have the return of Crafty Flanker. The crisp pale ale was

originally brewed for the Rugby World Cup, but due to popular demand is now brewed yearly for the Six Nations. There will also be two more brand new Commemoration Collection beers later in the year, before we close the range out in 2019. The first of 2018, Factory No. 6, is a strong, hoppy blonde ale, and the second, Armistice, is a black cherry porter which we are particularly excited about! As this is our penultimate year of Commemoration Collection beers, we do hope you will give them a try and support two wonderful charities, as we reflect on the centenary of the First World War. Don’t forget our lovely classic range: the almighty Harvest Pale, Preservation, Screech Owl and Elsie Mo. Elsie picked up a Bronze at the SIBA Midlands Independent Beer Competition – all the more reason to give it a try! Also, after great feedback, two of our beers are now permanently available in keg: our coffee stout, Sherwood Reserve, and Pilsner, from the 2.0 range. Both are vegan friendly.

Nottinghamian DENNIS McCARTHY 4.2% ABV January 2018 - March 2018 Dennis McCarthy was a decorator, washing-machine salesman and dogbreeder, before station bosses at BBC Radio Nottingham saw him being interviewed about Crufts! He joined the station shortly after it opened in 1968, and broadcast five days a week with “Afternoon Special”. In 1991, McCarthy was made an MBE for his services to broadcasting, having interviewed six Prime Ministers, Red Rum, and hundreds of film and TV stars. His funeral procession is said to have ‘bought the city to a standstill’, as twenty-thousand listeners lined the streets. At the suggestion of McCarthy’s daughter Tara, this namesake beer is a London-style porter brewed with fresh coffee beans. See: Dark brown/black Smell: Rich coffee, roasted malt Taste: Dark espresso and complex malt Aftertaste: Subtle bitterness with a dry finish Bitterness 3 | Sweetness 3



4.5% ABV January 2018 A brand-new beer for 2018. Fool’s Gold is packed with a dry load of Citra hops for juicy tropical fruit loveliness, against a simple caramel malt body. See: Golden Smell: Peach, Mango, Pine resin Taste: Tropical fruit flavours balanced by subtle caramel malt Aftertaste: Full bodied with a gentle bitter finish Bitterness 4 | Sweetness 2


5.5% ABV October 2017 - March 2018 Screech Owl’s moody cousin. This classic black IPA brings upfront US hop character, combined with a hint of caramel for a rich ale that packs a punch. See: Dark ruby Smell: Caramel, fresh citrus Taste: Fresh, hoppy, complex Bitterness 4 | Sweetness 3


4.4% ABV November 2017 - February 2018 Snowhite is our icy queen, brewed between November and February every year. A very pale ale brewed with UK and Slovenian hops. Very drinkable with a refreshing drop. See: Very pale Smell: Floral, citrus Taste: Soft, clean, crisp, fresh Bitterness 3 | Sweetness 3


4.0% ABV January - March 2018 This classic pale ale comes in at a sessionable 4%, and is brewed with UK and US hops for a refreshing, easy-drinking beer. See: Very pale Smell: Grassy, citrus Taste: Balanced, fresh, subtle citrus Bitterness 3 | Sweetness 2

The penultimate year of the Commemoration Collection We’ve been brewing beers to mark the centenary of the First World War since June 2014. Later this year sees two more hit bars, with one commemorating a large-scale local accident and one marking the beginning of the end of the war. We donate to charity from every pint sold, so if you spot these brews be sure to have a pint in remembrance.



The Chilwell blast

Goodbye to All That

5.3% ABV Available from July 2018 Factory No.6, the National Shell Filling Factory in Chilwell, Nottinghamshire, employed 6,000 men and 4,000 women at its peak. On 1st July 1918, the factory suffered an explosion which was reportedly heard twenty miles away. 134 Nottinghamshire workers lost their lives in the blast, and another 250 were injured. See: Blonde Smell: Hoppy, citrus, fresh Taste: Zesty fruit supported by a malt backbone Aftertaste: Warming and full bodied with a lasting bitterness Bitterness 4 | Sweetness 2

4.5% ABV Available from November 2018 On 11th November 1918, the Armistice was signed by representatives from Britain, France and Germany as a prelude to peace negotiations. It had been preceded by three days of complex negotiations, during which Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicated. Over 37 million people – civilians and military personnel – died during the ‘Great War’. See: Dark brown/black Smell: Cherry, dried fruit Taste: Black forest gateau, fruits of the forest Aftertaste: Bittersweet, kirsch Bitterness 3 | Sweetness 3

Hand-painted artwork features on all the range’s pump clips. The above dove has been painted for Armistice.


Castle Rock Beers

2.0 2018 brings three new arrivals in the 2.0 range. A year ago, we introduced our 2.0 beers in the winter 2017 edition of the Castle Rock Quarter. Having been brewing in cask for nearly two decades, we’d watched the beer industry change more times than we could count. The biggest change we’d seen, one that’s here to stay for the foreseeable future, was the shift in power from the big brewer to the pub. Or, more accurately, to the beer drinker. Our aim was clear and simple: the 2.0 range was about the beer. Just interesting, well-thought-out beer that dipped our toes into the unknown. No gimmicks, no forced brand story, no masses of money chucked around for design. Every part of it, from scrawled spider diagrams to lovingly made pump clips, came from the hands and hearts of our small team. In 2017, the 2.0 range brought three new beers to bars across the UK: Session IPA (v1), Wheat, and Pilsner. We have been delighted with how the 2.0 range has gone so far, and can only hope to build and improve it in 2018. Session IPA has been one of our most popular ‘one-off’ beers in many years, and we’ve had to brew it several times to keep up with demand. It also became our first canned beer, and sold like hotcakes, or like a juicy session IPA. We’ll be brewing it well into 2018, so you can still get your hands on our first effort at producing a modern-style IPA. Hopped with Simcoe, Ahtanum and Columbus, it’s generously hopped at 1kg / barrel (over four times more than Harvest Pale) with a


two-stage dry hopping process in the fermenter. This February, look out for Session IPA v2, which will aim to take everything we’ve learned while brewing v1 and improve on it. V2 will be hopped with Citra and Mosaic and we’re increasing the hopping rate a little bit, plus taking a more in-depth look at the water chemistry as well as methods to get the most out of the hops. Citra isn’t cheap, ya know! Other beers in the 2.0 range for 2018 include IPA v1, available later in the year, and hopped with three beautiful New Zealand hop varieties: Motueka, Waimea and Nelson Sauvin. Following that we’ll be brewing a Summer fruit beer in August, when the berries are in season. This’ll be full of juicy summer fruits such as blackberries, redcurrants and blackcurrants and well-balanced with English hops. Fruit v1 will be our attempt at recreating all the deliciousness of a summer pudding, in beer form! No guarantees, but there’s a chance we might get a Session IPA v3 out before 2018 is over. If you want to make that happen, make sure you drink lots of v1 and v2! And as always, feel free to feed back your thoughts. The beer world is changing, and fast. Not all these changes are for the best, but we’re taking the very best of it and trying to encapsulate that in the 2.0 beers – a genuine passion to the point of geekery about beer, progression and integrity, as well as the never-ending desire to do something properly.

Real Cider

TOP PICKS FOR WINTER Cider Guru Rachel Hopwell picks her favourite fruity real ciders for the chilly months of January-March 2018… Happy New Year to all! Or, if you’ve picked this up in March, happy almost-spring! If it is the new year and you’ve never dabbled in the land of real cider, now’s the perfect time to try something new. Read on to find out my recommendations for winter, give them a try, and share your discoveries with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Plus, use the hashtags #TryJanuary and #Tryanuary to reach out to like-minded beverage and food adventurers! I’ve decided to focus on fruity real ciders this quarter, while cider-makers are making the most out of Britain’s hedgerow crops. Broad Oak Sloe Gin Cider, 4% This is the perfect gateway cider if you’re used to sweet, fizzy fruit ciders. Broad Oak produces real craft cider at its best, and are now one of the biggest independents in the UK. This Sloe Gin Cider is medium sweet and a sessionable 4% ABV. Sloe is the fruit produced by a Prunus Spinosa, a species of flowering plant in the rose family, and is traditionally harvested in the UK in autumn, just after the first frosts. It’s usually tart and astringent with tannin, but when combined with gin and left to mature, it produces a fruity, warming spirit. Fused with a refreshing real cider, and you have yourself a drink reminiscent of fruit punch. Blue Barrel Elderflower, 5.7% Now for a lovely story behind a lovely cider. Blue Barrel started in the Summerwood Community Garden, where the residents, school children and the council provided a community space to learn about growing fruit and veg, making traditional crafts, and the environment. Thanks to some lottery funding, the community was able to invest in a basic basket apple press and hand scratter. Next came an apple day for pressing surplus apples, and naturally that juice became cider. They’ve won multiple awards since.

Now, onto this Elderflower beauty. Made with fresh Nottinghamshire apples (a blend of varieties to create natural sweetness and balance), it’s a medium, refreshing cider with elderflower undertones. Very drinkable, very much worth a try. Westons Rosie’s Pig Handbrake, 4% Westons cider makers have been around since 1880, and are probably the most well-known name in cider in the UK. Handbrake is described as a medium-sweet ‘cloudy cider with damson’, made with Herefordshire apples and a generous amount of damson juice. Damson plums, much like Sloes, can be very astringent and are high in sugar. Their acidity is usually reserved for cooking, or in jams and preserves. But, again like Sloes, Damsons produce great flavours and aromas when aged in alcohol. For Handbrake, the result is burgundy-coloured cider with a plummy, earthy aroma and a rich fruit taste with a sharp finish. Follow me on Twitter and Facebook for updates of what is going on in the world of cider in and around the Castle Rock Pubs. That’s it from me until April. I’ll see you in CRQ #17… @CiderGuruCRB


Yvette Marshall


Castle Rock Pubs

BARLEY TWIST Castle Rock’s Sweet Tooth Nottingham City Council’s plans to regenerate the Broadmarsh area (a gateway between the train station and the city centre) got us thinking about opening a micropub-meets-shop. Truth be told, we had been dreaming about it for a few years, but until recently had trouble finding the perfect site. Located on upper Carrington Street, just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the Canalhouse, former sweet shop ‘the Barley Twist’ became the apple of our eye. Over the years, we’d popped in a few times for afternoon sweet treats, but in January 2017 the shop closed for good. Shortly after, talks began with the council and property owners Lago Estates Ltd., and a hopeful article even appeared in the spring edition of the Castle Rock Quarter. We stayed quiet on the subject for months, before we were finally able to confirm the venture in November. Yvette Marshall, manager of the Canalhouse for more than a decade, is heading up the new craft beer and wine cellar. Our own Willy Wonka, if you will. At time of writing, the Barley Twist is starting to take shape, but as you read this it’s already been open for at least a couple of weeks. We’ll be bringing you a closer look in the next edition of the Quarter, but for now we’ll give you a quick run-through of the fun facts… The Barley Twist has been leased by the Beer Consortium, the EIS company behind the Embankment, the Fox & Grapes, the Horse and Plough and the Cricketers Rest. The site was allocated a grant as part of Nottingham City Council’s Carrington Street Heritage Scheme, to repair and restore the building’s Edwardian and historic features and shop front, made possible through a Heritage Lottery Fund Grant. You’ll notice the doorway to the Barley Twist now sits on the right of the shop front rather than the centre, as part of the restoration to its former glory, while subtler changes can be spotted by a keen eye.

pub. In fact, a new staircase leads you down a large cellar, stripped back to brick with moody, atmospheric lighting and comfy seating. On the ground floor you’ll find booth and window seating, three fridges filled with bottled and canned beers – discounted to take away – and a small bar stocked with an exquisite wine list, premium spirits, a cask ale hand-pull featuring Castle Rock specials and one-off brews, and locally roasted coffee from Stewarts of Trent Bridge. Part of the Barley Twist’s unique offering is a focus on Castle Rock and Nottingham-inspired merchandise, with the variety of items on offer growing in the coming months. Ready for opening, our personal favourites include some new mottled t-shirts and gin-flavoured sticks of rock. Follow the Barley Twist on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates, and swing by our website for more up-to-date information: Facebook: Barley Twist Twitter: @barley_twist Instagram: @barley_twist

Newly discovered and restored touches can be found around the Barley Twist, like iron hooks hanging from the walls and an old fireplace in the cellar. Interestingly, the building itself (Portland Hotel) was a temperance house, built by the Hicking family who were wine merchants by trade. Looking at the outside of the Barley Twist, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s a rather compact one-room


Responsible Drinking

GO PUB THIS JANUARY Whether you’re an explorer on the “Try January” voyage or taking a break with Dry January, be sure to support your local Castle Rock pub when the new year has hit. First up, a bit of doom and gloom, but we’ll follow it with some new year positivity. January can be a tough month, for many people and for many reasons. It’s a month-long hangover of post-Christmas blues, unhappy bank balances, tight waistbands and navigating icy pavements. Some people subscribe to the “New Year New You” mentality, tackling new health and fitness regimes, taking another crack at the children’s book they started writing in the nineties, or promising themselves they’ll get up an hour earlier for a yoga session before work. Some of us, many of us it seems, recoil from the cold bleakness of January and go into hibernation. Sofa, cuppa, remote, sorted. While all this takes place, businesses suffer, and pubs are no exception. January is infamous for being the toughest month of the year for pubs. Sometimes it’s so tough that it takes months for pubs to recover. Some of them never do. In addition to the superspeed pro-activity or sloth-like hunkering down, we face Dry January. This charity-led, well-meaning attempt to get people off the booze for a month has grown in its success over past years, and publicans like ourselves have watched on aghast. Firstly, we are big believers in moderation. Drinking responsibly, in moderation, is surely better for your mental and physical health than eleven months of overdrinking broken by a one-month abstinence. We can confirm, from the front line, that dry Januarys are often followed by a celebratory alcohol binge on February 1st. Secondly, when thousands of people choose to “go dry”, it damages our pubs, pubs that are already under threat and continuing to close at an alarming rate.


If you want to take a break from alcohol this January, please do! We’re in no way saying you shouldn’t do what you feel is right for you. But we do humbly ask that you continue to visit your Castle Rock local – or any local pub if we’re not nearby! You don’t need to be drinking to benefit from spending a few hours socialising down the pub. Throughout January, Castle Rock pubs have offers on soft drinks as well as other non-alcoholic drinks, so you get to save a bit of money, fulfil your Dry January obligations, and perk yourself up with a night among other human beings! Enjoy alcohol-free cocktails, alcohol-free beer, botanical soft drinks and locally roasted coffee alongside good food and good conversation. Not only are we catering for those who choose to abstain, but we’re encouraging our customers to see January as a month of exploration and trying new things. If you’ve enjoyed fruity bottled ciders in the past for example, flick to page 9 and see what real ciders our cider Guru Rachel recommends. ‘Try January’ in other words. Look out for offers and promotions in our pubs, plus new, interesting, experimental and exciting food and drinks. If you go for moderation not abstinence, share your discoveries with the hashtags #TryJanuary and #Tryanuary to reach out to like-minded beverage and food adventurers! Whatever you choose to do, let’s quash the January blues and roll into 2018 with a positive outlook, one of trying new things and exploring new territories.

Green Issues

THE FINAL STRAW NO MORE PLASTIC STRAWS IN CASTLE ROCK PUBS In October, we announced our pledge to ban plastic straws in all of our managed pubs. Over the following weeks, plastic straws were replaced with a biodegradable alternative, as a small part in our mission to reduce our ecological footprint. We should all be making changes in our everyday lives to minimise our further impact on the planet and – as you can read below – on our own health. Disposable plastics are the main sources of plastic pollution. In the last few decades, people have come to expect plastic straws in their drinks, especially in soft drinks and cocktails. For minutes of convenience, these straws go on to pollute our land, wildlife, oceans, and even the air we breathe. Our first consideration is always our customers, and we understand that removing straws from our pubs altogether isn’t fair on those who need them. So, instead we brought in biodegradable straws, ending the use of thousands of plastic straws a year in Castle Rock pubs. Interestingly, the use of earth-friendly straws in this industry goes back 5,000 years, when beer drinkers used the stalks of rye as straws, which aided in filtering it. We’re also considering the life of biodegradable straws after they’ve been used, and what systems we can put in place to get the most out of them. Even biodegradable straws require the extraction of natural resources, and have a lifespan of their own. Some can decompose in as little as thirty days, but require the right environment to do so. Maybe we should trade mark Castle Rock Composting Ltd.? It all sounds like a bit of a faff, and some might be asking: Why bother?

Here’s why…

l Plastic poisons our food chain - Most plastic straws end up in our oceans, and are often ingested by marine wildlife l Plastic is forever - The earth can’t ingest plastic. Every piece of plastic that has ever been created still exists, including the small amount that has been incinerated and become toxic particle matter l Plastic affects human health - Harmful chemicals leached by plastics are present in the bloodstream of almost all humans, including newborns l Disposable plastics are the mains source of plastic pollution - Disposable plastics (bags, bottles, utensils, polystyrene cups, film, food packaging, straws and more) are the main source of plastic pollution. For minutes of use, plastic straws pollute our planet for centuries, possibly forever l Recycling isn’t enough - Most of our plastic waste is landfilled, down-cycled, incinerated or exported to other countries. Recycling plastic is costly and doesn’t stem the production of virgin plastic l Plastic pollution is urgent - The amount of plastic pollution in the ocean is expanding at a catastrophic rate, but there are similar concentrations of plastic in the desert, in communities around the world, in our homes, and in us If you want to find out more and see what you can do to help, visit And why not reach out to other pub groups, food chains and independents? There are printable cards available to download on our website, which ask businesses to only serve straws upon request. Go to to get yours.


The Goings On RECORD-BREAKING MARATHON COLLABORATION BEERS ON THE BAR November, we were very busy producing two RUNNER VISITS CASTLE ROCK PUBS During exciting new collaboration brews. Firstly, our Mocha 47 Porter is a thick and rich porter with a nice sweetness, and was made with Abstract Jungle and 47 Degrees Coffee. The incredible aromas come from cacao nibs and fresh coffee and leave a lingering taste of luscious dark chocolate and an intense nutty coffee flavour throughout every mouthful. Simply put, it is beautiful! Secondly, The Wandering Brewer Project stopped by the brewery to produce a seasonal ale. ‘Nick’s Christmas Ale’ had a perfect winter feel with the addition of cinnamon and orange, leaving a slightly spicy but fruity and citrusy taste. Nikki Love, a 50-year-old athlete from Gamston and Castle Rock regular, completed 61 marathons in 61 days to raise money and awareness of Huntington’s Disease. Along her 61st journey, she first visited the Vat and Fiddle before moving on to the Canalhouse, the Lincolnshire Poacher, the Embankment, the Fox & Grapes, the Kean’s Head, and the Stratford Haven before finishing her record breaking feat at the Poppy and Pint – her Castle Rock local. On finishing, Nikki surpassed the record of 60 consecutive marathons in 60 days set in 2015. Nikki and her team have achieved something extraordinary and Castle Rock is delighted to have been able to support Nikki on her journey. Pictured above from left to right are: Nikki Love, Sharif Owadally, Phil and Arwen Makin and Tom Plott at the Poppy and Pint as the record breaking finishing line is crossed.

CASTLE ROCK EXTENDS PARTNERSHIP WITH THE NOTTINGHAMSHIRE WILDLIFE TRUST Throughout the years, we have supported the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, whether through the Natural Selection range that ran for several years or more recently with Sherwood Reserve, raising awareness of all the hard work that the organisation does in Sherwood Forest. Once again, we are delighted to have been able to extend our partnership and continue to support a fantastic organisation.

THE AWARDS KEEP ON COMING FOR CASTLE ROCK We pride ourselves on ensuring that you, our loyal customers, are drinking the best possible beers in the best possible venue. We are always honoured when our beers and/or pubs win awards. Since the last edition of the Castle Rock Quarter, Elsie Mo has won bronze at the SIBA Midlands Independent Beer Awards in the Cask Premium Bitters and Pale Ales category. The Poppy and Pint had an incredible night at the Recognising Rushcliffe Awards in November, winning the award for the top Food and Drink Establishment in the area. Huge congratulations to both our brewery team and James, and all his team at the Poppy, for their continued success.


Pictured above from left to right are: Lewis Townsend, head of marketing at Castle Rock Brewery; Erin McDaid, head of communications and marketing for Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust and Colin Wilde, Castle Rock Brewery’s managing director

A HOMAGE TO NOTTINGHAM FROM @ecainedesign Just in time for our 40th birthday bash, we called on Nottingham-born Elroy the Artist to give our old cold store some TLC. Hundreds of you saw (and even posed with) the gigantic mural of our logo, framed by biggerthan-human-size barley and Castle Rock rocks. Towards the end of the summer, we completed phase one of the Vat and Fiddle’s new beer garden. At the rear of the pub, our brewery tap, you can now enjoy a pint in the midst of the brewery yard, complete with beeping forklifts and aromas of beer being brewed. Over time, we’ll be doing more to the garden, but first up came the familiar sight of a hooded man and his spray cans. The time Elroy the Artist created a mural in homage to Nottingham. From the left lion to the Robin Hood statue, from a Trent Bridge to a huge book for the UNESCO City of Literature, it’s packed with nods to our fine county. There’s even a feline friend who’s no longer with us, and

is sure to be recognised by regulars at the Vat and Fiddle. Thank you again @EcaineDesign for your amazing skills. If you aren’t following him yet, what are you waiting for? Head to to find out more!

A BEERY INTERESTING DISCOVERY Earlier this year, Notts TV contacted us about an interesting discovery. Nottingham Trent University and Trent & Peak Archaeology had unearthed a previously unknown cave network. Located in the Confetti site in Nottingham City Centre, the network was discovered beneath the Woodlark Beerhouse. Through cave probing, followed by excavation, Trent & Peak uncovered three entry holes and spiral staircase. Inside the caves, the team unearthed a ceramic vessel containing a liquid that they believed to be beer. Imagine that, a beer found in a cave brewed in an entirely different Nottingham than we know today. The caves had been untouched for 120 years, while one of the caves is believed to date back to the midnineteenth century.

We chucked around a few ideas: Could we break it down and figure out how it was made? Could we even use it in a recipe and create something truly unique? Who knows, maybe we might even try to reproduce it. Well, needless to say, we were super excited and set about doing some research. Adrian Redgrove carried out extensive archive research into what was in the area, and discovered the vessel had been found in what was likely to be the cellar of the Woodlark. We were given a sample of the liquid and sent it off for tests, but it was found to have negligible (if any) levels of alcohol. It also had high alkalinity, suggesting it wasn’t a beer. Nonetheless, the possibility was too exciting to give up. We agreed with NTU that we’d carry out more in-depth research and testing, which is where we’re at in the story so far. Our hope is that the liquid is indeed beer, and that the alcohol may have been converted into other compounds over the last century or so. We’re also looking into the possibility that it’s a spruce beer, a beverage flavoured with the buds and needles from evergreen spruce trees, which can be alcoholic or alcoholic-free. Fingers crossed the next tests produce some interesting results…we’ll keep you posted!


Wo/Man’s Best Friend

Meet our Castle Rock dogs!

We’re proud to be a dog-friendly pub group. Over the past few editions of the Castle Rock Quarter, we’ve introduced some of our the four-legged friends who frequently visit their Castle Rock locals (with their two-legged owners in tow). For this edition, we’re showing some love for two Poppy and Pint going teddy bears, and their owners Dylan and Janine.

Remember to share pictures of your Castle Rock pooch using #CastleRockDogs Thank you so much to everyone who got in touch about Wo/Man’s Best Friend! The response was so overwhelming that this is the third of many editions of CRQ to feature our four legged friends! If you’d like to tell us more about you, your dog and your Castle Rock local, drop an email with some photos to


Names: Marley (left) and Alfie (right) Breed: Lhaso Apso • Ages: Marley, 6 and Alfie, 7 Favourite Drink of Choice: For Janine it has be a cider, while Dylan loves an Elsie Mo and the great range of guest pales on at the Poppy and Pint. Marley and Alfie tend to stick with water… Castle Rock Local: We’re within walking distance of the Poppy and Pint, the Stratford Haven and the Embankment and we frequently visit all of them. We love that they are traditional pubs, full of good people. The Poppy in particular is almost like a community centre. We meet people all the time (mainly because they want to fuss the dogs) and we’re allowed to bring both the dogs and our children. We also love the range of ales, there are so many to choose from and they constantly rotate so it never gets boring. Tell us about your pub dogs: Well they both absolutely love the attention and the fuss they get. Marley, named after Marley and Me, is a massive fusspot and full of energy. Alfie is definitely more subdued in the pub, but he’s the boss at home.

Upcoming Events

WHAT’S ON FOR WINTER Check out what’s happening in our pubs from January to March and get into the flow of 2018. Full listings can be found at

January CASTLE ROCK’S BIRTHDAY Saturday 20th January @ Canalhouse |Fox & Grapes Golden Eagle |Horse and Plough Lincolnshire Poacher | Poppy and Pint Stratford Haven |The Swan in the Rushes We’re another year older! Here’s how our pubs are celebrating our big day. Castle Rock beer will be taking over the cask lines at the Stratford Haven, giving you nine to choose from, and over in Lincoln the Golden Eagle is throwing a birthday party with food, music and special drink offers. There will be discounts and offers galore across our pubs, with 20p off pints of Castle Rock Beer at the Fox & Grapes, all Castle Rock beers at the Horse and Plough at just £2.50 a pint, 50p off our beers at the Lincolnshire Poacher and the Swan in the Rushes, and a generous £1 off pints of Castle Rock beer at the Canalhouse. More of our pubs are celebrating, too. Head to to see the full line up.

FARMHOUSE BREAKFAST WEEK Monday 22nd - Sunday 28th January @ Poppy and Pint | Stratford Haven Willowbrook Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and at Castle Rock, we’re going to make sure you enjoy it. Instead of having some bland porridge, head down to the Stratford Haven to enjoy two fully packed breakfasts for only £12. If you’re feeling extra hungry, you can upgrade to two large breakfasts for only £16. The Willowbrook is offering unlimited tea and coffee with either two small breakfasts for £7.50 or two large breakfasts for £10. The Poppy and Pint is open from 9.30am (10am on weekends) where you can enjoy a discounted breakfast menu.

BURNS NIGHT Thursday 25th January @ Canalhouse | Cricketers Rest

Fox and Crown | Fox & Grapes Lincolnshire Poacher | Poppy and Pint Stratford Haven |The Embankment Vat and Fiddle | Willowbrook Celebrating the life of Robert Burns the only way we know how…with a glass of whisky. The Fox & Grapes is offering 50p off whiskies, with over fifty to choose from. The Kean’s Head is also showcasing their impressive range of Scottish whisky with discounts, and at the Embankment you can celebrate with a whisky and cheese taster board, just £15. The Lincolnshire Poacher will have both a discounted whisky offering and food specials including cock-a-leekie soup. If whisky isn’t your thing, then the Willowbrook have a dedicated special food menu, the Vat and Fiddle will have open mic poetry, and the Stratford Haven and Fox and Crown will be offering the classic Haggis, neeps and tatties. Finally, the Canalhouse will have a Scottish tap takeover featuring some of the finest breweries north of the border.

STORYTELLING AT THE BREAD Sunday 28th January @ Bread and Bitter To celebrate national storytelling week, the Bread and Bitter is holding a storytelling event to celebrate the work of a locally published author. This evening of facts, fiction and fantasy is completely free and not one to miss. The Bread is continuing their storytelling events, showcasing local authors, throughout the year. If you can’t make January, fear not! The next one follows on Saturday 24th February.

February SHROVE TUESDAY Tuesday 13th February @ Bread and Bitter | Cricketers Rest Poppy and Pint | Vat and Fiddle Willowbrook At last, it’s Pancake Day! Freshly made to order, the Vat and Fiddle will provide you with three delicious pancakes for only £4.25,

served with the classic lemon and sugar combination or with golden syrup and strawberry jam for your sweet tooth. At the Bread and Bitter, toppings include cream, chocolate, maple syrup or ice-cream, with pancakes available all day and just £3.95. Finally, the Willowbrook has an extra special pancake menu, however it is so full of toppings that we can’t fit it all in this section of the Castle Rock Quarter! We recommend you check the website for the full menu…

VALENTINE’S DAY Wednesday 14th February @ Fox & Grapes | Poppy and Pint Stratford Haven |The Embankment The Swan in the Rushes Willowbrook The most romantic day of the year, a time to celebrate and cherish your loved one. Call us corny but it’s something that we are happy to facilitate, if you have any room left over from pancake day that is. The Willowbrook has a special menu, which includes two courses for just £15.95 or three for £19.95, plus deals on prosecco. Availability is limited so give them a call on 0115 987 8596 or email to book. At the Swan in the Rushes you can treat your better half to two meals with drinks for just £15, while at the Embankment there’s discounted wine, starters and desserts, on top of their 2-for-1 stone baked pizzas. The Fox & Grapes is offering 2-for-1 across the whole menu - a great spot for vegans!

NORTHERN MONK TAP TAKEOVER Thursday 22nd February @ Horse and Plough One of the finest breweries to come out of Leeds will be taking over the Horse and Plough for one night only! This is your opportunity to sample some incredible beer and meet the team who are responsible for making it. The brewers from Northern Monk will be on hand to answer all of your questions and enjoy a drink with you. It is sure to be a great night!


March ST. DAVID’S DAY Thursday 1st March @ Golden Eagle | Kean’s Head Poppy and Pint To celebrate the Patron Saint of Wales, our pubs will be offering a selection of beers from the best Welsh breweries around. The Golden Eagle and the Kean’s Head will have a selection of themed beers available on the bar all day. The Stratford Haven, with a Welsh tap takeover, will also be showcasing some of Wales’ finest cask and keg products, plus cooking up some food specials including Welsh dragon sausages*. Down the road in Lady Bay, the Poppy and Pint will also be offering themed food specials. *No dragons will be harmed in the making of these sausages.

BRITISH PIE WEEK Monday 5th to Sunday 11th March @ Bread and Bitter | Kean’s Head Lincolnshire Poacher | Poppy and Pint Stratford Haven |The Swan in the Rushes | Vat and Fiddle | Willowbrook Is there anything better than tucking into a pie and gravy? Well for one week in March you’ll be spoilt for choice. At the Vat and Fiddle a range of meat, vegetarian and vegan pies are available all week, just £8.75 with a

drink included. You’ll be able to get a pie and a drink for just £8.95 at the Lincolnshire Poacher, with at least six pies to choose from all week. Check out the specials boards at the Willowbrook, the Bread and Bitter and the Stratford Haven, where each pub is cooking up a pie of the day. The Swan is offering two pies for £10, accompanied with mash, peas and gravy and the Kean’s Head will be extending their pie night offering for the whole week. The Fox and Crown is doing something extra special by offering their deal of a pie and a drink, just £6.95, for the entire month!

MOTHER’S DAY Sunday 11th March @ Bread and Bitter | Stratford Haven The Embankment | The Swan in the Rushes | Willowbrook The perfect opportunity for you to treat the most important women in your life. If you book a table of three or more at the Bread and Bitter, Mum will receive a glass of wine on the house to enjoy with the special Mother’s Day menu. The Stratford Haven and Willowbrook will have a special Sunday Lunch menu and the Swan is offering a special deal for mothers, who can eat for free. Make sure you ask at the bar for details on that one. The Embankment is offering a selection of different afternoon teas to celebrate Mother’s Day. The choice includes prosecco, gin or just simple tea and coffee, as well as sandwiches,

scones, sweet treats and cakes. What a delightful afternoon! Pre-booking is essential – email, call 0115 986 4502 or visit the pub’s page on our website.

ST PATRICK’S DAY Saturday 17th March @ Cricketers Rest | Horse and Plough Kean’s Head | Poppy and Pint Willowbrook We’re all a little Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, aren’t we? Well to celebrate, the Willowbrook and the Kean’s Head will be offering a range of Irish drinks, ranging from whiskies to beers. There will be a huge selection available at both and the Willowbrook will even have live music and entertainment. Keeping it simple, the Horse and Plough will be offering Guinness at £3 a pint. .

VAT & FIDDLE’S BIRTHDAY Friday 23rd March @ Vat & Fiddle The Vat and Fiddle turns 21! To celebrate, our brewery tap is throwing a huge party starting at 8pm. There will be discounted Castle Rock beers, snacks and cake available on the bar, and live music to boot. The party kicks off at 8pm, and presents are welcome. Our little Vat is all grown up! *sob*

Our pubs will be closed on January 9th, so we can treat our hard-working staff to a belated Christmas celebration. Thank you for your understanding and we’ll see you again on 10th January.


These are just a handful of our regular events. For full listings, visit our website.



KEAN’S HEAD: Pie Night. Homemade pie and a pint of Harvest pale for £10.95. 5pm-9pm. STRATFORD HAVEN Curry & Pint Night, just £7.95, 5-9pm. THE EMBANKMENT: Craft & Tapas Night. Two tapas dishes and a half of craft beer for just £10.

GOLDEN EAGLE: Open mic night every other Thursday – visit the website for info. LINCOLNSHIRE POACHER: Pie Night. A pie and drink for £8.95 (5pm-9pm) followed by live music. POPPY AND PINT: Burger Night. A burger and drink for just £9.95, 5pm-9pm.

TUESDAY: BREAD AND BITTER: 2 for 1 pizzas, all homemade, 6pm-9pm. CRICKETERS REST: Quiz Night with prizes to be won! 8pm-late. THE SWAN IN THE RUSHES: Two meals for the price of one, all day. VAT AND FIDDLE: Enjoy a curry with a drink for only £7.95, midday-8pm.


THURSDAY: CANALHOUSE: Acoustic Sessions, 6.30pm, free. STRATFORD HAVEN: Burger Night. Burger and any two toppings for £9.95, 5pm-9pm. WILLOWBROOK: Curry Night. £9.95.

SUNDAY: FOX AND CROWN: Quiz day, turn up at any point on a Sunday and you might win £25 drinks voucher. HORSE AND PLOUGH: Enjoy a homecooked Sunday Roast and a drink for only £9.95.

Castle Rock Tenanted pubs Alexandra Hotel

Derby Tup


Tel: 01332 293993

Tel: 01246 269835

Tel: 01205 361116

203 Siddals Road, Derby DE1 2QE

387 Sheffield Rd, Chesterfield S41 8LS

144 West Street, Boston PE21 8RE

e-mail: F: Alexandra Hotel T: @Alex_Pub_Derby

e-mail: F: The Derby Tup T: @TheDerbyTup

e-mail: F: The Eagle T: @TheEagleBoston

Forest Tavern/Maze

New Barrack Tavern


Tel: 0115 874 7792

Tel: 0114 232 4225

257 Mansfield Road, Nottingham NG1 3FT

601 Penistone Road, Sheffield S6 2GA

e-mail: web: F: The Maze T: @themazenotts themazenotts

e-mail: F: New Barrack Tavern T: @NewBarrack new_barrack_tavern

Rook and Gaskill


12 Lawrence Street, York YO10 3WP

Tel: 01904 655450

e-mail: F: The Rook and Gaskill T: @RookGaskillYork

In partnership with CGC Event Caterers and the Theatre Royal & Concert Hall

Theatre Square Nottingham NG1 5ND Tel: 0115 989 5569

e-mail: web: F: Yarn bar T: @Yarn_Bar @yarnbarnottingham

123 Canal Street, Nottingham NG1 7HB Tel: 0115 952 3061

e-mail: F: The Newshouse T: @NewshouseNotts

Castle Rock Tap Room and Kitchen First Floor Departure Lounge, East Midlands Airport

Operated by Autogrill

All of our pubs follow the latest allergen legislation. Further details are available in each establishment.


Castle Rock Managed pubs Barley Twist

Bread and Bitter


Cricketers Rest

e-mail: barleytwist@ Barley Twist @barley_twist @barley_twist

e-mail: breadandbitter@ F: Bread Bitter T: @breadandbitter breadandbitter

e-mail: canalhouse@ F: Canal House @canalhousebar canalhousebar

e-mail: cricketersrest@ F: Cricketers Rest @cricketersrest Cricketersrest

91 Carrington Street, Nottingham NG1 7FE Tel: 0115 950 5456

153-155 Woodthorpe Dr, Mapperley,Nott. NG3 5JL Tel: 0115 960 7541

48-52 Canal Street, Nottingham NG1 7EH Tel: 0115 955 5060

4 Chapel Street, Kimberley, Notts NG16 2NP Tel: 0115 938 3105

The Embankment

Fox Pub and Bottle Shop Fox & Grapes

Golden Eagle

e-mail: goldeneagle@ F: The Golden Eagle Free House @goldeneagle001 goldeneaglepub

282-284 Arkwright St, Nottingham NG2 2GR Tel: 0115 986 4502

e-mail: embankment@ F: Embankment Pub & Kitchen @EmbankmentNottm embankment pub

4-6 Appletongate, Newark, Notts NG24 1JY Tel: 01636 605820

e-mail: foxandcrown@ F: The Fox Pub & Bottle Shop @TheFoxandCrown foxandcrown

21 Southwell Road, Sneinton, Nottingham, NG1 1DL Tel: 0115 841 8970

Horse and Plough

Kean’s Head

Lincolnshire Poacher Poppy and Pint

e-mail: horseandplough@ F: Horse and Plough @HorseandPlough horseandplough

e-mail: keanshead@ F: Kean’s Head @keanshead keanshead

e-mail: lincolnshirepoacher@ F: Lincolnshire Poacher @lincpoacher lincolnshirepoacher

25 Long Acre, Bingham, Notts NG13 8AF Tel: 01949 839313

Stratford Haven

2 Stratford Rd, West Bridgford, Nottingham NG2 6BA Tel: 0115 982 5981

e-mail: stratfordhaven@ F: Stratford Haven @stratfordhaven stratfordhaven

46 St. Mary’s Gate, Nottingham NG1 1QA Tel: 0115 947 4052

e-mail: fox&grapes@ F: Fox & Grapes @FoxandGrapesCRB FoxandGrapes_Notts

161-163 Mansfield Road, Nottingham NG1 3FR Tel: 0115 941 1584

The Swan in the Rushes Vat and Fiddle

21 The Rushes, Loughborough, Leicestershire LE11 5BE Tel: 01509 217014

e-mail: swanintherushes@ F: Swan InThe Rushes @SwanRushes swanintherushes

12-14 Queensbridge Rd, Nottingham NG2 1NB Tel: 0115 985 0611

(The Brewery Tap)

e-mail: vatandfiddle@ F: Vat and Fiddle @VatandFiddle vatfiddle

21 High Street, Lincoln LN5 8BD Tel: 01522 521058

Pierrepont Road, Lady Bay, Notts NG2 5DX Tel: 0115 981 9995

e-mail: poppyandpint@ F: Poppy & Pint @PoppyandPint poppyandpint


13 Main Rd, Gedling, Nottingham NG4 3HQ Tel: 0115 987 8596

e-mail: willowbrook@ F: The Willowbrook @WillowbrookCRB willowbrookpub

email addresses - All of our pubs follow the latest allergen legislation. Further details are available in each establishment.

Profile for Castle Rock Brewery

Castle Rock Quarter #16  

Castle Rock Quarter #16  


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