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All the latest news, views and essential information from Castle Rock Brewery

No:9 Spring 2016







Beer News

Dear customer, I hope you all had a very nice Easter and, with Dry January and Lent a distant memory, spring has arrived and lighter nights are here at last. Sunshine lies ahead, and we can all concentrate on the main point of life which (as my old grandad always told me) is enjoying ourselves!

Spring is in the beer

We have plenty of things going on, in and around our pubs, which I’m sure will top up your enjoyment levels; you’ll find details of many of these in the following pages and on our website and social media feeds too. We hope you can spare the time to read through this issue and pop in and join us whenever you can. Everyone at Castle Rock works hard, day in day out, to bring you the best quality drinks, food and pub experiences. It’s so rewarding when we get it right. If I dare to be so bold…if we do get it right please share your experiences on Trip Advisor or the like; knowing we’ve done something well really does give everyone a boost, and helps us ensure we do more of the same. Or of course on the rare occasions we don’t, it’s even more important you let us know. So, please don’t be shy in contacting me, and I’ll do my utmost to ensure we improve. One thing I can assure you is that everyone at Castle Rock cares about you, our loyal and valued customer and we’ll always work hard to deserve your custom. Yours in beer (cider, wine and food)!

Colin Wilde Managing Director @SheriffTipple

Queensbridge Road, Nottingham NG2 1NB

Telephone: 0115 985 1615 General enquiries: Sales enquiries: Recruitment: CRQ is designed and produced by freerbutler limited


Time can drag when the days are short and the wind cold. But finally, at long last, the dreamy notion of summertime seems plausible. No longer do we start and finish a day’s work in darkness, unless there’s a classic British raincloud overhead. Generally, the sky is blue and the sun is bright. That means the beers of spring are being brewed, and pub gardens are open for business. So, take a seat and read on to see what’s on the beer line this April, May and June.

Two Wildlife Beers for spring Our Wildlife Reserve range continues into spring and summer, raising awareness and funds for the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust. Idle Valley 5.0% (Available until May) Idle Valley is a spectacular wetland site covering an area of 450 hectares - the size of 600 football pitches. About an hour away from Nottingham by car, Idle Valley is one of the largest sites for nature conservation in the East Midlands. Make the most of the reserve with lessons in wildlife photography, enjoy lectures from the likes of Mike Dilger and George Monbiot, or bring the family for ‘wild kids’ activity days. Idle Valley is a 5.0% ABV single hop IPA brewed with UK hop Olicana, which has citrusy and tropical bittering characteristics. Idle Valley is a golden colour, with aromas of mango, passionfruit and grapefruit. The finish is hoppy, fruity and crisp.

Skylarks 4.5% (Available June - August) Skylarks Nature Reserve is located at Holme Pierrepont, not far from our very own Poppy and Pint. Nearly 200 species of bird have been recorded at the reserve, including rare migrants, and with wetland grassland and lakes, Skylarks is home to an array of wetland birds. To learn more about the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust’s work to extend and improve Skylarks Reserve, visit Skylarks is a German-style wheat beer, ideal for warmer days. At 4.5% ABV, Skylarks is unfined (naturally cloudy) and pale yellow in colour, with bananas, cloves and spice on the nose and a smooth and refreshing finish.

D.H.Lawrence 4.2% (Available April - June)

“Love is the flower of life, and blossoms unexpectedly and without law, and must be plucked where it is found, and enjoyed for the brief hour of its duration.” D.H. Lawrence

In December 2015, Nottingham won the bid to become a UNESCO City of Literature. Eighteen months of hard work by a team of writers, board members, students and ambassadors led to the accreditation – a permanent honour for our thriving city. Having begun the Nottinghamian Celebration Ales range in 2010 with a beer for Alan Sillitoe, it was about time we celebrated another of our literary heroes. This April, a beer commending the life and works of D.H. Lawrence becomes the 23rd in the range. Lawrence is widely known for his 1928 novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover, which was banned in the United Kingdom for sexual explicitness and ‘un-printable’ words. On the first day of publication in England (10th November 1960), the staggering 200,000 copies of the book sold out. Lawrence’s 1913 novel Sons and Lovers is generally considered his earliest masterpiece. Less known, is the poetry of D.H. Lawrence, although he wrote nearly 800 poems in his lifetime, and his poetry was the first of his works to be published. For those Nottingham born and bred folk reading this, take a look at Lawrence’s works: many of the settings in Lady Chatterley’s Lover were drawn from his years growing up in Eastwood, and Nottinghamshire dialect is present in lots of writing. Lawrence was also a literary critic and, later, a painter. Matt G Turpin, in charge of Communications for Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature, says: "D.H. Lawrence needs little introduction. The son of a colliery man from an obscure pit village, he went on to change the world with words. His rebellious spirit, where he kicked against hypocrisy and injustice, is a spirit that runs through the best of this county, a spirit that resonated today in our contemporary crop of writers. Being able to raise a glass in his honour is something that I'm sure will be appreciated far and wide. With our recent recognition by UNESCO as being a world-class City of Literature, the timing is perfect." D.H. Lawrence is a 4.2% ABV mild brewed with UK hops. Dark brown in colour, with aromas of hazelnut, the beer is nutty, balanced and very moreish. It’s perfect for enjoying while reading some of the best literature from the twentieth century. Pair a pint with game meats, pies and cheddar cheese to bring out the best of the beer.

Shakespeare 400 4.2% (Available April) In conjunction with the Lace Market Theatre, Shakespeare 400 marks the quadcentenary of Shakespeare’s death on 23rd April. Probably the most beloved playwright in history, Shakespeare’s works continue to dominant the literacy syllabus in schools. We’ve been, and continue to be, raised on Shakespeare. Since September 2014, the study of Shakespeare in the national curriculum doubled, and in 2013 Shakespeare was selected as the fourth most famous person in history by Time magazine. Shakespeare 400 is a pale ale, with floral citrus aromas and a very crisp finish. It’s refreshing, clean and easy-drinking at 4.2% ABV.

Hemlock Bitter 4.0% (Available May) One of our annual favourites makes a comeback this spring: Hemlock Bitter. Hemlock is a full flavoured, traditional session bitter with a distinctive traditional hop and a dry, bitter aftertaste. It’s a popular brew every time May comes around, so be sure to enjoy a pint before the Hemlockers drink us dry!

Brian Clough 4.2% (Available June - August) Over a year ago (January 2014) we launched the 18th beer in the Nottinghamian Celebration Ales range: Brian Clough. Clough was one of the most successful managers in football history, and the best manager England never had! We brewed up a pilsnerstyle pale ale at 4.2% ABV which flew out of the brewery in record time. The demand for the beer carried on well into the winter months, and we listened. Back by popular demand for the first time in Celebration Ale history is Brian Clough, ready for you to enjoy for the Euro 2016 and the start of the football season.


Managed Pub in Focus:

Bread & Bitter Lovingly known as ‘the Bread’, this former bakery became a Castle Rock pub back in 2008. It’s a charming, multi-room pub that sits at the heart of a thriving community. The Bread has always been highly regarded in real ale circles, holding a firmly established reputation for exceptional quality and choice. Last year, head chef Matthew joined the team, and the food at the Bread is now just as good as the beer. Thanks to the hard work of manager Emma Taylor, the Bread has everything you could want… Morning Emma! Tell us a bit about how you came to be manager of the Bread. I'd been running pubs in London for a number of years and decided it was time to head home to Nottingham; I knew some Castle Rock pubs (and the men in my family are big Harvest Pale fans) and, as fate would have it, there was an opening at the Bread and Bitter when I applied. What’s unique about the Bread? The pub itself has a fascinating heritage being a former bakery, and the location means you get a great mix of locals and regulars as well as people on nights out in the area. There always seems to be something going on here. Can you give us an overview of the events at the Bread? We think of ourselves as being at the heart of the community and are home to a number of clubs and groups, including Bump to Baby on Monday mornings, Tuesday knitters and our own Cycling club. We have fortnightly live music on a Tuesday, and occasional special music nights, such as Motown

nights and 80s nights. We're proud of our real ales and have regular Brewery nights to celebrate local and new breweries. We came down last year and sampled the new menu. It was sensational. What’s on the menu right now? Our head chef Matthew and his team are producing a seriously high standard of food. A lot of our customers are really impressed. Recent feedback from one diner on Trip Advisor said she had a “perfect” steak which is pretty great. Our main menu includes pub classics done brilliantly like our handmade burger (or spicy bean burger), fresh cod fish and chips, sausages with dauphinoise potatoes as well as a prawn tagliatelle and mushroom gnocchi. We also do a mean full English breakfast and fabulous Sunday roasts. Everything here is home-made, from scratch. Oh and don’t forget our puddings; like tarte tatin or banoffee pie. (We’d been eyeing up the indulgent banana bread breakfast, but gave the boss eggs a try instead. Served with avocado, toasted sourdough and a wedge of lemon, boss eggs are scrambled with truffle and feta cheese. Perfection!) What does the future look like for the Bread? We are keen to stick to our heritage of being a proper pub at the heart of the


community. So maintaining and developing our focus on great food and drinks and a place for the local community to meet and socialise. We are one of three pubs in a row, so ensuring we are different is important. Serving the best products and creating a warm, welcoming and friendly atmosphere is key. Thanks Emma, and Matthew and his team, for feeding us again! On the bar at the Bread, you’ll find twelve real ales and three lagers on tap, plus awardwinning Czech beer Kozel. If you’re a craft beer fan there’s something for you with Leffe Blond on tap, and about fifteen bottles to choose from. The fridges are packed with an array of ciders, Fentimans soft drinks and wine. Coffee at the Bread is of course excellent, as it’s locally roasted by Stewarts, Trent Bridge. You really couldn’t want for anything, so drop on by! For more information on the Bread & Bitter, visit Twitter: @breadandbitter Facebook: Bread Bitter


Discover World Beers @DiscoverWBeers Follow us to stay in the loop with offers, events and news Discover World Beers buyer Wayne Harvey Follow selects his favourite beers this spring. Wild Beer Co. – Bibble 4.2% Wild have made a name for themselves with their left-field creations; harnessing wild yeasts, barrel ageing, fruits, flowers and herbs to create some outright unique beers. Bibble is about as normal as you’re gonna get with Wild. An oatmeal pale ale brewed with distinctive US hops – Amarillo and Mosaic. Amarillo is famed for it’s orangey notes while Mosaic can impart tropical fruit flavours such as mango. Altogether this amounts to a juicy pale ale at a sessionable 4.2% (available in cans) Sierra Nevada Nooner Pilsner 5.2% There has been a recent flurry of craft brewers creating high quality pilsner style

beers and Sierra Nevada is no exception. Nooner is of the German tradition rather than Czech. It’s pale and crisp with a defined hop character. Spicy, peppery German hops, high carbonation and pale malt combine to create a refreshing and easy drinking beer. Definitely one to try during the warmer months! (available in cans) Westmalle Tripel 9.5% Westmalle’s Tripel is the pinnacle of the style. The somewhat potent ABV is hidden well with a body that’s light enough to make the beer almost easy drinking. It’s dry, with a touch of hop bitterness. Distinctive yeast esters dominate the aroma, with fruit and spice in abundance. It is nuanced in its complexity and elegance, seek it out!

Wayne on Twitter to sta y up-to-date!

Vocation – Divide and Conquer 6.5% Vocation is a new brewery based in Hebden Bridge, and it’s safe to say they’ve hit the ground running. Divide and Conquer is a black IPA: the aroma is full of resinous hops, pine and pithy citrus fruit. The flavour is chocolate, slightly roasted malt, and there’s a prominent bitterness from the hops. An impressive beer from a new brewery, watch out for more of their offerings in our pubs. (available in cans)

Introducing ‘The Art of Beer’ Seth is the designer and beer drinker behind The Art of Beer, a visual online review, which began with a 500 beers a year in 2015. Find out how his journey has gone so far at @The.Art.Of.Beer on Instagram and Twitter.

and juicy graphic for each beer, complemented by a short and snappy, unpretentious review and post it on Instagram.

your dreams – you know the ones.

What about the beers? You’ve reviewed a huge variety.

What else have you learnt through the venture?

Hi Seth! Can you tell our readers how the Art of Beer came about?

Along the way I’ve bumped into flavours and little-known breweries I never knew existed if not for perseverance and admittedly, a frantic need to reach my target of 500. I've enjoyed all sorts of beers. Deep and bittersweet rubys that take the edge off a hard day. Thirstbusting IPAs that hop and skip to your stomach. Hop-free porters you thought you’d take a chance on but soon regret. Over-priced wheat beer that tramples on

I’ve discovered many breweries have unique and fascinating stories to tell. Plus, it was surprising when I found myself talking about the bad experiences as much as the good.

I was a bored graphic designer. Inspired by John Ashdown, sports journalist of the Guardian, I saw an opportunity to piggyback his 500 beers a year challenge, and spin it into a tasty, creative adventure. The concept: Drink 500 different beers in 2015. The rules: Never drink the same beer twice. The project: Create a unique

Exploration is part of the fun.


Castle Rock Awards

Beer of the Year 2015-16 Beer of the Year has been running for many years now, but we have to say this one was the best yet. Known entertainingly as ‘BOTY’ at Castle Rock, it’s an awards ceremony like no other, with a majority of the awards being voted for by you, our loyal and discerning customer.

The awards celebrate the wonderful industry that we are so proud to be a part of, but Castle Rock beers can’t be nominated (though it doesn’t stop some of you trying). First off, we’d like to thank our joint Suppliers of the Year, Clarke Dove Insurance and Harman Build. Following the fire at the Willowbrook last April, the subsequent re-build, and of course the refurbishment of the Embankment, these two suppliers were particularly vital to Castle Rock in 2015-16. We couldn’t have done it without you, so thank you, and congratulations. This year we introduced two new awards as part of our Discover World Beers initiative: Craft in Keg of the Year, and Bottled Beer of the Year. It’s important to mention there isn’t a location restriction on this vote; customers were free to nominate beers from all over the world. That said both the winning breweries are based not too far from Nottingham, which is a pretty spectacular result.

(l-r standing) Keith Bott, David James; Wayne Harvey; Andrea Reed, Andrew Reed; Alex Wilson; Matthew Ashford; Jo Coleman; Paul Genever; and Liv Auckland (l-r front) Pete Brettell; Rob Eastwood; Geoff Newton; Robert Witt and Thom Stone Craft in Keg of the Year went to Manchester’s Cloudwater Brew Co. for their 9% beer DIPA, and Bottled Beer of the Year went to Buxton Brewery in Derbyshire for Double Axe. Cider of the Year, which was first introduced in 2014-15 and is also voted for by customers, went to Gwynt Y Draig in Wales, for their medium dry 6.5% cider Black Dragon. Rich in colour, body and flavour with a fresh, fruity aroma, Black Dragon is a special reserve crafted from cider apples grown in traditional ageing orchards. A few editions ago, we wrote an article on an exciting new brewery: Charnwood. Based in

l Beer of the Year, 1st place: Black Iris with ‘Snake Eyes’ l Beer of the Year, 2nd place: Oakham Ales with ‘Citra’ l Beer of the Year, 3rd place: Titanic with ‘Plum Porter’ l New Brewery of the Year: Charnwood Brewery l LocAle Brewery of the Year: Black Iris Brewery l Craft in Keg of the Year: Cloudwater Brew Co. with ‘DIPA’ l Bottled Beer of the Year: Buxton Brewery with ‘Double Axe’ l Cider of the Year: Gwynt Y Ddraig with ‘Black Dragon’ l Supplier of the Year (joint first): Clarke Dove Insurance, and Harman Build


Loughborough with a regular tap takeover at the Swan in the Rushes, Charnwood is the love child of two exceptional brewers: Andrew and Andrea Reed. They took home New Brewery of the Year after a landslide vote from our pub managers. The managers are also the voters for the LocAle Brewery of the Year. This time it went to Black Iris Brewery, a highly respected brewery in the Nottingham beer scene. Alex and Nick of Black Iris are great friends of ours, and their continued success at Beer of the Year shows how important it is to support and nourish each other. Congratulations to all of you.

The Bigger Picture Why can’t Castle Rock beers be nominated for Beer of the Year? Beer of the Year is about the bigger picture – within which – the team at Castle Rock is just one group of passionate folk among thousands. Our aim in Castle Rock pubs, always, is to bring you a great range of products. While we love brewing great beer, we aren’t the only ones doing this – shock horror! Britain now has the most breweries per person in the world, with one brewery for every 50,000 of us. Luckily, beer drinkers don’t have to stick to one. And neither do our customers.

Now, onto the most esteemed awards as voted for by you! Beer of the Year, third place, was awarded to Titanic for Plum Porter. It won the same award a couple of years back, and continues to be a favourite on our bars. Second place went to Oakham Ales with their distinctive beer Citra, which was introduced as a permanent brew in 2010. Black Iris’ Citra Pale won first place last year, but the beer was no longer in production by the time the awards ceremony rolled around. They offered to bring a cask of a new beer, Snake Eyes, to the awards instead, which was thoroughly enjoyed on the night. Snake Eyes ended up being equally as popular, and this year took home first place Beer of the Year. Double win for Black Iris – well done guys. Last but by no means least: Brewery of the Year 2015-16 went to a local brewery which, although young, has made massive waves in the past couple of years. Every beer we have stocked from them has been very well received by customers, so much so, that the Newshouse became their brewery tap. Brewery of the Year 2015-16 is none other than Totally Brewed!

Other Nottingham based breweries (like Blue Monkey, Black Iris, Totally Brewed, Magpie, Flipside, Lincoln Green and more) are featured on our bars. If you’re reading this, you’re probably in one of our pubs. Stop for a second, and take a look at which cask ales are on the bar right now. While all of our venues have a few hand pulls reserved for Castle Rock beers, the rest showcase beer from other breweries. In 2007 Nottingham CAMRA created the LocAle scheme, in order to support Nottinghamshire’s tradition of brewing. Their website states that 125 CAMRA branches are currently participating in the scheme, which has accredited hundreds of pubs with the ‘LocAle’ name. In a list of benefits for local pubs stocking locally-brewed real ales, they include: increased choice and diversity for consumers, increased pub visits, increased sales for local brewers, investment in the local economy, and less road congestion/ pollution due to fewer ‘beer miles.’

So really, when you put competitiveness aside, supporting local brewers benefits everyone. That includes us, and fellow breweries. Giving our pub managers autonomy to make decisions is a vital part of bringing you the best quality and range of beers. Even our managed pubs have loose ties when it comes to ordering beer; they know their areas, their venue, and their customers. And they know it better than we ever will. Training, experience and trustworthiness is essential in a manager; we know they’ll get it right. Of course it’s not just stocking each other’s beer that benefits everyone. Supporting each other’s businesses as a whole means we have unity of passion, experience, knowledge, and success. Visiting local pubs on a regular basis is important; a way to build a relationship with one another. Meeting for a drink, or collaborating on a beer, is not only beneficial but fun. We are, after all, like-minded people. Ratebeer for example, offers all beer drinkers the opportunity to seek out different beers, try them, and take the time to review them. It also gives us the opportunity to see what everyone is up to, and find inspiration. Unfortunately, Ratebeer can be used negatively, to increase the scores on our own beers and decrease those on beers from ‘competitors’. And the line between finding inspiration and imitating another brewery can be crossed. But we aren’t competitors. We are all brewers, scientists, designers, and we should all be in it together.

And so, that brings us to the end of another fantastic year of BOTY! Thank you to everyone who voted, and thank you for continuing to frequent Castle Rock pubs. Congratulations to all the winners. Cheers!


The Goings On Castle Rock turns 39! Champion Beer of We turned 39! Nearly four decades of Nottinghamshire Castle Rock and we’re not weary yet! We celebrated by offering discounts on Castle Rock beer and house lagers and ciders, and were joined by customers, friends and staff across multiple Castle Rock pubs. Live music, special food menus and of course cake were present. We’re already planning the big 40 next year. Got ideas of how you’d like to celebrate with us? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook!

The Embankment gets a Grade II The Department of Culture, Media and Sport added the Embankment to the list of ‘buildings with special architectural or historic interest’. The Grade 2 listing means the future of the building is protected, and celebrates the architecture and history of the Embankment, which was built in the early 1900s by architect Albert Nelson Bromley. The assessment described the building as ‘a distinctive and well composed building in the Tudoresque style’ and took note of features like the timber framed gable, Ipswitch oriel windows, tile hangings, neo-classical elements and evidence of the arts and crafts movement. If you haven’t visited the pub since the refurbishment, what are you waiting for?

Nottingham CAMRA’s Champion Beer of Nottinghamshire returned to the Canalhouse in February for a fourth year. CBON celebrates the thriving brewing industry of Nottinghamshire, showcasing the quality and diversity of beer from across the county. The winning brew was Blue Monkey with Infinity, a 4.6% pale ale. Congratulations to Blue Monkey, and thanks to Nottingham CAMRA and Canalhouse manager Yvette for making it happen!

Hanging out with Sierra Nevada Sierra Nevada is known as ‘the godfather of craft beer’, so we were feeling pretty chuffed when their brand ambassador, Steve Grossman, joined Castle Rock for a fun night in Nottingham. The Discover World Beers event included a TEDx style talk from Steve followed by a tap takeover and tasting at the Canalhouse. Steve led the group to the Embankment afterwards, to chat and drink tasty Californian brews in the Dispensary bar. Thanks to Westside Drinks and to Steve for an excellent night!

Cheers to the Voice of Notts County In January we brewed a beer to celebrate ‘the voice of Notts County’- Colin Slater. We wanted to recognise Colin’s work and help encourage more people to get involved in the Football in the Community programme and the projects at the Portland Leisure Centre. Colin’s namesake ale was the first 2016 Nottinghamian beer; a 4.2% dark ruby porter with strong aromas of roast malt with a rich chocolatey flavour. Colin joined us to pour the first pints at the Embankment and at the Portland Leisure Centre in the Meadows, and said he was ‘honoured’ to be part of the Nottingham Celebration Ales range. Thank you to Colin for joining us to launch this special beer. Pictured: Colin Slater (right) with Castle Rock’s Tristan Siddons


Above: Castle Rock chairman Geoff Newton at February’s CBON event (see left)

York CAMRA picks the Rook and Gaskill The Rook and Gaskill is York CAMRA’s pub of the year! The award was made at the campaign’s AGM, when York CAMRA chairman Chris Tregellis said: “The Rook, which also picked up the cider pub of the year, is a real ale landmark and a ‘must do’ for anyone visiting the city.” Landlord Paul Marshall’s previous pub, the Waggon and Horses, won the award in 2012. Looks like you’re on a roll, Paul! Speaking to York Press, he said: “I’m absolutely over the moon.” Our congratulations go to Paul Marshall, his son Johnjo, and all the staff at our most northerly pub. And it’s thanks to the members of the York campaign for choosing the Rook in what they describe as a tough competition. Hurrah!

Here’s to Albert Ball Our latest beer in the Commemoration Collection, a range created to honour the centenary of the Great War, remembered Nottingham fighter pilot Albert Ball. The hoppy pale ale with aromas of citrus and pine, was named Pilot’s Wings: 13 Squadron. Ball was born in Lenton, and joined the 13 Squadron in January 1916. He went on to record 44 victories against Germany, with another 25 unconfirmed. Ball was the first man in the Great War to be awarded three distinguished Services Orders, and a posthumous Victoria Cross (VC) followed within a month of his death. Liv Auckland, Project Leader of the range, said: “It would have been wrong to commemorate the Great War without recognising Albert Ball. He is remembered as a determined fighter pilot and a local hero, but he was also a fascinating person with a passion for playing the violin, and letters to his parents show him as a deeply sensitive, conscientious man.” The beer is still available as we go to press, so please enjoy a pint and take the time to reflect. 10p from each sold is donated to charity.


Publican Awards 2016 For the 25th anniversary of the Publican Awards, we were thrilled to be finalists in the Best Brewing Pub Company category. The three-stage application process included a written entry, visits from judges and a panel interview in London, led by industry experts. It’s fair to say we were delighted, after all our efforts, to find that Castle Rock was a finalist in the category. The brewing pub companies, BrewDog and Brakspear, were our fellow finalists. BrewDog ended up taking the crown, but we’re not taking it to heart! It was honour to be shortlisted alongside two fantastic companies, and we had an excellent night celebrating at the awards ceremony. Colin Wilde, managing director, says: “I was delighted to for us to be finalised in what are known as the pub industry’s Oscars. It is no mean feat to be shortlisted and this achievement is testament to the hard work, care and attention to detail that my colleagues (in every area of the business) show day in and day out.” Castle Rock was shortlisted for concepts including the Discover World Beers initiative and Traffic Street Specials, our self-taught marketing team, the range and quality of products on our bars, our

training school, the diversity of Castle Rock pubs, and the dedication in all areas of the business that shines through. But of course, there’s always more to be done… Colin added, “In itself the award is a piece of paper, but in reality it is the process that matters. Having been grilled by judges and having our pubs thoroughly inspected and then ending up being ranked very near the top of our competitor set is very rewarding for us all. Not winning the top gong means we will strive further. And we will deliver to you, our customers, the best possible pub and beer experience that we can.” Special thanks goes to Lewis, our head of marketing, Sarah, our HR and BD manager, and Vicki, our operations director. Pictured: centre right Castle Rock’s Dan Gilliland (left) and Lewis Townsend

Bottom right: Dan Brown from the Horse & Plough and Vanessa McGuire of the Poppy & Pint Bottom left: Vicki Saxby & James Johnson


CAMRA Awards Poppy and Pint is 2nd Place Pub of the Year For the third year running, the Poppy and Pint in Lady Bay is a runner up in the Nottingham CAMRA Pub of the Year Competition. This year coming in second (in the Urban/City category), the team at the Poppy have a huge amount to be proud of. The Poppy is truly loved in the local community. Depending on when you visit, you’ll either find a gathering of mums and babies enjoying morning coffee, tables of families tucking into a meal, or groups of friends catching up over a drink. James Halfpenny, manager of the Poppy, has an excellent selection of drinks on his bar, with particular emphasis on local beers.

Tucked away from the bustle of town and neighbouring West Bridgford, the Poppy is a wonderfully unique venue, and we’re thrilled to see James and his team being rewarded for their efforts. Here James is (pictured right)enjoying a pint in the lovely Poppy! Congratulations to the White Lion in Swingate, and to all the other finalists. Cheers!

Drinks in focus

Real cider Cider Guru Alex McKenzie selects his favourite real ciders this spring. Follow Alex on Twitter to have a chat @CiderGuruCRB The real cider industry continues to grow, with new producers popping up all over the UK. While there are many who have loved real cider for a long while, newcomers are moving from flavoured, fizzy cider to the real deal. Our Cider Guru, Alex, is a vessel of real cider knowledge, so read on to find out what he recommends… Gwynt Y Ddraig Black Dragon

Cornwall Cider Co. Apple Slayer

Hecks Vintage Dry

A 7.2% medium cider, Black Dragon is a staple behind a few of Castle Rock’s bars. Winner of Cider of the Year as voted for by our cider-loving customers, Black Dragon is always a hugely popular cider. It’s a special reserve, hand crafted in Pontypridd, Wales, using cider apples grown by traditional methods in ageing orchards. The flavour is moderately sweet and, with soft carbonation, Black Dragon is very accessible and an ideal starter for those who may not have tried real cider before.

This crisp and refreshingly clear medium cider is produced by Cornwall Cider Company, based in Truro. Fermented using 100% pure West Country apples, their ciders are produced in relatively small batches, so should be always worth sampling if you get the opportunity. At 5.7%, Apple Slayer is a nice easy drinking option which won’t blow your head off.

Hecks are a cider producer based in Somerset, producing for over six generations. Despite weighing in at 6.5%, Vintage Dry is light bodied with aromas of apples and champagne. It can probably be classed as an acquired taste due to how dry and tart it is. Fans of dryer ciders would happily get on with this though. Give it a taste regardless…


Drinks in focus

Traffic Street Specials The weighty tome that is the Traffic Street story continues to develop; a venture described by brewer Dan Gilliland as a chaotic mix of “crushing panic and euphoric highs.” Marketing droid for the Traffic Street beers, Lewis Townsend, gives us an update on the range. Many months ago, Dan Gilliland approached Castle Rock’s head brewer Adrian Redgrove and posed the question: what is the highest ABV we can achieve with this brewing kit? Stoically, Adrian responded that the brewery can’t really attain above 6% by conventional methods. Dan, of course, decided to double it. While we didn’t quite achieve double, we had a good go at it! We employed the re-iterated mash method (mashed in once, then re-mashed in using the collected wort for a super sweet result) and treated the beer to several extremely generous additions of New Zealand hops (Motueka and Waimea).

The birth-beer of this combination is Guns of Navarone, a 10.3% double mash IPA with big pineapple and stone fruit aromas as well as a refreshing, assertive bitterness and tropical fruit taste. Of course, this was about much more than just attaining a beefy ABV, this was about once again further pushing the capability of Castle Rock’s brewing kit; something which represents a continuous challenge. We were joined on the brew day by members of the University of Nottingham real ale society, and they were great company. Onto #9, session pale ales have been the bread and butter of beer ranges for a long time now, and of course we wanted to start making a few!

Dan and I find that we spend most of our free time talking about beer, so when you get your hands on #8 and #9, let us know what you think!

Our first beer in this ‘genre’ is Enjoy Yourself, bringing out the zestiness of Cascade hops with an addition of fresh grapefruit juice and zest for a punchy and tart explosion on the palate – all at a pleasantly sessionable 4% ABV. We launched both of these beers at a Traffic Street tap takeover at the New Barrack Tavern in mid-March and, as always, it was great to talk to all the lovely customers and beer lovers.

You can contact either me or Dan on Twitter (@TSSDroid & @Traffic_Street). We’re looking to launch a blog in the coming weeks as well as confirm a few tap takeover dates in Sheffield, so watch this space.


Editor’s picks Upcoming Events April 2016 THE BEST OF BRITISH: ST. GEORGE’S DAY & SHAKESPEARE DAY SAT, 23 APRIL Celebrating the best of British isn’t a hard feat when St. George’s Day and Shakespeare Day fall in the same 24 hours. We’ve got loads going on in our pubs, as well as our special brew Shakespeare 400. Visit the-best-of-british

AN EVENING WITH THE WEMBLEY WINNERS THU, 28 APRIL @19:30, POPPY & PINT Brought to you by Football in the Community in association with Trap6 Events, this night celebrates 25 years since back-to-back promotions. Tickets are just £10 available from

May 2016 OPENING THE GARDEN PARTY SUN, 01 MAY @14:00, THE GOLDEN EAGLE There’s a BBQ, jugs of Pimms and pitchers of ale, bottled beer available from the terrace, and live music. Entry is free.

MAY DAY BBQ MON, 02 MAY 2016 @12:00-19:00, THE WILLOWBROOK Celebrate the start of summer (and a day off) at the Willowbrook, with a flamin’ BBQ and offers on bottled beers.

STRATFORD HAVEN TURNS 17! WED, 18 MAY @17:00, STRATFORD HAVEN The Strat is turning 17 this May! Our celebrations fall on a Wednesday, our Steak night! Pre-book for our 2 for 1 offer, and enjoy live music from 6pm.

POPPY & PINT TURNS 5! FRI, 20 MAY 2016, Poppy & Pint 5 years of the Poppy! We’re celebrating with live music, a charity raffle and supper specials from head chef Vanessa. Enjoy a one off birthday beer at just £2 a pint, and 50p off all other real ales!

AMERICAN CRAFT BEER WEEK MON, 16 MAY - SUN, 22 MAY The Canalhouse will have a special menu, USA burgers and 10% discounts on USA craft beers. The Embankment serves up 2 half pints of American craft and 2 American tapas dishes for £10. Over in Lincoln the Golden Eagle will be showcasing a selection of beers, and serving American


Full listings on our website - events in Castle Rock pubs are updated daily

style dogs and burgers in the evenings. Meal deals, discounts, and special American dishes will be available at the Lincolnshire Poacher, the Poppy & Pint, the Swan in the Rushes, the Willowbrook and the Vat & Fiddle.

80s BANK HOLIDAY FRI, 27 MAY @21:00, THE WILLOWBROOK Remember the 80s? Kick start the bank holiday with a trip down memory lane, puffball skirts, stonewashed denim and mullets a must! If you’re dressed in your 80s best, we’ll give you a free drink! (t&cs apply)

POACHER GARDEN PARTY Sun, 29 May, @18:00, LINCOLNSHIRE POACHER An oasis in the city! Join us in the Poacher’s walled beer garden for an evening of live music, with an outside bar for the thirsty and a BBQ for the peckish. (Weather permitting!)

SPRING BANK HOLIDAY GARDEN PARTY Sun, 29 May 2016, @14:00, GOLDEN EAGLE A family friendly party to make the most out of the bank holiday! With a BBQ on the terrace, music, and a bouncy castle to keep the kids entertained.

MILD IN MAY 2016 SUN, 01 MAY 2016 - TUE, 31 MAY 2016 An excellent one for real ale drinkers who get to explore and enjoy the world’s oldest beer style, the traditional mild. As always, Castle Rock pubs will be supporting CAMRA’s campaign to protect this style of beer.

June 2016 WORLD GIN DAY SAT, 11 JUNE It’s World Gin Day! One of our favourite chilled beverages is being celebrated across the globe and of course in Castle Rock pubs. Whether you’re a slimliner, a juicer, ice and a slice, or neat for full-flavoured juniper berries, there’s a way to celebrate World Gin Day this year… visit world-gin-day to find all the info!

CANARY GIRLS WED, 15 JUNE @19:30, POPPY & PINT Heroes come in all shapes and sizes! It’s summer 1914 and war breaks. Funny, heartfelt and tender, Mikron presents a tale of two sisters whose dreams are pulling them in opposite directions. Visit to book your tickets.

BEER DAY BRITAIN WED, 15 JUNE 2016 2015 saw the first national beer day, created by beer sommelier and author Jane Peyton. We had a splendid day celebrating our favourite drink, and intend to do the same for 2016. Visit the Castle Rock website to stay in the loop and join us! Cheers!

FATHER’S DAY SUN, 19 JUNE 2016 It’s Dad’s day! We’re celebrating across our pubs, find out more on our website!

BIRTHDAY BEER FESTIVAL WED, 22 JUNE - SUN, 26 JUNE, GOLDEN EAGLE It’s the Golden Eagle’s birthday! With up to thirty real ales and ciders, a BBQ, live music on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th, and charity fundraising for Help for Heroes on Saturday 25th.

Regulars MONDAYS Bread & Bitter: Curry & Quiz Night. Curry, rice, naan and a drink for just £8.95, from 5pm. NEW: Horse & Plough: Burger and Beer Night, £9.90 from 5pm Kean’s Head: Homemade Pie & Pint Night. £10.95 from 5pm Stratford Haven: Curry & Pie Night, £7.95 from 5pm Willowbrook: Pie & Pint Night, £10 from 5pm. TUESDAYS Poppy & Pint: Curry & Quiz Night, £7.95 from 5pm (Quiz £1 from 9pm) Stratford Haven: Pie & Pint Night, £9.95 from 5pm NEW: Vat & Fiddle: Curry & Pint Tuesdays, £7.95 from 12noon-8pm Willowbrook: Quiz Night from 9pm, free.


WEDNESDAYS: NEW: Embankment: Pizza Night, 2 pizzas and a bottle of house wine, £24.95 from 5pm. (Live acoustic music from 7pm) NEW: Stratford Haven: Steak & Blues Night, a new menu each week (with veggies catered for) and live Blues. From 5pm.

SUN, 12 JUNE @17:00, LINCOLNSHIRE POACHER There’s little we like more than the opportunity to celebrate. Join the team at the Poacher for a fun night of live music, party food, drinks offers and cake! Hip hip hooray!

THURSDAYS Swan in the Rushes: Charnwood Brewery Tap Takeover on the last Thursday of the month, and Funhouse Comedy on the first Thursday of the month Willowbrook: Curry & Pint Night, £10 from 5pm.

Guest Writer

The DIY Dog Thom Stone, homebrewer and brewery assistant at Totally Brewed, gives his thoughts on the release of ‘DIY Dog’. The home brew world was hopping for joy in February, as Scottish beer giants Brew Dog released their recipes to the public. The UK craft beer pioneers, best known for their insanely hoppy creations and fiercely independent attitude, released their entire recipe back catalogue. The PDF, entitled ‘DIY dog’, contains a plethora of recipes, each with a full list of the malts, hops and yeast used, scaled down to the standard home brew batch size of 5 US gallons (roughly 20 litres). All the vital statistics of the beers are included, like ABV, IBU, SRM, pH, and lots of other lovely acronyms. In an industry widely dependent on proprietary assets such as beer names, branding and of course the recipes themselves, it is safe to say nobody saw this coming. On the whole, this rebellious move was met with high praise. However some members of the home brew community have voiced concerns. The IPA category at home brew competitions is already extremely popular, and can surely only become more crowded with access to such well proven recipes. Recipe formulation is often one of the most fun and creative parts of the brewing process. Knowing which hops play well together, what malts to use in which style and what yeast strains bring to the table, is all valuable information gained mostly from experience and copious amounts of important beer drinking research. However as any brewer knows, the variables throughout the process of making finely crafted ale are almost innumerable. We must also take into account technique. BrewDog has deliberately left out many finer details from their recipes. For example the actual times of the hop additions, the most important of which being their dry hopping time and technique. Debates still rage on internet forums as to how long a dry hop is necessary. Some say up to 10 days in

chilled beer. Others as little as 3 days in slightly warmer beer. I get the feeling that those brewers north of the wall have their own ideas and techniques that they will be less willing to share. The last major contributing factor I will touch on here is water, which makes up over 90% of beer, dependent on style and alcohol content. Even slight changes in mineral content can affect the brewing process and the final outcome quite dramatically. You only need to scratch the surface of brewing research before you come across terms such as ‘burtonisation’. Burton-on-Trent is world famous for its particularly sulphate-rich water, which contributes a pronounced hop bitterness. Similarly the famously soft water of Pilsen in the Czech Republic gave birth to the beer that bares its name. Pilsner is a pale lager that favours lower minerals for a cleaner profile well rounded bitterness and medium to light body. These two extremes give just a little insight into how such seemingly minute changes can make a vast difference to your beer. So, while I still think this 226 page PDF is an incredible contribution to the world of brewing, it benefits us brewers in less obvious ways. The reason it excites me is I now know exactly what's gone in to some of my earliest taste-forming beers. I have expanded my sensory knowledge by reading the ingredients. Simply by scanning over this mammoth tome of craft brewing knowledge, I am improving as a brewer. And if you become a better brewer, you will brew better beer.



Football in the Community Recently Castle Rock Brewery have started working with the registered charity of Notts County Football Club in an exciting community partnership. Many people are unaware of their community work which uses the power of sport and the brand of the football club to make a positive impact upon the lives of over 10,000 different people every year, many of whom are vulnerable, disadvantaged or “hard-to-engage”. They deliver a range of sporting projects and activities to a diverse range of people of all ages, abilities, disabilities and cultures, both male and female. Notts County FC Football in the Community (FITC) provide positive direction through sport and education, improve people’s health, confidence and skills. They have been established for 26 years and employ 50 staff who work across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire on a daily basis. Last year they were awarded the Nottingham Post’s ‘Community Club of the Year’ award for 2015, but still many fans and local people are unaware of their work that raises aspirations and supports some of the most disadvantaged, marginalised and talented people across the city.


As a registered charity, they raise all their own funding and are successful at designing innovative projects that target specific groups of local people. Notts County FC Football in the Community have a successful track record of attracting funding from high-profile charitable trusts and have an extensive list of influential partners. These include academics from University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University. Together they monitor and evaluate the social impact their projects have on Nottingham. The charity maintain the day to day running of Meadows-based Portland Centre (situated next to the Embankment pub) and use this as their hub where they utilise the gym, dance studio, main hall and classrooms to deliver projects and work across four areas: health, education, social inclusion and sports participation. Currently FITC deliver over 30 projects locally include provision for adults with; working-age dementia, mental-health issues, men over-55, refugees, men and women recovering from cancer. FITC offer provision for excluded-secondary school young people, a BTEC qualifications through futsal as well

as providing opportunities for hundreds of young people to complete the NCS award. In addition to this, FITC work in a number of Nottinghamshire primary schools to deliver a range of projects to children. Together FITC and Castle Rock are developing a partnership which has so far seen the charity support the launch of Castle Rock’s Colin Slater ale. Colin is a legendary BBC broadcaster and FITC trustee. This story was subsequently featured in FITC’s monthly newsletter and match-day programme. Castle Rock and FITC look forward to offering further opportunities to each other as the partnership grows. For more information on FITC’s projects and their community partner scheme please visit call Neil on 0115 955 7215 or email

Top Picks Left: These two real ale fans spotted themselves in our top picks a couple of editions ago. Guess what guys?! Here you are again! Thanks for the snaps! Right: Here’s a photo of the lovely Elsie on her 96th birthday! Congratulations! We hope you enjoyed the birthday drink.

Below: We didn’t know this was a thing...but we applaud this young gentleman for his creative sporting!

Above: When the brewery yard floods, our Martin finds innovative ways to get around… #palletraft Right: A poem from a lovely customer about our American IPA Screech Owl, for National Poetry Day.


Castle Rock Pubs ALEXANDRA HOTEL 203 Siddals Road, Derby DE1 2QE

Tel: 01332 293993

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


Beer Consortium

282-284 Arkwright St, Nottingham NG2 2GR

Tel: 0115 986 4502

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

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

Tel: 0115 960 7541

e-mail: F: Embankment Pub & Kitchen T: @EmbankmentNottm

Tel: 01246 454316

FOREST TAVERN/MAZE 257 Mansfield Road, Nottingham NG1 3FT

Tel: 0115 947 5650


email: • web: F: The Maze T: @themazenotts



21 High Street, Lincoln LN5 8BD

Beer Consortium


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


Lady Bay Inns

Pierrepont Road, Lady Bay, Notts NG2 5DX

Tel: 0115 981 9995

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

4-6 Appletongate, Newark, Notts NG24 1JY

Tel: 01636 605820

e-mail: F: The Fox & Crown Newark T: @TheFoxandCrown

e-mail: F: Kean’s Head T: @keanshead


601 Penistone Road, Sheffield S6 2GA

Tel: 0114 234 9148

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


123 Canal Street, Nottingham NG1 7HB

Tel: 0115 952 3061

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


(The Brewery Tap)

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

21 The Rushes, Loughborough LE11 5BE

12-14 Queensbridge Rd, Nottingham NG2 1NB


e-mail: F: Swan Rushes T: @swanrushes

e-mail: F: Vat and Fiddle T: @VatandFiddle

e-mail: F: The Willowbrook T: @WillowbrookCRB

Tel: 0115 985 0611

13 Main Rd, Gedling, Nottingham NG4 3HQ

Tel: 0115 987 8596 T

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

Tenanted pub F: Castle Rock Brewery

Core Castle Rock Beers 3.4%

Brewed to be a traditional session ale with a malty bitter taste.

F: Sheriff Tipple T: @SheriffTipple


A national award-winning blonde beer. American hops give a refreshingly crisp, citrus finish.


A well balanced, award-winning dark mild with some bitterness. Full-bodied but not overly sweet.


American-style red ale brewed with dark crystal malt, plus El Dorado and Kohatu hops.

T: @RedRidingHoodCR


A full-bodied premium bitter of typical East Midlands character. Perfect bitter-sweet balance.


Tel: 0115 982 5981

SWAN IN THE RUSHES Tel: 01509 217014


Tel: 0115 947 4052

2 Stratford Rd, W. Bridgford, Nott’m NG2 6BA

12 Lawrence Street, York YO10 3WP

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

46 St. Mary’s Gate, Nottingham NG1 1QA


ROOK AND GASKILL Tel: 01904 655450



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

161-163 Mansfield Road, Nott’m NG1 3FR


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


Tel: 01949 839313

Tel: 0115 941 1584

Tel: 01205 361116

25 Long Acre, Bingham, Notts NG13 8AF

Tel: 01522 521058

e-mail: F: The Golden Eagle Free House T: @GoldenEaglePub

Tel: 0115 955 5060

144 West Street, Boston, Lincs PE21 8RE


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

48-52 Canal Street, Nottingham NG1 7EH


387 Sheffield Rd, Chesterfield S41 8LS

First Floor Departure Lounge, East Midlands Airport Operated by Autogrill


153-155 Woodthorpe Dr, Mapperley, NG3 5JL




Breakthroughpoint Ltd




Blonde and beautiful single malt golden ale refreshing on the palate.

A national champion. Strong India Pale Ale. Lots of everything so proceed with caution.


Brewed with fresh Columbian coffee beans. Flavours of rich chocolate and coffee are in the nose, and the taste is smooth and lasting.

T: @CRBrewery

F: Elsie Mo T: @Elsiemocrb

F: Screech Owl T: @ScreechOwlCRB

For details of upcoming and future seasonal beers please see pages 2 & 3 in this issue

The next issue of Castle Rock Quarter is published in July

Profile for Castle Rock Brewery

Castle Rock Quarter Issue 9  

Castle Rock Quarter Issue 9  


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