Enjoy a traditional pint of real ale in Nottinghamshire
Nottinghamshire is the ideal place for real ale lovers to go for a traditional English pint. In fact, you’ll be spoilt for choice of things to do with its rich brewing heritage and the city centre reputedly home to more bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants per square mile than any other city in Europe. A barrel full of beer festivals will be taking place throughout the year – including the Bails & Ales festival at Navigation Brewery and the Craft, Cask & Cider festival at one of the Nottingham’s oldest inns, The Bell Inn, from Wednesday 9th July to Sunday 13th July, organised to coincide with the international cricket Test Match being held at Trent Bridge during the same period.
Nottingham is a ‘City of Caves’ and is famously known for the quality of its beer, with its brewing heritage dating back to the medieval times. Many breweries and malt kilns were located beneath street level within the manmade sandstone caves, and many pubs had access to cave cellars which maintained the perfect temperature year round. Their location underground enabled soft water to be filtered through the sandstone, and malt production to take place through the year due to the freshness of the naturally air conditioned caves. Nottingham’s brewing heritage has been celebrated in a folk song called “Nottingham Ale” and there are many old travel tales referring to how good the beer was.
The county is the birthplace of iconic companies such as Home Ales, Mansfield Brewery and the much-loved Shipstone’s, whose beers have recently re-emerged, brewed by a former James Shipstone’s & Son’s brewer Colin Brown for the Nottingham based small business Shipstone’s Beer Company. Nottinghamshire is also home to one of England’s oldest inns, Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, as well as many tasty local breweries including Castle Rock, Navigation, Lincoln Green, Pheasantry and Nottingham Brewery.
Indeed, the recent resurgence of real ale could be attributed to the fact that many of Nottinghamshire’s breweries also have their own pub taps, such as the city’s newest pub, the Crafty Crow.
Sarah Thursfield, Marketing Manager, Experience Nottinghamshire, said: “Nottingham has a rich brewing heritage and is the ideal place to go for a traditional pint of real ale. It is home to England’s oldest inn, Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, along with a barrel full of local breweries and beer festivals.
“VisitEngland, the national tourist board, has identified ale tourism as a growth sector and this is reflected in Nottinghamshire with the growth of attendance at the Robin Hood Beer and Cider Festival year-on-year. Just recently, in partnership with Nottingham City Council and CAMRA’s Nottingham branch, we have invited Brandon Lewis MP, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, to the festival in October. A novel invitation, on a specially produced beer label on a bottle of Castle Rock Brewery’s award winning Harvest Pale Ale, has now been sent to the Government Minister inviting him to attend the launch of the beer festival on Wednesday 8 October.”
Richard Neale, from Shipstone’s Beer Company, said: “If you’re looking to try a great range of hand crafted beers then the local selection in Nottingham is second to none. You will find an amazing selection of different beer styles from over 20 dedicated brewers and served in a great selection of pubs, all pulling together to make Nottingham a great place to visit for people who love good beer.”
Enjoy a tipple in one of our pubs… From dining in a cave at both the Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem and Hand & Heart, discover a heap of history at the Cross Keys, Fothergills and The Prince Rupert or if you are exploring Sherwood Forest then make sure you call in at the Fox and Hounds at Blidworth, a traditional countryside pub which offers ales and delicious seasonal food – just a few of many welcoming pubs and bars across the county.
If you want to discover the many artisan and speciality beers we have to offer, explore one of the Beer and Ale Trails, available from Experience Nottinghamshire’s website.
Raise your glass at a Nottinghamshire beer festival… The highlight of the year for beer fans is the Robin Hood Beer and Cider Festival which takes place every October in the grounds of Nottingham Castle. This year’s event takes place between Wednesday 8 and Saturday 11 October. Organised by Nottingham CAMRA, the festival offers over 1,100 different real ales, not to mention over 220 different real ciders, with over 25% of the beers on sale brewed within 20 miles of the Castle.
If that’s not enough to whet your appetite there are also lots of smaller beer festivals taking place throughout the year, including the Newark, Retford and Hucknall beer festivals. For a round-up of all our beer festivals, click here.
Go behind the scenes on a brewery tour… If you’re a real ale lover, brewery tours at Nottinghamshire’s local breweries are a great way to get the afternoon started. Your group will be able to go behind the scenes at one of Nottingham’s favourite breweries and find out what goes into your pint, and in some cases sample a few tasty beers along the way. For more information on breweries and tours in Nottinghamshire, click here.
For more information on beer in general throughout Nottinghamshire, visit: www.experiencenottinghamshire.com/beer.