Twenty breweries: Castle Rock

The first beer I helped to brew. The first blonde ale I truly loved. The best pubs in Nottingham. Castle Rock are responsible for all of these.

The first beer was Large: brewed for a Robert Rankin fan get-together (to be honest, I knew little about the author but a mate of mine organised the brewday and knew I was keen to get involved). I can remember being covered in malt and I can remember the first four pints of Elsie Mo in the bar after. Just.

The first blonde was Trammie Dodger, a special for Nottingham Beer Festival in 2003, which later morphed into Harvest Pale, CAMRA's Champion Beer in 2010. Nectar. Sheer nectar.

The best pubs; Vat & Fiddle for a swift pre-train pint, Kean's Head for a legendary Scotch egg, Lincolnshire Poacher for the occasional Brewdog cask, Victoria at Beeston for peace & quiet.

Castle Rock beers formed a major part of my cask beer education. The monthly specials still keep me on my toes. And Harvest Pale: I may not think it's quite what it used to be, but you never forget your first time... and everybody changes.

Why try? The best brewery in Nottingham by a landslide.

What to look for? Harvest Pale! And Elsie Mo, the foreshortener of many a lunchtime session.

Where to buy? Nottingham. See the pubs mentioned above. If you see me there, I'll stand you a pint...


  1. Went to their brewery the other week for a tour and the release of kiss me kate on cask. Great beers but favoirate has to be screech owl, beautiful example of what an IPA can be.

  2. Oh yes. I won a day brewing said beer,in the raffle, but was on a school day! Glad you enjoyed the experience. I now can put a face to the name! It was me who posed the question on scoopgen about top 20 breweries btw!