It was cold and wet, but that didn’t stop more than 27,000 ale lovers swarming Nottingham Castle last week for the city’s annual beer festival.
The Robin Hood Beer Festival – to give it its proper name – gets bigger every year and this year was no exception with more than 1,200 beer, ciders and perries on tap.
And the Ilkeston area’s thriving micro-brewery scene played its part in making the festival, organised by the city’s CAMRA group, such a success.
During its second year at the event, West Hallam-based Nutbrook Brewery held its very own bar that appeared to be serving thirsty customers non-stop.
Managing director Chris Richards said: “It’s amazing how much we sold this year, despite the weather.
“Everyone was loving our beers this year.”
Of the seven beers Nutbrook had on over the five-day festival, The Blue Oyster – a pale, hoppy ale, brewed especially for the festival – was the best seller.
Richard Muirhouse, who runs his namesake brewery from Manners Industrial Estate, was also serving up his own ales while working with volunteers at the festival.
“I always try and work there on the Friday every year,” he said. “It’s a good way of getting a genuine feedback from customers.
“And it’s my way of giving a bit back to CAMRA.
“The people that order beer in for the festival are massive beer-lovers and so the beers on offer are the ones that they would love to try.”
Mango Man – a wheat pale beer with a tropical twist – was the most popular with festival-goers emptying a cask in just three hours on Friday.
It’s on at Muirhouse’s Brewery Tap in South Street – but not for long!
And festival-goers came from all over the country, including Ilkeston.
Lewis Darnell, 28, of Shipley View, has been to the festival every year since 2007.
He said: “It’s such a great festival. The beers are great, of course, but the atmosphere is amazing. That’s why I come back year after year.”
One-man band brewery North Star, based in the Gallows Industrial Estate, was also there with six brews on tap.
Also representing the Erewash Valley area were Full Mash brewery in Stapleford, with six brews available, and Old Sawley, Long Eaton, which had four beers on.