Special Events

Robin Hood Beer Festival Attracts Record Numbers

9 - 12 October 2008

The 31st Nottingham Beer Festival achieved record attendance at its new venue of Nottingham Castle this weekend. The event, renamed the Robin Hood Beer Festival in keeping with its host site, attracted a phenomenal 17,000 visitors over the course of the four days, making it the fifth largest attended CAMRA beer festival in the country.

The event opened on Thursday 9th October, with festival goers queuing outside the Castle Gate House in anticipation of experiencing the annual beer extravaganza in its new home of the Nottingham Castle grounds. Over 600 quality real ales, many from local breweries, were on offer, as well as over 90 traditional ciders and wines. The crowds continued to grow, reaching a peak on Friday night and Saturday afternoon when attendees waited patiently in a queue that stretched back to Maid Marian Way.

David Green, Nottingham Castle General Manager said: "The Robin Hood Beer Festival was hugely successful. It took place without incident - a fantastic achievement when you consider record number of festival goers attended. People travelled the length and breadth of the country to take part, many of whom had not been to our historic site before and hope to return. Next year we hope to engage the support of local businesses to work with both the site and event organisers CAMRA, to ensure the festival can return to the grounds and be even more of a hit with visitors."

Steve Westby, CAMRA said: "We're incredibly pleased with how the festival went. Nottingham Castle proved to be an excellent venue, with the event proving so popular we had to ask local breweries to bring in an extra 70 casks of ale to meet demand. There were no problems, with festival goers drinking responsibly and enjoying the great atmosphere. All CAMRA staff at the event were unpaid volunteers, and did a fantastic job, as did the Nottingham Castle management and staff who gave us tremendous support."

25th August 2008

After 31 years at the Victoria Leisure Centre the Nottingham Beer Festival has found a new home - and it promises to be bigger and better than ever!

The 2008 Festival will be held in the attractive grounds of Nottingham Castle from Thursday 9th to Sunday 12th October.

To mark this momentous change the festival will be re-styled as "The Robin Hood Beer Festival", but rest assured that it will have all of the key elements of the previous festivals including well over 400 quality real ales and ciders.

The beers and ciders will be featured in a huge marquee on the main castle green; however it is planned to stage the musical entertainment in the magnificent bandstand within the lower grounds. There will be a bar in a smaller tent positioned adjacent to slake the thirsts of those enjoying the music.

It's hoped to have a wider range of stalls, particularly food stalls selling local produce, and other attractions than was possible at the previous venue. And of course, given the location and the theme of the event, it's more than likely that our favourite band of outlaws will play their part in the proceedings.

Perhaps one of the most important improvements, apart from the splendid location itself, will be the much larger amount of space available. There will be much more room to enjoy the beer and there should not be the previous situation where would-be customers have to queue for hours in the hope of gaining admission because the permitted number of customers will be far, far higher.

Nottingham Castle's General Manager Dave Green expressed his pleasure at the move, "We are delighted to be able to host this highly regarded annual event. Not only will the customers enjoy this new venue, but they will also get the opportunity to appreciate what a great attraction the castle offers to both local residents and visitors alike."

The decision to move comes after years of searching for a new and better venue. Discussions to use the Castle grounds have been ongoing for some time and the proposal to shut Victoria Leisure Centre acted as the final spur to make the move.

Festival Organiser Steve Westby comments " It will be sad to leave the Victoria Leisure Centre after all those years but it became increasingly obvious that we had to move to a new venue if the festival was to remain successful. We would like to express our sincere thanks to all of the staff at the Centre who have given us so much help and support over the past 31 years".

So get those dates in your diary - 9th to 12th October - it's going to be the biggest and best Beer Festival that Nottingham has ever seen and our aim is to make the event the best in the East Midlands if not the country.