Andrew's Beer Pages

Detail of Pump and Clip

Eric Jackson

Taste the difference: National beers vs local Nottingham brews – which is better?

Nottingham beer aficionados have the chance to put their taste buds to the test to see if they recognise the difference between local ales and national brews.

The Robin Hood (and) Little John pub, in Arnold, is holding a blind test for ale fans.

The aim is to put Nottingham’s growing reputation for good brews to the test by inviting people to pick out five locally-brewed favourites from a selection of ten anonymous beers.

The ten beers are numbered at the bar and drinkers will receive a token for each beer they try. The tokens will then be placed into ballot boxes, one for each beer, to decide which is the most – and least – popular.

Landlord David Pears said: “We want to try and change people’s perspectives of the big breweries. They know the household beers are everywhere, they know what Greene King IPA and Doom Bar are like. But do they really when it’s not on show?

“If people taste it and say: ‘Oh, that’s really nice,’ they might be like when they find out what they’ve tried: ‘I don’t usually like it.’ It’s to give people an interesting scope of both sides.”

The five national beers in the ten are Green King’s IPA, Spitfire, Bombardier, Doom Bar and Bass, which will compete against ales from Lincoln Green, Castle Rock, Welbeck Abbey, Nottingham Brewery and Totally Brewed.

The tokens across three days will be counted and the result of the most popular beer will be announced on the pub’s Facebook page on Sunday.

David said: “It’s to see what people’s reactions are. It could be that they are totally shocked that Bombardier’s beer comes out on top or not surprised at all.”

Seventeen committee members of the Nottingham branch of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) will be attending tonight to see if they, too, can determine what they’re drinking.

Andrew Ludlow, secretary of CAMRA, went to the pub this afternoon to sample three of the pub’s mystery ales.

The first he tried was a pale ale, which he struggled to identify.

Andrew said: “That is a lovely, pale beer – part of what I would call a new style of beer. Castle Rock has produced beers like Harvest Pale. I’ve got a feeling it could be Marion, by Lincoln Green Brewing Company, even though I find that normally a bit sharp. I don’t think it’s the Nottingham EPA.”

The second, though, another ale light in colour, saw Andrew more assured of his decision.

He said: “That one, I think, is Nottingham EPA. It’s very slightly stronger in taste, you can taste the hops more. EPA is as it’s described: Extra Pale Ale. It tends to have that extra bite to it. It’s a 4.2 per cent beer ABV.”

The third brew, meanwhile, slightly darker and bitter, was a “traditional beer”, according to Andrew.

He added: “It’s beautifully balanced, lots of hops in there. It could be a national brew. The only thing is that national brands have a tendency to be well-rounded beers with a good, solid taste. This has got a touch of extra in it. It wouldn’t surprise me if it’s one of the others. Welbeck brewery do a Henrietta drop, it could be this one. The chances of me getting them right, however, are not overly good.”

So was Andrew right? David’s not telling. It’s important no-one gets tipped off to make the vote count, he says.

The Macro vs Micro event launches tonight (Thursday, November 17) and runs until Saturday (November 19) between 7pm to 11pm. Pints cost £3.30, but the ales can be tasted in halves and thirds.

Any connoisseur who can guess all ten ales will win a gallon of beer.

 

 

Welcome to Andrew's Beer Pages

This page is reserved for information about our interest in CAMRA [the Campaign for Real Ale] and Beers. It will also feature Andrew's annual Festival Fringe Fortnight information.

Please visit the Nottingham Beer Festival web-site was built by myself and has now closed for the 2016 session - keep visiting to see it morph into the 2017 version ...... literally watch this space.

Special Beer for Jubilee

A fitting tribute to Her Majesty the Queen on the occasion of her 60th Anniversary Jubilee

Taste the Difference - November 2016

Still from television programme

Here is Andrew beginning his beer tasting duties - video and dialogue available here

Hucknall Beer Festival - February 2012

Another success - this time the beer did not run out - from the Hucknall Dispatch:

Andrew at the BF

Festival frolics - Godber Centre manager Kim Pears watches CAMRA branch secretary Andrew Ludlow pull a pint

Beer Festival is tipplers’ triumph!

It was cheers all the way as the newly-revived Hucknall Beer Festival proved a tipplers’ triumph. The eagerly-awaited three-day event took place at the John Godber Centre on Hucknall’s Ogle Street.

Centre manager Kim Pears said she was delighted with the success of the festival, which was her first since she took charge at the venue. To avoid a repeat of last year’s shambles, when the organisers ran out of beer halfway through, the amount of ale available was doubled this year. Kim said she did not normally drink beer but had been ‘converted’ as a result of trying out one of the brews on offer, Little Tick, from the Wentwell Brewery, of Derby.

Other breweries represented were from as far afield as Northamptonshire and Oxfordshire, while beers had such quaint names as Pig In A Pin, Snowdrop and Land Of Hop And Glory. About 40 different drinks could be enjoyed. They included a selection of ciders and an Eric Coates triple perry from Torkard Cider, of Hucknall. This was in honour of the famous Hucknall-born composer and it was made from pears which had been collected in the town,

A highlight of the festival came on the Saturday night when there was entertainment by the band, No Fixed Abode. They performed to a full house, which was a big contrast to their appearance last year when they had an audience of only 12 because the beer had run out! Kim said she was grateful for support from the Campaign For Real Ale (CAMRA) and other volunteers to help run the event, including members of Hucknall Rotary Club and Hucknall Round Table. An added attraction on the Friday was a farmers’ market, which included a pie stall and a craft fair.

Nottingham Beer Festival 2012

I have now started work on the web-site trying to de-clutter and create some new images (I'm a little tired of hops but here they are on Andrew's page anyway) and whilst I was about my business I found this - the Notts. County Fan's dream beer:

Pie Eyed and Perfect at 150

Pump Clip for Pie EyedNotts County fan and real ale lover, Eric Jackson of Keyworth has earned a place in the histories of beer and football by coming up with a perfect name for the world’s first real ale brewed to celebrate a football league club’s 150th anniversary.

His ‘Pie Eyed 150’, from Castle Rock Brewery, has been brewed and gone on sale at the Meadow Lane ground and at pubs across Nottingham and the East Midlands to help mark the milestone in the history of Notts County, the world’s oldest football league club. As part of his prize, Eric toured the brewery and added hops at a vital stage of the brewing process. As a guest of Notts County, he helped the club’s chairman, Ray Trew, launch the beer before the club’s first home game of 2012.

For Eric, this is his first big competition win. “OK, I’ve had a couple to tenners on the Lottery; but this is beyond my wildest dreams to enter a competition at the club I love and end up naming this beer. All the better as I’ve been a real ale fan since I started drinking; I think it’s good for you,” he said.

As a lad, 61 years ago, Eric travelled to home matches by trolley bus from Giltbrook and he’s been an ardent Notts supporter ever since. Pulling a pint

Pie Eyed 150 is a typical Nottingham session beer, brewed to 3.6 per cent alcohol. The single brew will be split with most going into casks to be sold on hand pumps at real ale pubs and Meadow Lane. A small draught taken first will be reserved for the bottled souvenir range with another 6,000 pints going into bottles to give the Notts County fans all over the world a chance to celebrate their club’s amazing milestone.

Notts CEO Jim Rodwell said he thought the beer was a wonderful idea. “I can’t think of a better way to commemorate our 150th anniversary. It’s a perfect name, just as long as the players don’t get pie-eyed”.

Eric Jackson (left) and Colin Wilde at Meadow Lane as Notts County chairman Ray Trew does the honours to pull the first pint of Pie Eyed 150.

More Information can be found at:

Google News

The Independent

From Times of Malta:

"Ale for oldest football club

Supporters of the world’s oldest football league club can raise a glass to toast its 150th anniversary with real ale brewed to celebrate the milestone. Pie Eyed 150 has been launched to mark Notts County FC’s special date and has gone on sale at the Meadow Lane ground and at pubs across the region.

Real ale lover and supporter Eric Jackson, of Keyworth in Nottinghamshire, came up with the name for the beer, from Castle Rock Brewery, and helped add the hops to the brew. As a guest of the Magpies, who play in black and white, he helped the club’s chairman, Ray Trew, launch the beer before the club’s first home game of 2012."

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Page updated : 5th December 2016