Nottingham Brewery to host the Real Ale Bar at the GNS

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We are very happy to announce that The Nottingham Brewery will be hosting our real ale bar on site at the GNS

With a wealth of experience and popularity their beers are regularly available in most quality real ale houses throughout Nottinghamshire and beyond

The Nottingham Brewery is run by business partners Philip Darby and Niven Balfour who originally entered the commercial brewing scene in the 1996 with their Bramcote Brewery – set up in a double garage at the rear of Philip’s brother’s house. Prior to this the businessmen ran a Beeston-based catering company from 1980 whilst running a none-commercial a micro-brewery as a hobby.

The brewery was an immediate success led by its flagship brew Hemlock, named after the famous Hemlock Stone situated around the corner from the now defunct concern.

Unfortunately the local Broxtowe Borough Council decided that a residential area was not suitable for a commercial brewing operation, albeit a small scale one, so they refused to renew the temporary planning permission that they had originally granted. This called for drastic action; Philip and Niven were forced to move lock, stock, and barrel. In doing so they joined forces with East Midlands pub group Tynemill who took a 40% share in the new brewery which was relocated next to their Vat and Fiddle pub in the centre of Nottingham. The new business which was started in 1997 was renamed Castle Rock Brewery. The new business which began in 1997 was renamed Castle Rock Brewery and won a plethora of real ale awards for their ales including the former Bramcote Hemlock and Elsie Mo.

Once again the brewery was a success and the beers were very well regarded both locally and further afield. However in 2001 Philip and Niven decided to sell their half of the concern to Tynemill and to go it alone. They had already purchased the Plough public house in Radford and decided that the outbuildings would be ideal for a brewery. So, at a cost of around £50,000, they spent several months altering the buildings and installing the ten barrel plant.

The Plough was once owned by the former Nottingham Brewery which was closed in 1952 and demolished in the early sixties so they thought they would resurrect the Nottingham Brewery name, and crest. Prior to the modern-day Nottingham Brewery Company acquiring the name, it was owned by Whitbread.

The modern-day Nottingham Breweries’ first brew went on sale on 5 October 2001 and, as expected, it was excellent. It was a 3.8% hoppy bitter and was named “Gyle 2”. “Gyle 3” followed a week later (Gyle 1 was a test brew that never made it to the bar). Gyle numbers were originally used as names for the brews – a brewer’s name for batch – until . Philip and Niven were certain they had the recipes right; the current beer names were introduced early in 2002.

The Nottingham Brewery currently has the capacity to produce 10 brewers’ barrels per brew with five fermenting vessels


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