A Trip to Nottingham (& Presentation of Rugby CAMRA’s Beer Of The Festival 2019)

In June Rugby & District CAMRA put on a minibus trip to present the Beer of the Festival 2019 certificate to Hollow Stone & Brewery Co. who easily won the beer of the festival with Krubera, a 5.2% blueberry and mocha stout.  I remember the beer well from the festival because it tasted so good, and this is from a blonde and hoppy beer drinker.  

An excellent trip on a lovely sunny day because I used to live in Nottingham in the 80’s and wanted to see how the beer making had changed since then - it certainly needed to.  Nick Dunleavy from the brewery met us at the Fox and Crown pub in Old Basford where the Hollow Stone brewery is based. 

Imagine my surprise to find out they are also the Little Star Brewery and are brewing Shipstone’s beers as well.  I thought Shiptone’s beers were lost when the original brewery shut down but now these beers and others are being reproduced to a consistently high quality.  Back to Krubera, Nick gave us a quick tour round the small brewery which is based at the Fox and Crown pub and answered our questions.  They have some strange flavours at Hollow Stone – asked where the ideas come from Krubera came from eating blueberry muffins with coffee and wanting to see if that flavour combination worked well in a beer.  Their new beer Sorbeto is a 5% raspberry and lime beer and you can guess where the idea for this beer came from.  Between us we managed to sample quite a few – all in excellent condition surrounded by a welcoming group of locals. Shiptone’s Original 3.8%, Hollow Stone Oligo Nunk 4% (Keg), Shipstone’s Gold Star 4.2%, Roosters YPA 4.1%, Hollow Stone Waitomo 4.5% (Keg) and Shipstone’s India Pale Ale 5.5%.


Moving on to the Lion Inn in New Basford, another excellent pub which has won awards for being very dog friendly.  First the beers: Siron Craft White Tips 4.5%, Pentrich Brew Co. Kiama w/Falconers Flight 5%, Lenton Lane Brewery Atlas Stout 4.2% and then on came Pentrich Struggling with the Trees 4.5%.  I mentioned they were dog friendly – a shelf of dog treats, a doggy menu, a dog bar (water) outside in the garden, Bottom Sniffer Dog Beer (at £3 a bottle) and Pawsecco a still wine for dogs!  The beers here were all in good condition, no dogs in sight when we were there.

Next to Ockbrook where we visited the Royal Oak and The Cross Keys.  I didn’t fancy the Mooha in the Royal Oak but had a wander through their gardens but sampled an excellent Batemans Pilgrim Fathers IPA 4.4% in the Cross Keys.  Moving on we went to the White Lion in Sawley where the Old Sawley Brewing Co. is based.  Another dog friendly pub with a good back garden (and a wood-fired pizza place).  I sampled Old Sawley;s Little Jack 4.3%, Figaro 4% and Jobber 4.2% and then a Maltsmiths IPA 4.6% (Keg).

Moving on again to The Jolly Sailor in Hemmington, we found yet another good pub with good beers.  I ended up with an Oakham Dragon 5% and sampled Shiny Brewery Moa 3.9% and Scribbler’s Ales Brewery Rubecca 4.8%

Time to head down the motorway with a final stop at The Classroom in Lutterworth with a quick Ubiquitous Pale Ale in their lovely beer garden.

A good time was had by all and I wonder now why we ever left Nottingham, I will be back.


Article supplied by Christine Lewis