County Stat Attack Week 38 - Nottinghamshire

Sorry, had to go early again due to busy day tomorrow.

This week takes us back into the East Midlands and the landlocked county of Nottinghamshire. The county lies on the Fosse Way and there were Roman Settlements and forts in the area. After the Roman withdrawal the area was taken over by Angles and became part of the Kingdom of Mercia. The first recording of the county name came in 1016 but it never became a county in its own right until 1568 as it was united with Derbyshire until then. Under the Normans the area developed Malting and Woollen industries however during the Industrial Revolution the county became a Coal Mining and Iron Ore district.

The county is largely undulating hill country with Sherwood Forest taking up a considerable acreage. The River Trent drains through the county running from West to East.

The principal conurbations are Nottingham itself, Mansfield, Newark on Trent, Worksop and Sutton in Ashfield.

On Ratebeer we have a total of 71 Breweries with 49 currently active and 22 closed. Just 3 of these are Client / Commissioner breweries.

The oldest currently active brewery we have for the county is Springhead Brewery of Laneham (Est 1990) however brewing in the county goes back much further. The oldest, now closed brewery we have is Hardy’s & Hansons of Nottingham (Est 1832) aka Kimberley Brewery. Originally two neighbouring breweries that did not combine until 1930. Both breweries used the same spring water in Kimberley which eventually ran short so they had to come to an agreement to source another spring water source. In 2006 the Hardys and Hansons Kimberley Brewery and associated pubs were sold to Greene King, who immediately closed the brewing operation, moving brands to Bury St Edmonds. The site is now developed into housing.

In the 2020 Ratebeer awards best Brewery went to Neon Raptor Brewing Co. The award for Best Beer went to Neon Raptor Centaur Army. No award was made for new brewery.

The Top 10 Beers for Nottinghamshire are –

  1. Neon Raptor Centaur Army
  2. Neon Raptor Abandoned Dragons
  3. Neon Raptor / Staggeringly Good The Do Move in Herds
  4. Neon Raptor Mountain Moves
  5. Neon Raptor 20,000 Containers Under the Sea
  6. Neon Raptor Critically Endangered
  7. Neon Raptor / Voodoo Forbidden Wizards
  8. Neon Raptor Levitating Tactics
  9. Black Iris Circle of Snakes
  10. Neon Raptor Bigfoot Expert

The Top Pubs & Bars in Nottinghamshire are –

  1. Canalhouse (Castle Rock), Nottingham – 87
  2. Junkyard, Nottingham – 87
  3. Brewdog, Nottingham – 86
  4. Kraft Werks, Nottingham Mapperley – 84
  5. Crafty Crow (Magpie), Nottingham – 84
  6. Beerheadz Nottingham Station – 84

There is also a highly rated Bottle Shop

  1. Brew Cavern, Nottingham – 84

The Top 5 Raters of Nottinghamshire Beers are –

  1. @Mr_Pink_152
  2. @fonefan
  3. @theprof
  4. @imdownthepub
  5. @leaparsons

You will require 70 beers currently to get onto the top 50 list for the county.

The Top Rater who resides in Nottinghamshire is –
@theprof who happily is rating away with us.


Nottinghamshire is a County where I feel like I must have had more beers but it’s only 16.

And I am not sure I’ve ever been to Nottinghamshire either. One of my cousins moved to Newark a few years ago (it’s half-way between the places where she and her husband work so only chosen for its geographical position) so should probably get around to visiting her at some point.

I’ll go with a Top 7 – which is nearly a clean sweep for one brewery:


8 breweries in total:

• Black Iris – 8
• Springhead – 2
• Castle Rock / Cat Asylum / Milestone / Navigation / Neon Raptor / Solstice – 1

The closest I’ve got to vising is a recent order with Brew Cavern.


My home turf but as is sometimes the case, I am not lord in my own manor. I heartily approve the dominance of Neon Raptor in RateBeer rankings. I have only managed to keep up with a third of their considerable output (48/149) but recall writing a rave review of Centaur Army in early 2020. The last Nottingham beers I have drunk were both from the Raptor in late September of last year. (Much of the time since, I have been not just away from Nottingham but away from British beer!).
I have actually tried more beers from Totally Brewed (68/109), who used to have a taproom just around the corner from where I lived [they still do in nearby Beeston], and although they couldn’t compete with Neon Raptor, their core range was solid. The same was true of other breweries from Nottingham that come more clearly out of a cask tradition like Lincoln Green (49/73) and Blue Monkey (59/111); the latter is one of a number of brewers who have re-focused of late partly on the gin trade. Among the craft producers whom I have shamefully neglected, I must mention Black Iris (30/121) and Liquid Light (5/29), although I am hoping that the latter will kick on strong in the coming year. Magpie has a decent core range but it, like Milestone, Welbeck Abbey and others, can miss their target.
But this is really a thread about place
Place rating has never been my forte, but certainly anyone arriving in Nottingham by train (or leaving that way) should pause if they can at Beerheadz which is on Trent side of the station [left turn if you are leaving by the main entrance] –it has a good and frequently rotating selection for such a small venue. Across the road and down the slope is Castle Rock’s Vat and Fiddle, near its brewery. Of late, I have tended to associate Castle Rock more with venues than ales and you can do a reasonable tour if you tick off the Vat, the Canalhouse, the Barley Twist, the Newshouse, and the Kean’s Head. Most people remember the Canalhouse because you cross a small walkway over the canal-boat repair berth to get to the bar. If you are heading to either the City ground or Trent Bridge, you should pause at the Embankment or try the Navigation’s taproom by Notts County’s Meadow Lane ground. But if you want to tick some craft beers, you are better off heading into town and trying to find the Junkyard or the Barrel Drop both of which have been carefully concealed down alleyways. Alternately, walk from the Market Square (by the city hall) towards Sneinton where you will find Neon Raptor’s taproom and the newly opened Liquid Light tap. Sneinton is also hosting the Craft Beer fest on the weekend of Aug 20 (look beyond the IceRing and the Motorpoint Arena and that’s is Sneinton.
This is very much about Nottingham and not Nottinghamshire since in my limited experience, Newark, Mansfield and Worksop are only worth a beer trip when there’s a festival, although even then Nottingham’s (hopefully this October at Trent Bridge) is a far bigger draw.
Home turf and for three quarters of the year normally home to over 60,000 students…. Hence my career. And my need for a drink.


139 rates @3.12, my 12th highest county; equal 17th on the RB leader board with @RichTheVillan.

I’ve had one cider from Nottinghamshire and there are no mead or sake producers in the county as yet.

Springhead The Leveller 4.1 3.4 4/4/2012
Blue Monkey Guerrilla 4 3.49 12/6/2012
Neon Raptor Moon Rocks 4 3.71 12/28/2018
Milestone Olde English Ale 3.9 3.14 5/25/2014
Pheasantry DA (Dark Ale) 3.9 3.02 11/26/2014
Milestone Oktoberfest 3.9 3.05 10/7/2018
Neon Raptor Critically Endangered 3.9 3.77 6/13/2019
Springhead Chocolate Orange Odyssey 3.9 3.16 3/5/2020

28 Breweries found, 4 of which have closed. Being (mostly) a Cask Man the top 2 breweries come out as Castle Rock on 33 and Milestone on 21. The keg, bottle and can brewers are all below 10.

Only two places reviewed and they are both in Beeston, The Victoria Hotel (where the CAMRA Investors Club have their AGM) and the lovely Crown Inn. Trips to both Forest and County with The Mighty Mariners and many visits in my youth for ‘girls’ in Nottingham (outnumbered blokes by some margin back in the 1070’s). Mansfield is another football town I been to a few times. The local police in both Nottingham and Mansfield don’t seem to like Grimsby fans much and getting into pubs is usually difficult on match days. So not been drinking in Nottinghamshire for years, apart from the aforementioned AGM’s.



Didn’t know you were that old @BlackHaddock:grinning:


I was trying to come up with stuff for Nottinghamshire, it’s a tricky one for me. Nottingham itself is a great place for pub crawls, got to be said and the annual Beer Festival is excellent. Newark is pretty decent too for a day out. I’ve been to both Nottingham clubs for football, away days at Forest are very good, we tended to fill the pubs in town before wandering to the ground. Trent Bridge for Cricket is second only to Edgbaston imo. I haven’t done any long distance walking in the county, there is one called Robin Hood Way which might be interesting, I have walked in Sherwood Forest though, it’s more heath than forest but hey-ho.

I’m in 4th spot for the county with 459 ratings, my 11th highest county and a middling average of exactly 3.2. I have tried beers from 51 different breweries placing me 3rd in that list.

The Breweries I have had most beers from are –

  1. Milestone Brewery – 46
  2. Castle Rock Brewery – 42
  3. Blue Monkey Brewery – 28
  4. Grafton Brewing – 28
  5. Springhead Brewery -26
  6. Black Iris Brewery – 22

I have given a score of 4 or over to 17 beers from Nottinghamshire, my best are –

  1. Hardys & Hansons Peak Perfection – 4.5
  2. Alcazar Windjammer IPA – 4.5
  3. Castle Rock Harvest Pale (Cask) – 4.2
  4. Springhead Sweet Lips – 4.2
  5. Castle Rock Screech Owl – 4.2
  6. Broadstone War Horse – 4.1
  7. Full Mash Ouija – 4.1
  8. Blue Monkey Black Howler – 4.1
  9. Totally Brewed Punch in the Face – 4.1

The Neon Raptor hype seems to have totally missed me, must catch up with that, I have only had 4 beers so far from them.

The Notts Breweries with the best averages are –

  1. Idle Valley Brewery – 3.56 (Now Closed)
  2. Liquid Light Brewing – 3.529
  3. Full Mash Brewery – 3.464
  4. Black Iris Brewery – 3.445
  5. Totally Brewed – 3.419

I have reviewed 35 places in Nottinghamshire, my 13th highest county, my favourite places, that are still open are –

  1. Canalhouse (Castle Rock), Nottingham – 86
  2. Just Beer Micropub, Newark – 84
  3. Junk Yard, Nottingham – 80
  4. Lincolnshire Poacher (Castle Rock), Nottingham – 76
  5. Hand and Heart, Nottingham – 76
  6. Crafty Crow (Magpie), Nottingham – 76
  7. Falcon Inn, Nottingham – 76

Hopefully the Beer Festival will run this Autumn and I will be making every effort to get there.


Yes Beeston is worth a side trip. I like both the Victoria and the Crown and there is the Totally Brewed Tap not too far from the Crown and a couple of other decent pubs near the tramline. Mansfield isn’t welcoming whoever you are!


This isn’t going to be one of my better weeks…

I’ve had a mere 22 brews from Nottinghamshire; it’s in the bottom third of my counties and I’m miles off being in the top 50.

My top brews from the county are not very top at all:

I’ve only tried 9 different breweries, and no cideries. My most rated breweries are Castle Rock, Milestone & Springhead, all with 5 beers. Of those Springhead are the highest-scoring, albeit with a far from impressive average rate of 3.18.

I’ve rated just one place - the Wetherspoons (the Regent) in Kirkby-in-Ashfield, which was an old converted cinema and was pretty much what you’d expect of a 'Spoons.

Apart from that I think my only visit to the county (other than passing through on the M1 or A1) is to bag the highest point. This was a bit debated at the time, and I visited three separate points just to make sure. However, it’s since been re-surveyed & apparently the highest point is now by the covered reservoir off Newtonwood Lane, to the east of Tibshelf Services. It was hardly an impressive top!

It’s clearly a “must try harder” county - there’s clearly a lot of decent new craft breweries there, although I have to say that I’m simply not interested in ones that think they can get away with conning you out of £6 for a can of session beer.


Nottinghamshire is probably my favourite county for beer. I may live in Lincolnshire but only a few miles from the Nottinghamshire border. It’s one of three East Midlands counties I’m top rater for and I’ve tried 679 beers. Nottingham was my top rated county for a long time but now overtaken by all conquering Greater London.

Top rated beer for me are:

Maybe not a surprise but a few Neon Raptor beers in the top list. Also pleased to see Cat Asylum and Liquid Light. Also got some high rated beers from Blue Monkey, Black Iris, Beeston Hop Lazy BAY and Totally Brewed.

I’ve tried beers from 54 breweries, one behind @fonefan

Top rated breweries are:

Brewery Average
Neon Raptor 3.96
Liquid Light 3.72
Cat Asylum 3.68
Black Iris 3.63
Totally Brewed 3.59

Generally I drink a mix of Cask and Craft for Nottinghamshire, so maybe not a surprise that I have had the most beers from:

Brewery Count
Castle Rock 56
Milestone 56
Black Iris 46
Neon Raptor 40
Pheasantry 40

For me the best things about Nottinghamshire are Nottingham and Newark, both have some great pubs and great beer festivals. I have really missed the Nottingham Beer festival just the sheer amount of beer, I normally try and attend for 2 days, but fingers crossed it goes ahead this year, I may attend the Wednesday evening session too. The Newark beer festival is significantly smaller but in a great location across the river from Newark Castle.

My top rated places are:

Place Rate
Hopology 92
Junkyard 92
Pheasantry Brewery & Visitor Centre 84
Just Beer Micropub 84
Real Ale Store 82
Crafty Crow (Magpie) 82
BeerHeadZ Nottingham Station 82
  • The Phesantry Brewery and Visitors Centre was rated a while ago when they had a bar, restaurant, beer shop, but I think it has since scaled back.

I’m already planning my next trip to Nottingham, I head straight to the bars in the Lace Market area and stay their, but may head to Beeston or the Sneinton Market area next time.

On a side note my profile picture in of my Pug Paisley sat on a bat stool at the bar in the junkyard, he was asleep and snoring!!


Have 48 rates from Nottinghamshire, with my highest rated at 4.1 being Neon Raptor Critically Endangered

There are 11 active cideries in Nottinghamshire, Farmer Fear has most entries with 10

The top 5 raters for Nottinghamshire ciders and cideries are:

NottinghamshireCider Ratings



Just the 4 rates from Robin Hood Country (that will likely upset some of the neighbouring counties) for me, 2 from Castle Rock and 1 each from Blue Monkey & Totally Tapped. My eldest went to University in Nottingham and so I’ve been a few times - pubs in Beeston, where he spent 2 years, are (as above) pretty decent and the city itself has 1 or 2 nice places to drink, the micropub on the station probably being my favourite. Have also spent a weekend around Newark, and thought it held promise (this was a few years ago), and would gladly return. Worksop? Well, the least said there, the better (a swimming pool incident as a 4 year old very much plays against it). From a sporting perspective, I’ve never watched football there, but have been to Trent Bridge for pajama cricket a couple of times, but never a Test Match - perhaps one day, along with some drinking (although it’s a bit of swine to get to by train)


Hi everyone, I am coming to this one later than usual. It’s been a hell of a week at work. It’s a long one as this is one of my favourite counties.

Nottinghamahire is of course a neighbouring county, and I’ve enjoyed getting my teeth stuck into Notts beers and pubs in the past few years (although I’ve not been to Nottingham since the pandemic). I’m probably more on Team Black Iris than Team Neon Raptor but they’re both definitely big brewers that have contributed so much to the scene. Castle Rock beers are hit and miss but they know how to run a pub. It’s their boozers that make Nottingham such a great visit.

I’ve had 122 Notts beers, ninth highest for me, and it’s enough to get to a pretty respectable 22 on the leaderboard. My top beers (3.8 and up) are

I’ve got quite a few 3.7s as well, and from a number of breweries: not just Black Iris and Neon Raptor but also Springhead, Blue Monkey, Lincoln Green, Scribblers, Totally Brewed and Magpie.

I’ve had beer from 21 Notts breweries, and they are all still active! Top of the lot (quantity) are Black Iris (18), Castle Rock (13), Blue Monkey (12), Neon Raptor (10) and Milestone (9). Quality-wise, it’s still Black Iris on top (3.59), followed by Neon Raptor (3.43), Lincoln Green (3.42), and Totally Brewed (3.37).

Great breweries but Nottingham is about two things for me: the beer festival and the pubs. I have rated 51 in the county, the highest (still open) of which are:

I’ve been to a fair few places around the county as well. Top places outside of the Nottingham conurbation are the Poachers Alehouse (78) in Jacksdale, a village just across the Derbyshire border and close-ish to Ripley or Langley Mill; the Flying Circus & Just Beer Micropub (74 each) and the Prince Rupert (70) in Newark; the quirky Fuggles Chapter One in Worksop (72) and the Garrison (70), a Mansfield pub named after the one in Peaky Blinders (I didn’t expect anything from that description but the beer was excellent).

The problem is that I feel like I’ve ‘done’ Nottinghamshire now. Although I will always go back to the old & familiar, I don’t think there are all that many areas where I can search out new places. I need to do a much-needed Nottingham mop-up to get all the places that I missed or that have opened in the last year or two, and I’m still keen on trying the Retford BeerHeadZ (the only one of the chain I’ve not been to) but other than that I feel like I’ve drunk it dry. And if that’s my biggest complaint, I am a lucky boy indeed.


With Nottinghamshire week drawing to a close I thought, time for a Nottinghamshire beer.

Thanks @imdownthepub love this weekly stat.


Catching up on the backlog – but I definitely need to say something about Nottinghamshire. I have rated 36 Nottinghamshire beers from 18 breweries. People will know my propensity for visiting pubs in Derby, and Nottinghamshire beers are regularly available there. Most ratings from

Welbeck Abbey 4
Blue Monkey 3
Magpie 3
Milestone 3
Nottingham 3

And several others with 2.

Top rates beers are as follows

Totally Brewed Gaurdian of the Forest 3.8
Welbeck Abbey Red Feather 3.8
Lazy Bay His Nibs 3.7
Liquid Light Dressed In Black 3.6
Navigation Toffee Apple 3.6
Neon Raptor Abandoned Dragons 3.6
Nottingham Rock Mild 3.6

I think these scores reinforce my opinion that there are plenty of decent breweries in Nottinghamshire, but no outstanding ones.

Looking at my own records now, I’ve drunk 201 Notts beers, from 32 breweries.

Highest numbers are
Milestone 22
Castle Rock 20
Black Iris 17
Nottingham 13
Pheasantry 13
Lincoln Green 11

I’ve not rated any places in the county, but have visited numerous pubs over the years. My brother used to live in Nottingham so I’ve been to plenty of places there – both good and bad.

Surprisingly (in view of the family connection) I’ve not been to any football matches in the county. I have been to Trent Bridge numerous times to watch the cricket. Two occasions stick in the memory. Barry Richards scoring 225 – more than the whole Notts team (including sobers) could manage in two innings put together. Also, Hampshire winning a Sunday League match from an unpromising position. Mainly due to Mike Taylor (former Notts player) repeatedly hitting the ball into orbit in the direction of fielders known to be poor catchers – and getting dropped every time ! There were also some bad times – the nadir being 1980. I shall leave you to discover the scores of that match.

Also, been to Southwell races many a time – back before the abomination of “all weather” had been thought of. Never been to Nottingham raqces though – mum and dad didn’t like it for some reason.

Plenty of bus spotting trips to the area as well as the county was home to two of my favourite bus companies South Notts (with Albion Lowlanders) and Gash of Newark (with 1940s Daimler double deckers, that lasted into the 80s).

Looks like another trip to the county is called for.


I’m only 5 months behind now. I’ve really enjoyed all of the reviews this time and it sounds like Nottingham and the Shire generally is a great place to go pubbing! I’ve never been!

I’ve rated 87 Nottinghamshire beers, which my 24th best county out of 46. This puts me in 41st place.

I think early ratings were for Blue Monkey which used to be distributed in Edinburgh and presumably UK wide. I haven’t seen them for a while, mind.
Then I think I boosted my numbers with a few run of the mill local Nottinghamshire breweries from Beers Of Europe - I think Beeston, Away Days and Milestone come to mind.
Both Neon Raptor and Black Iris have been available on websites all over the UK and have made it into various baskets when they were high enough priority - both great brewers!
I think I may have finally got over the threshold of the top 50, in late 2020, when @allmyvinyl grabbed an order directly from Totally Brewed.

I’ve only got one beer which I deemed to be worth 4 points, and it’s a collaboration brew. Below are my top 3.

Neon Raptor / Overtone Stuck On Shuffle
Neon Raptor Bigfoot Expert 3.9
Away Days Butcher’s Bandage 3.9 (this surprised me and I wondered it it’d been a typo, but it looks like it was one of those proper malty ales, so glad it’s in the top 3).

Neon Raptor is also my highest average for a Nottinghamshire brewery with 3.74.

The reviews above around great pubs mean it’s a ‘must visit’ at some point in the future!


Thanks to all for there contributions above, I made notes before my recent 2 night visit to Nottingham. It was second visit to the city, I visited in 2001 on my ground hopping road trip & watched Forest on a evening kick off. Don’t remember much from that visit, just I stayed to the North of the city centre in a hostel.
On this occasion my visit coincided with the recent storm, extremely happy to take off from Jersey & land safely after a lot of turbulence & a hairy landing. Then had to wait 40 minutes for it to be safe enough for the ground staff to work to leave the plane.
I based myself near the train station as I was going to the County game. The Friday evening I ended up going just to 3 different places because the weather was so bad. The Angel Microbrewery was my first choice as I love drinking from source given the chance, also the food was excellent. Junkyard was my 2nd venue, very modern with outstanding ale choices but none from Nottingham. Interesting selection to take home in the fridges. I finished the evening off at Kean’s Head, a ‘real world of beer pub’ with real good choices.
Saturday Morning I had a wonder to the castle & visited Brew Cavern before waiting for Canalside to open at midday, but I’m afraid to say I was disappointed, seemed impersonal to me & a bland CR pale ale didn’t help. Happy to give it another try one day as it’s an attractive pub with the canal coming inside & seems they have great guest ales.
A quick visit to BeerheadZ at the station next, good selection but no local options. I then walked out to Meadow Lane, got myself a program and visited Trent Navigation, a stone’s throw from the ground and home to Navigation Brewery, which of course was very busy with fans but the American IPA I had was very good.
County won the game & I headed on a mini tour, my pick of the bunch was my first stop the Neon Raptor tap, outstanding beer plus lots of choices & fridges for take away’s. I also took in Liquid Light Brewery tap, King William IV, Angel Microbrewery again mostly to eat, Barrel Drop & Newshouse. The latter was very quiet & disappointing beer choices.
Overall it was a cracking weekend with some really high standards set and plenty left for another visit. I’d only had 4 ratings before this trip, now I’ve 13. With a number of cans to enjoy at home.
Top beers - Lenton Lane Downpour & Neon Raptor Barnum Brown Ale with 3.8
Top places - Angel Microbrewery (86), Neon Raptor Tap (84)