Baby beers and breathtaking brews: Nottingham Beer Festival 2017 is here

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Granddad Mark Giles, left, with nine week old grandson Stanley, mum Amber Giles and dad David Hutchinson. Mark created the 'Geordium Grandsonium' beer in Stanley's honour.

A brew inspired by a nine-week-old baby, a massive cider section and a local gin bar are tempting drinkers at this year’s Nottingham Robin Hood Beer and Cider Festival.

The four-day event runs from Wednesday to Saturday at Nottingham Castle and includes its usual massive array of ales.

This year there are 1,225 – plus 284 ciders and perries – and around 90,000 pints to drink in total.

Among them is Geordium Grandsonium from Lincoln Green brewery, Hucknall, created by Mark Giles and inspired by his nine week-old baby grandson, Stanley.

Video: Danielle Hall explores Nottingham Beer Festival 2017.

“I know someone at Lincoln Green and I just approached them and said ‘would it be possible, just so we can celebrate him?’ and they said yes,” explained Mark, who lives in the Victoria Centre flats in Nottingham.

“It’s a brown ale with lots of American hops, which I love, and I’m from Newcastle originally, so it had to be a brown ale.”

Stanley’s mum, Amber Giles, from Chilwell, said: “I was told at 18 I’d never have children so he’s a little miracle anyway and it’s a lovely gesture. It’s wonderful to see it on the shelf and being drunk.”

Tens of thousands of people are again expected, even though this year the festival finishes a little early – there is no drink up session on the Sunday this year.

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This year there are more than 1,000 beers on offer.

Organised by the Campaign for Real Ale, or Camra, the festival is again being delivered by a small army of passionate volunteers.

Bar manager Bob Henley said: “On a day we must sell tens of thousands of pints. What makes it great is the interaction with the customers and the camaraderie.

“Most of the guys on this one bar are here every year and it becomes a bit of a get together.

“You also get people who don’t know beers and it’s great to get people trying something different. Whichever of these festivals you go to you see people who have come from all over.”

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Bar volunteers, from left, Kev Marshall, Tim Kirton and Kev Hall.

And although volunteers aren’t paid – there is one crucial benefit.

“Yes, the staff are allowed to taste what they want,” added Bob.

“As long as they are sensible of course. Of course we do watch, but a lot of these guys are seasoned and know what they are doing. And it goes the other way – we don’t serve people who have had too much.”

In 2018 the festival will move to the Forest Rec while part of the Nottingham Castle site is being developed, but is expected to return to the venue in 2019.

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