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Motorpoint Arena Nottingham

Wednesday, 17th to Saturday, 20th October 2018 at the Motorpoint Arena

Nottingham Beer & Cider Festival Announces New Venue

Due to major redevelopments at Nottingham Castle, for the next three years it will not be possible to hold the annual Robin Hood Beer & Cider Festival there. However we are pleased to be able to confirm that the event will now be held at the Motorpoint Arena in 2018, 2019 and 2020, with hopefully a return to the Castle in 2021 if this proves possible.

The festival will not only utilise the large floor of the arena itself (the ice will of course be covered) but also substantial backstage areas, an outside space and probably also Bolero Square at the front of the building, giving plenty of room to bring you all of the usual popular attractions plus new additions. For the first time we will also be in the position to offer corporate hospitality opportunities.

The dates for 2018 will be Wednesday 17th to Saturday 20th October, with tickets going on sale from 1st June. Dates have also been pencilled in for 9th to 12th October 2019 and 7th to 10th October 2020.

Nottingham CAMRA chairman Steve Westby, said "we are grateful to the arena and the city council for making this great city centre venue available for one of the most popular events in the city's social calendar. It will present our hard working team of volunteers with a major logistical challenge to move from the Castle grounds to a venue that is mostly indoor, but I know they will rise to the occasion, as always. It goes without saying that we will once again be proudly offering the widest range of draught real ales, ciders and perries in the world in a great atmosphere and at affordable prices."

Further announcements will be made on this website as more details are confirmed. (Updated 18th May 2018) Several visible hyperlinks currently open 2017 information which you may find interesting.

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When is the Festival? Wednesday 17th to Saturday 20th October 2018
Where is the Festival? Our new venue is the Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham more
What are the opening hours? 11am-11pm Thursday - Saturday / 5pm-11pm Wednesday
How do I get to the Festival? The Motorpoint Arena is a fifteen-minute walk from the train station and the Old Market Square. Map
Let's get down to business - what is there to drink? There will be over one thousand different draught real ales and over 250 real ciders and perries, covering every imaginable style, including vegan options. Check out the 2017 beer listings here and the cider list here. These will give you a good idea of the range of drinks that we offer although the 2018 choice will differ as we always try to bring in new styles from new producers. here. (The 2018 listings will be made available later in the year - Please be aware there will be continuous adjustments to the lists up to the start of the Festival.)
Advance tickets & Pay on the day Advance tickets will go on sale at 9am on 1st June, although it will be possible to pay on the day. However, places are limited, particularly at peak times on Friday and Saturday and so it is always advisable to buy a ticket in advance whenever possible as this does guarantee entry.
Why do I have to pay to get in? The festival costs a massive amount to stage, with large costs for venue hire, security etc. not to mention the beer and entertainment provided.
Do I have to buy a glass? You can bring your own glass, as long as it carries a government stamp. If you wish to drink thirds or halves your glass must have the necessary lines. Glasses are included in ticket prices and are refundable for £2.50 each on exit if you wish. If you have your own glass we will give you four beer tokens in lieu of a glass.
Are there Beer Tokens or is it a Cash Bar? It is strictly a token-only festival. A number of refundable tokens are included in admission prices.
Can I buy more beer tokens once inside the festival? Yes, there are token booths where you can purchase as many tokens as you need. They are refundable but only in small numbers, so don't buy too many at a time.
How much is a pint? The price per pint will be announced at the same time as the ticket prices. However this will be at a level commensurate with, or less than those in nearby pubs
Do you sell drinks in a third of a pint? Yes we do, our glasses are half pint tankards but also have a third line on them.
Will there be a programme available? Yes programmes are available free of charge. Pick one up on your way in - or have a look at what 2017 had to offer here - 2018 will be found on this page when available.
Will all the beers listed be available all the time? Around 700 beers will be on sale from the start, as these run out they are replaced by beers marked as RES (reserve) in the programme. By late Saturday evening we usually still have a few hundred beers on sale, more than most festivals start with. By the way we never run out, rumours that this has happened in the past are merely urban myths.
Do you sell lager? We sell some cask conditioned lagers i.e. real ales
Can I bring my own beer? Not really, that would be like taking coals to Newcastle!
Can I bring children? Under 18's are not allowed in the festival. We have to implement Challenge 21 as a licence requirement.
Will I be able to buy food at the Festival? There are numerous catering stalls offering a wide selection of world cuisine more However you may bring your own food, soft drinks and bottled water on site if you wish.
Is there a designated smoking area? Smoking is permitted in designated outside areas.
Is parking at the venue available? The Arena has no parking of its own, however there are several public car parks in the vicinity.
What is the policy about bringing dogs? Only assistance dogs will be permitted to enter the venue.
Will there be live entertainment? There will be a full programme of live entertainment at all times. Updates will be made available here and will continue to be posted until the programme is finalised. For those who prefer their festival to be music-free there is no music in the main arena.
Will I have to queue to get in? We do all we can to keep queueing to a minimum, particularly for ticket holders.
Can I buy tickets in advance? Tickets will be available on line or can be purchased over the counter at the Arena box office.
Do you still need bar staff? We rely on a large group of volunteers to staff the festival. Applications forms will be made available on this website several months before the date of the festival.
Can you recommend accommodation? Nottingham has a very wide choice of hotels, varying in price from budget upwards. We would recommend using the established hotel search engines such as
Are you on Twitter and Facebook? We have dedicated feeds/accounts on both Twitter and Facebook
Is there an app? The app will be available prior to the start of the festival and a link will appear on this page. (Please note the 2017 app is currently showing on the link).
Do you have any gluten free beer? We aim to have the widest possible choice of gluten free real ales as we can possibly obtain. The number available nationally has increased significantly in recent months. A list will appear on this web site about ten days before the festival. All vegan beers are listed in the programme and identified on the signs on each cask. All of our ciders and perries are gluten free. 2018 updates will be found here
What if I have an allergy or food intolerance? We attempt to show all allergen information on our beer signs, but if in doubt please ask our bar staff.
Do you offer a Student discount? Card carrying members of the Nottingham Trent University and University of Nottingham Real Ale Societies are given additional beer tokens on entry, in line with those given to CAMRA members. No other discounts are available.
Can I get a pass-out and come back in? It is not possible to obtain a pass-out to leave the festival at any time, following serious abuse of the system at earlier festivals. In the case of an emergency please speak to the stewards at the exits.
Do you have vegan friendly beers? We aim to offer a good range of beers that are suitable for vegans. The number of such beers has increased considerably in recent months and it is probable that around 5% of the total number of beers on sale will be vegan friendly, hopefully more. All our ciders and perrys are vegan friendly.
What is 'unfined beer'? Given enough time beer will clear naturally, but there is often not time to allow it to settle in the cellar for a couple of weeks or more, while nature does it's thing. So it has long been the practice to add a suspension of tropical fish swim bladders mixed with sodium metabisulphite (a disinfectant and preservative). This is called isinglass and many beers at our festival will be cleared by this method. The process is known as fining the beer. So look out for beers marked as “Unfined” at our festival and give them a try, we think you will agree it is worth it. And of course these beers are suitable for vegans to enjoy.
Can I pay on the day? None of the sessions are 'ticket only' and there will be a number of 'pay on the day' admissions available daily - full details will be downloadable in word or .pdf format as well as on the ticket page in due course.
What if I have a disability? We aim to make the Festival accessible to anyone with long-term or permanent disabilities, mobility, sight and/or hearing impairments. Venue facilities information is available by following the link here
Do you provide Braille or Large-Print literature? Large-print or Braille versions of the programme can be made available if requested in advance – please contact festival organisers at least 3 weeks prior to the start of the event.
How do the beer prices compare to 2017? The 2018 Beer prices are yet to be determined but any increases will be minimal.
What is FFF? The Festival Fringe Fortnight involves several pubs who offer an 'extended' Festival flavour around the Robin Hood Beer & Cider Festival - details of Ales, Beers, Ciders, Entertainment & Food can be found here 
 How can I contact you?  See Contact page.
What if I find conflicting information on this website or my query is not satisfactorily covered. What if I find conflicting information on this website or my query is not satisfactorily covered.  If you have a genuine concern that information on this website is misleading or confusing, please email us.  If a page is not marked as information for 2018 then read through the checklists on this page and in the Q&A section to see if new information is likely to be forthcoming at a later date.
 Is there a site plan of the Festival? As this is a new location we will be providing this information as soon as it is available.
Can I use a Credit or Debit Card to buy extra tokens at the Festival. Yes, we accept Credit and Debit Card payments on site.


Challenge 21

Challenge 21 comes into effect for the 2018 Festival - for more information click on the image to access .pdf file or visit the Challenge 21 website here


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Updated : 23rd May 2018 (376863/389306)