The Festival re-opens 9th-12th October 2019

Nottingham's Indoor/Outdoor Beer Festival remains at the Motorpoint Arena!

Yes, you read that right, our beer festival will once again be mostly outside. It is at the Motorpoint Arena, but this is the Arena as you will have never seen it before. It is true that some of the bars will be on the ice (covered and insulated!), but this area leads directly to the outside Backstage beer Garden, where one of two stages will be located.

There are in fact two large outdoor areas, the Backstage Beer Garden, with brewery bars, food and other stalls and live music, and the Bolero Square village which also offers bars, stalls and live music! Both with areas where you are free to smoke or vape if you so wish.

There should be plenty of seating, both inside and outdoor, but this does not necessarily include the stadium seats themselves, which, although you are free to use them if you wish, are not ideal for beer festivals and proper tables and chairs will be available.

We also have a Cider Barn, just off the ice, in another area you will not have seen before. This will offer our usual large selection of ciders and perries plus seating.

"How many beers will you have?" is a common question every year. Well we don't know for sure yet, but it will certainly be over a thousand different real ales. This is of course more draught real ales than any other beer festival in the world!

For the first time we also have what some might term a "craft beer" bar, unusual and rare beers served from a tap that is connected to a keykeg, like many of the beers found at the recent Nottingham Craft beer Festival. A keykeg is a plastic container with a flexible bag inside containing real ale. The beer is served by forcing compressed air between the inside of the container and the bag, which squeezes the bag and forces the beer to the bar. We already have a range of rare keykeg beers lined up, some of which have never been seen in the city before.

The amount of live music will virtually double this year as it will be featured in both the Backstage Beer Garden and the Bolero Square village. This should mean non-stop music all day every day at one or other of the two locations, timed so that the two don't clash. See side panel for more information.

Ok, it is not the Castle, that is now closed for a few years, but we are determined to make it as enjoyable and entertaining as always. And if anyone tries to tell you it is an indoor festival, making it sound like the old festivals at the Victoria Baths, please put them right.
Tickets are on sale now from the Arena and the Nottingham Tourism Centre, or online at http://beerfestival.nottinghamcamra.org/ where tickets are exactly the same price as last year."

Wednesday, 9th to Saturday, 12th October 2019 at the Motorpoint Arena

Motorpoint Arena Nottingham

Wednesday, 11th July 2018 : From : Steve Westby Nottingham Robin Hood Beer and Cider Festival Organiser

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, and two outside areas where we will try to recreate the "village" atmosphere that was so popular at the Castle. There will be live music in both outside areas, Bolero Square and the Backstage Village, so virtually doubling the amount of music we will be bringing to the Festival.  For the first time we will also be in the position to offer Corporate Hospitality opportunities.

Dates have been pencilled in for Wednesday, 9th to Saturday, 12th October 2019 and Wednesday, 7th to Saturday, 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."

Tickets will be available for purchas online and over the counter at the Motorpoint Arena Box Office and at the Tourism Centre in the Old Market Square.

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The Answer can be found here ....

When is the Festival? Wednesday 9th to Saturday 12th October 2019
Where is the Festival? The venue is once again the Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham. The event takes place both inside the arena and in two outdoor areas, where the live music is featured.
What are the opening hours? 11am-11pm Thursday - Saturday / 5pm-11pm Wednesday | Trade session 1pm to 4pm Wednesday, by invitation only, except for CAMRA members.
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
Is there a site plan of the Festival? .pdf files are available to download siteplan and groundplan and a preview (from 2018) video here
What security precautions are in place? The Arena operates strict bag and search policies in the light of the Manchester Arena tragedy. Please do not bring bags to the festival if possible, although a limited left luggage facility will be available in the foyer. If you do have to bring a bag make sure it is not left unattended at any time. All customers will be subject to a search outside the venue via wand before entering. (Rev. 26.07.2018)
Is parking at the venue available? The Arena has no parking of its own, however there are several public car parks in the vicinity.
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 2018 beer list here. Check out the 2018 cider list here. These will give you a good idea of the range of drinks that we offer although the 2019 choice will differ as we always try to bring in new styles from new producers. Please be aware there will be continuous adjustments to the lists up to the start of the Festival. You can also download the 2018 programme here.
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 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 of our ciders and perries are gluten free. 2019 updates will be made available closer to the start of the Festival dates.
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.
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 15% of the total number of beers on sale will be vegan friendly, hopefully more. All our ciders and perrys are vegan friendly.
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!
How much is a pint? Most beers will be priced at two tokens for a third and three for a half. 2019 Tokens are 55p each so the majority of beers were the equivalent of £3.30 a pint.
Advance tickets & Pay on the day Advance tickets will go on sale at 9am on 1st June, 2019, although it was 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. Check out our new Group Discounts offers.
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.
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. Pay on the Day tickets will have to be bought at the Arena Box Office and must be used to enter immediately. These are priced the same as tickets purchased in advance, so to save time and avoid possible box office queues buying in advance is a sensible option.
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 to purchase on line or over the counter at the Motorpoint Arena Box Office and Nottingham Tourism Centre from 1st June 2019.
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. Check out the all-new stemmed design introduced for 2018 as an alternative option to the popular tankards and these will be available again in 2019!
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.
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.
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.
Can I get a pass-out and come back in? Unfortunately due to severe abuse of the system in previous years pass-outs are not available at any time during the festival. Once you have entered the festival, you will not be permitted to return once you have left the site. In the case of emergencies customers should contact the stewards at the exit points.
Do you offer discounts to CAMRA members? On top of the nine beer tokens included in the admission package, CAMRA members will be given a further five tokens (four tokens on Wed evening when admission is discounted) on presentation of an up-to-date membership card.
Do you offer a Student discount? Card carrying members of the Nottingham Trent University and University of Nottingham Real Ale Societies were given additional beer tokens on entry, in line with those given to CAMRA members. No other discounts were available.
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
What is the policy about bringing dogs? Only assistance dogs will be permitted to enter the venue.
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.
What is FFF? The Festival Fringe Fortnight involved several pubs which offered an 'extended' Festival flavour around the Robin Hood Beer & Cider Festival. 2019 updates will be made available closer to the start of the Festival dates.
Will there be live entertainment? There will be a full programme of live entertainment at all times. For those who prefer their festival to be music-free there is no music in the main arena.
Do you still need bar staff? We rely on a large group of volunteers to staff the festival. Volunteer lists will open from 1st June 2019.
 How can I contact you?  See Contact page (by e-mail only at present).
Will there be a programme available? Yes programmes are available free of charge. Pick one up on your way in.
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 use this link for direct access - http://www.nottinghamcamra.org/festivalapp.php to explain some of it." - Matt Carlin). 2019 updates will be made available closer to the start of the Festival dates.
Are you on Twitter and Facebook? We have dedicated feeds/accounts on both Twitter and Facebook
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 will numerous catering stalls offering a wide selection of world cuisine. However you may bring your own food, soft drinks and bottled water on site if you wish.
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.
Is there a designated smoking area? Smoking and vaping are permitted in designated outside areas.
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 booking.com
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 2019 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.
Are you GDPR Compliant? Yes - for more information please visit the National CAMRA website
Is the 2019 Festival Artwork available to download? You will be able to download the A3 poster or if you prefer an A5 or A6 flyer here.


Challenge 21

Challenge 21 came into effect for the 2018 Festival and will continue for the forseeable future - for more information click on the image to access .pdf file or visit the Challenge 21 website here

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Updated : 17th May 2019 (376863/427327/428632/433359)