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On Tuesday 3rd January, Castle Rock closed all managed pubs and threw a company-wide party in the brewery. Hundreds of staff gathered to celebrate Christmas, the New Year, and 2017, which marks 40 years since the company was founded.

While the masses begrudgingly returned to work after a festive break, hundreds of Castle Rock staff – from glass collectors to brewers to bar staff – gathered in the brewery yard for a jolly old knees up. 2017 marks Castle Rock’s 40th birthday, so it seemed only fitting to bring everyone together to reflect on 2016, set our focus for 2017, and have a really, really, really good time.

Thanks to the efforts of an amazing team at the brewery and head office, Castle Rock’s warehouse was decked out with a “help yourself” bar, a DJ booth and dance floor area, a stage, and a ‘suggestions board’ for staff to air their concerns or share their ideas. Our favourites included make all staff wear tutus on Valentine’s Day, and Tom Eccles [manager of the Stratford Haven in West Bridgford] for president.

Managing director Colin Wilde (pictured in his DIY Sheriff’s Tipple hat) gave a speech in which he thanked the crowd for their hard work, and an awards ceremony followed, presented by operations director Vicki Saxby. ‘Employee of the Year’ awards were presented to a staff member from each pub and/or departments, voted for by their peers. MD’s Merits were awarded to Adrian Redgrove, who has been brewing at Castle Rock for over thirteen years, and Poppy & Pint manager James Halfpenny. Halfpenny also took home the ‘Chris Holmes Award’ for best manager, as voted by his fellow pub managers.

Once any formalities were out the way, the party goers spilled into the brewery yard for a lunch of pulled pork cobs. The afternoon flew by in a flurry of games, thanks to the ingenious Sarah Halpin who organised the party, and saw it vital to arrange human foosball and a ‘bucking bottle’. Huge thanks from all of us at Castle Rock to Sarah, for pulling off such an amazing event.

Here is to 2017, may it be filled with even more frivolities!