History

Formed in 1977 as "Tynemill" by former CAMRA Chairman Chris Holmes, Castle Rock has gone from strength to strength over the years, developing a reputation for both inviting and unique pubs, and excellent quality real ale.

Our first pub was The Old King’s Arms in Newark. The original idea was simple: create a friendly, welcoming pub and serve high quality beers, “I wanted to create a pub that I wanted to drink in and hoped there would be enough people like myself who would do the same.” said Chris

Following the acquisition of more pubs, including the Swan in the Rushes in Loughborough and the famous Lincolnshire Poacher, the estate had grown to 12 pubs when the brewery itself was established as a partnership between Bramcote Brewery & Tynemill in 1997 (Bramcote have now stopped brewing). The site opened next door to the Vat & Fiddle in Nottingham, which is now the Castle Rock Brewery Tap.

Adrian Redgrove was appointed in 2004 and the brewery went from strength to strength, producing high quality and consistent beers time after time after time. From the opening of the brewery, production grew from 30 barrels a week to over 100 barrels a week in 2010.  Word spread and Castle Rock’s reputation grew. Whilst it had never been the intention to move away from the successful Tynemill livery, Castle Rock Brewery did become the trading name of Tynemill as result of both customer confidence and our own confidence in both our award winning beers and our high class brewing team, believing it would prevent frequent consumer confusion between our two personas.

In 2010, with the second brewery bursting at the seams Castle Rock underwent a further expansion, with a whole host of new equipment and an increased capacity of 360 barrels a week. This tied in with Castle Rock’s Harvest Pale winning Supreme Champion Beer of Britain 2010 at the CAMRA Great British Beer Festival, at Earl’s Court. Demand for Harvest Pale & other Castle Rock beers further soared. Today the brewery continues to create innovative new beers, while remaining consistent and of exceptional high quality. That said we reassure our customers that it isn’t ‘job done’ and we will work hard to continue to provide the very best beers that we can possibly deliver.

More recently Castle Rock’s quality of beer and pub estate continues to impress; winning further awards for our beers including Bronze for Screech Owl in Strong Bitters (at the GBBF 2013) and also reaching the finals of the Publican Awards 2014 for “Best Drinks Offering”.

Castle Rock’s beer is not only widely recognised and acclaimed, but equally so for its great selection of pubs, reflected in it being “Pub Group of the Year” in 2002, 2006 & 2008. Great beer & great pubs, it’s what we love and we hope you do too!


Pub Group Of The Year

2002, 2006 & 2008

Brewing Process

At its simplest cask beer brewing entails producing a malt solution (sweet wort) which is then bittered and flavoured with hops (hopped wort). This hopped wort is fermented by yeast and the resulting beer, after undergoing a period of maturation in cask, is then sent out to the pubs. Our head brewer outlines the major stages in the brewing process below...

Sweet Wort Production

Sweet wort is produced by mixing crushed malted barley with hot water in a stainless steel mixing vessel. The porridge-like mixture is allowed to stand or an hour during which sugars, that are naturally present in the grain, pass into solution. In addition, natural malt flavours and colours are also solubilised. The resulting solution (which tastes like Ovaltine) is then run off the grain and collected in a vessel where it is brought to the boil.



Hopped Wort Production

When the sweet wort reaches boiling point the hops are added. Boiling converts natural chemical components found in hops into bittering compounds which are then dissolved into the wort. During the boil, which lasts for 90 minutes, desirable aromatic oils within the hops are boiled off so, at the end of boil, a final charge of hops is added to reinstate hop aroma.



Fermentation

At the end of boil the hopped wort is rapidly cooled to about 17oC and run into a fermenting vessel. Brewing yeast is added to the vessel as it is filled. After collection the yeast starts to ferment the sugars derived from the malt into alcohol. During the fermentation, in addition to alcohol, many other compounds are formed by the yeast which are vital in determining the flavour characteristics of the finished beer. The fermentation is completed within 2 to 4 days after which it is cooled to 12oC.



Post Fermentation

After a period of 3-4 days in cooling in the fermenting vessel the ‘green’ (non- matured beer) is put into cask. A small quantity of yeast from the fermentation is carried over with the beer into the cask. During a cold storage period of 1-2 weeks in cask at the brewery the beer matures in flavour, a process assisted by the continued activity of the yeast present. Following this period of maturation the beer is ready for despatch to trade.