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The Lord Mayor of Nottingham, Councillor Brian Grocock, with Maid Marian, and the eponymous hero, opened the 2010 Robin Hood Beer Festival with a celebratory half of Castle Rock’s Harvest Pale at the start of Nottingham CAMRA’s festival in praise of England’s national drink.

(l-r) Castle Rock’s Charlie Blomeley, the Lord Mayor of Nottingham, Councillor Brian Grocock, the Mayor East Staffordshire Borough Council, Councillor David C Leese, ‘Maid Marian’ Sally Chappell, and ‘Robin Hood’, Tim Pollard as the festival begins........

With ‘Town Crier’ Tom Huggon’s call of welcome to “all manner of ale drinkers, wine suppers and wine quaffers,” the Lord Mayor congratulated the organisers and wished the revellers well over the four days of the event.

Castle Rock’s Charlie Blomeley was only slightly bemused at the Lord Mayor’s admission that beer is not really his thing. “He tried it, and almost convinced us; but good on him for giving it a go,” said Charlie. “The Staffordshire mayor from Burton upon Trent had no misgivings.”

For the 24,000 visitors, CAMRA’s event was a resounding success. 809 different cask ales were in line on the first day with others brought in as stocks ran low.

Charlie receives the brewery’s just deserves from Tim and Sally.

During the festival, SIBA, the society of independent brewers, organised the midlands’ heat of their national beer awards. In this, Castle Rock won the silver award for Screech Owl in the strong bitters category.