A little forum for big, beery ideas. Best enjoyed with a pint in hand.

#IWD24 – Castle Rock Brewery x No Half Measures

Please scroll down for the suggestions form.

Hi everyone!

I wanted to create a page I can use to keep everyone in the loop and invite/enable everyone to get involved easily. (In theory, only people I have shared the link with in this group should be able to access it.)

This page won’t replace regular meet ups (they’re fun!), but hopefully it will act as a bridge for everyone that wants to share ideas but hasn’t been able to attend (because life!). It should also reduce the number of long, rambling messages I send into the group…

Many thanks to Lucy for introducing me to the wonders of a good poll, or three. This will be the main tool I use to gather everyone’s ideas… There’s also a form below which people can use to contribute their suggestions! I will use this (and the WhatsApp group) to create the final polls I’ll share in the group.

And I’ll share updates below, blog post style.



It was the summer of ’22 and a few women had gathered in a quirky little micropub called the Barrel Drop. While enjoying a beer or two they pondered on whether there was a group in existence for women in Nottingham to meet up and appreciate beer together. There wasn’t.

And so, then there was. From humble beginnings as an informal collective of women beer lovers, the group slowly established itself, using WhatsApp to organise meet ups and grow organically through word of mouth and mutual respect for the good stuff.

Fast forward a few months and the group brewed their first beer in collaboration with Liquid Light for International Women’s Day 2023. Count on Jane was a dry hopped wheat pale, with a recipe designed by Steph (No Half Measures, Murphy & Son) and Thom (Liquid Light). The pump clip was designed by Lizzie (No Half Measures) and brewed with a handful of other NHM members.

You guys probably know the story better than me! But that’s the gist.

I was first made aware of NHM about a month before Count on Jane was brewed. Castle Rock Brewery was hosting its second International Women’s Day open brew day. (Funnily enough, our first one was also linked to Liquid Light, headed up by Grace Copley who at the time worked on our sales team and formed the other half of Liquid Light Brew Co.)

So, we’d opened our brewery for the second time to any and all women interested in beers and brewing, to create Crystal Clear in collaboration with Brewster’s Brewery. And it was there I first met Lucy who introduced me to the group, recruiting a few more members at the same time! From then on, I kept bumping into NHM people – in the pub or at other events; the Hop Idol judging, working on Ripples with Steph for our Murphy & Son and Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust collab beer, and so on.

Needless to say here at Castle Rock Brewery we are very grateful for all the support we’ve received from the group (however inadvertently, as you go around sampling great beer!) and over the moon that it exists. We’re all very lucky to be surrounded by great pubs and a thriving beer scene; even more so because a few women identified a gap within it and took it upon themselves to fill it. (Not that we haven’t all always been here, however we have tended to be somewhat under the radar and/or less joined up.)

Long story short, it made perfect sense to us to celebrate International Women’s Day by celebrating this fantastic group. And we’re honoured you’re up for it.

So, let’s make a beer together!

#No.3 – Second Meet Up: 18/12/23

At the King Billy

Let me start by saying this was so much fun! Thank you everyone that came along, it was great to catch up/meet you, and special shout out to Fiona for coming on their birthday!

Points of discussion:

No decisions were made, but I think it’s safe to say we had a consensus on the following:


  • Big kit 100%
  • Would like to make the beer as accessible/far reaching as possible
  • Looking like hazy pale – partly due to the above, partly as last year’s was bright and golden so it’s still something a bit different
  • Suggested we go for a ‘SMASH’ concept – Single Malt and Single Hop recipe
    Suggested hop: Nelson Sauvin or Amarillo, please remind me if there was other recommendations? 


Two main themes stood out, we liked:

  • ‘Order and Disorder’ as beer name
    Inspired by the first epic poem written by a women, Lucy Hutchinson.
    Can see some really funky artwork for this – which could work well screen printing too.
  • Witches of Belvoir as inspiration for the design (and possibly name, too, if not the above).
    Discussed how brewsters have been associated with witches throughout history.
  • Plan to link up our in-house designer, Alexa, with Lizzie to discuss possible pump clips/screen printing ideas…


  • On International Women’s Day, Friday 8th March 2024.
  • Screen printing with Lizzie Meaking! Lizzie has very kindly offered her time on the launch day to create screen prints with attendees. More TBC.
  • Interactive workshops for learning about hops, malt and drumroll… water profiles! With Stephanie Brindley (and any other brew volunteers).
  • Live music gig to celebrate. Female-fronted girl bands or (even better) all-female band recommendations are very welcome! 

Other notes:

I have pencilled in the open brew day for Tuesday 6th February at the moment, TBC but I will share as soon as it’s official.

I have provisionally booked the Old Cold Store at the Vat and Fiddle for the launch night, bands etc. TBC. It is a big venue so subject to change but again will keep you in the loop. Would be on International Women’s Day, Friday 8th March.

#No.2 – Results so far. 07/12/23

From the form: 

Q1) Shall we use the main kit or the Pilot Project? 

  • Main kit – 5 votes
  • Pilot Project – 1 vote

Q2) What beer styles / hops / recipe ideas do people have? 

  • New England IPA
  • A pale/IPA is sensible but may I suggest a bitter? Some great bitters happening at the moment from liquor light and the like – let’s ride the wave!
  • A beer that will be enjoyed by a wide range of people across Nottingham – most popular style these days is a modern hoppy pale/golden. Crisp malt base with New World hops for a citrus/tropical fruity character and lovely lasting aftertaste, inviting the drinker to take another sip. Maybe there can be another opportunity to brew on the pilot kit to do something more experimental?
  • Lager, Keller Bier
  • IPA, would love to be able to use Amarillo hops if other people are up for it!

Q3) What ABV would people like to see?

  • 4-5% – 5 votes
  • 6-5% – 1 vote

Q4) Anyone got any ideas for a Name? Design? Themes to explore… etc. 

  • Bloomin hell. I feel like there’s something between a bitter and a group of women but I’m not creatively gifted enough to fill the gap!
  • I like your description of women appreciating beer being under the radar and now we’re coming into view.
  • Floral, wildflowers. Goddess. See No Half Measure’s notes on Mary Flowers Belvoir witches.*
  • Order and Disorder (name of first epic poem written in English by a woman – she lived in Nottingham Castle!)
    OR Lucy (for one of our founding members and it’s the name of the woman above).
  • BBC 100 Women of the Year had a lot of awesome ladies on there, could maybe draw inspiration from someone on there… there’s a lot of climate activists and a couple of volunteer firefighters etc so maybe a name something along the lines of “Fighting Fires” “Fighting the Good Fight” something like that?

*I’m not sure where to find the NHM notes on the Witches of Belvoir but I have linked the Wiki page. Also linked to a bit about ‘Order and Disorder’ and BBC 100 Women 2023. 

Q5) Any ideas for brew day activities? 

  • It was brill this year. I liked the biccies and chips haha. Only (v minor) suggestion is more opportunities for chat between brewing staff and attendees. Just felt like they were rushing about sometimes ….but it was a work day after all!
  • Screen printing – NHM merch and/or collab beer merch. Some involvement of Nottingham Women’s Centre – people to find out more about what they do and possible invite to visit in future? Hops overview, samples, flavour wheels. Tutored tasting of a couple of beers/beer styles.
  • Lizzie Meakin merch printing with mobile print workshop.
  • Maybe a little hop profile lesson if anyone has the knowledge to be able to do this and also wants to, guessing the pump clip may already have been done by this point but also possibly a design station, badge making (either with the no half measures logo or the IWD beer logo).

Q6) Any ideas for the launch?

  • Again, so brill this year – more local women-led bands! Yes please! Perhaps compare numbers to the wildlife trust launch – was a quiz successful? Maybe not the same thing though!
  • A specific launch event to raise more money for Nottingham Women’s Centre. A separate/coordinated launch at venues across Nottingham, especially women-run venues.
  • Collaboration with female artist for performance for launch.
  • Would be good if we could make the launch day some sort of fundraiser for the IWD charity (Nottingham Women’s Centre).

Jess update/thoughts on the above:

Hi guys. Thanks so much for the suggestions so far.

Looking like a big kit brew, 4-5% ABV and anything from New England IPA / pale ale / bitter so far. Love all of these ideas.

(I’ve omitted the lager because I don’t think we’d be able to do it on the big kit, it would need lagering for a few weeks if we were to do it properly and I’m not sure we’d have the vessel space to keep it in storage that long without impacting our future brews.)

We would ideally like to have a recipe idea confirmed by the end of December/mid-January latest. At this point, it would be really good to sit down with any of the brewers in the group that want to be involved. I need to get you guys to take the final recipe/beer style idea and turn it into something doable! Please can you let me know (via Whatsapp or email) if you’re up for it and I’ll sort something out with us all (and our brewers, Jon and Matt). Also if you’d be up for having a more active role on the actual brew day. Or just want more info 🙂 I know it’s a busy time for us all, so happy to chat through about how we make it as easy as possible (Zoom would be fine) and to work around you guys.

I am super excited about the suggestions for names, themes etc. They’re brilliant! And actually, I think we’d be able to combine a few too if we wanted to. A bitter witch called Lucy on a floral pump clip called Order and Disorder, for example… (Just kidding.)

Brew day and launch day activities are also cracking suggestions and I’ll get on making plans to include as many of these as possible right away. I’ll be reaching out to a few of you directly!

I’ll pop a poll out for another meet up this side of Christmas.


P.S. I’m not closing the form so submit away if you have more ideas!

#No.1 – Initial Meet Up: 23/11/23

At the Barley Twist 

Points of discussion:

Big Kit versus Small Kit

  • ‘Big Kit’
    • Bigger kit = more beer = more exposure. Also gives us the potential to raise more money with a 10p per pint built-in donation to Nottingham Women’s Centre.
    • Subject to more confined parameters, i.e. we’ll be looking at cask only, 3-6% ABV, less “out-there”.
  • Pilot Project (small kit)
    • Much less beer.
    • More scope to be more experimental with beer style, recipe, ABV etc. Cask or keg.

General consensus so far has been to use the big kit. The idea being to get the beer in front of as many people as possible – to raise the profile of NHM, to enable more establishments to get on board, and hopefully to raise more money for NWC. This would mean going for a more accessible beer. It would also have to be cask only. 

Decision Making 

It’s important to us that this beer is a collaborative venture. I will do my best to share all info. in accessible ways as far as possible, and to give everyone a chance to input. Therefore the meet ups will not be used to make any decisions and there is no pressure to attend, obviously. I will try to organise them fairly regularly, because it’s nice to chat in person and an excuse to do what we’re all here for: explore and enjoy beer. If we don’t end up talking about it at all, that’s also fine! (After all, it’s my job not yours – this is all just for fun.)

I’ll stick to WhatsApp and Polls etc. as far as possible. Once we’ve got ideas for beer styles, I would love to chat with the brewers in the group that want to be involved separately, to let you guys lead on that.

No Half Measure’s History

We also discussed how NHM came about. Hopefully I haven’t butchered the story too much!


Suggestion box:

Here’s a few photos from last year’s open brew day…

And from the launch event with local legends, Girlband…

Photos by Alexandra Hogg and Anna Rose Heaton.