On a sunny Friday afternoon, three of us from Visit Nottinghamshire made our way down to The Vat & Fiddle, perfectly situated at Castle Rock Brewery under its iconic blue tower. The occasion? The much-anticipated Castle Rock Brewery's Yard Party 2024—a two-day extravaganza celebrating the finest Nottinghamshire-brewed beers and ales, accompanied by some of the county’s best up-and-coming musicians and cover bands.

For those who don’t know, the Yard Party is an annual celebration of beer held right in Castle Rock's very own brewery yard. Well, actually it starts in the Old Cold Store next to The Vat & Fiddle and spills out into the yard. There’s a festival bar inside with over 20 keg lines and 15 casks on at one time. Outside, there are more bars, including a quick-serve bar offering Castle Rock draught, gin, cocktails, and more. Street food vendors line the yard, and a music stage hosts a variety of acts.

Music at the Yard Party is curated by Revolution Sounds, the team behind Nottingham's iconic and very much missed Maze music venue - This year did not disappoint.

I kicked off my experience with a half pint of 'Patternist Polly's' IPA at a robust 6.6%. Its satisfyingly deep, fruity, and hoppy flavour set the perfect tone for the day. My colleagues seemed to be enjoying the 'Feld Ampersand' lager at 4.0%, a lighter choice which I also settled on since I had the task of filming the day’s festivities and musicians.

And what a musical treat awaited us. Top-tier bands played brilliant covers throughout the Friday, culminating in a performance by blues headliner Dusty 4 Track. Will Jeffery's charmingly gritty vocals captivated the crowd, while Chloe Rodgers, a great solo artisit in her own right, smashed out rhythms on bass. Benjamin James, known across Nottinghamshire for being a musical polyglot, brought it all together on keys, guitar, and backing vocals. The crowd danced and vibed to their soundtrack with the Castle Rock Tower lit up in vibrant colours in the background. The Saturday followed up with bands like Seas of Mirth, Rhythm Eaters, The New Originals and headliner Fat Digester!

The Yard Party is an all-encompassing affair for music, beer, and ale lovers. With great food on offer and some of Nottinghamshire's best ale and beer selections, you can't go wrong attending this yearly shindig, especially when earlybird tickets start at just £13.75! It’s a proper Nottingham bash and a must for anyone looking to experience the best of local brews and tunes. Mark your calendars for 2025 —you won’t want to miss it!


Vat and Fiddle
Vat and Fiddle

The Vat and Fiddle is Castle Rock Brewery’s beloved brewery tap.

Castle Rock Brewery
Castle Rock Brewery

The Castle Rock family is made up of an eclectic mix of venues across the East Midlands



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