Friday, 2 August 2013

Birmingham Beer Bash.

Over a year in planning, the 26th and 27th of July saw the first ever Birmingham Beer Bash. From my perspective: a weekend of adrenaline, stress, extreme heat, sleep deprivation, aches, goodwill, friendship, education, relief and elation.

Above all, it was amazing to hear so many positive comments, it really does make everything worthwhile. Thank you to everyone who attended and drunk all the lovely, lovely beer. 

So, this blog post (the first in a long time!)will probably turn into a parade of bonhomie and back-slapping so apologies if it gets nauseating at any point.

The Caterers.
They fed the hoards of merry beer drinkers with grace and nailed it in terms of catering in volume but also not compromising on quality. Pop Up DosaLoafOriginal Patty MenSquisito 

Thank you.

The Volunteers.
I made lots of new friends over the course of the festival. It was great to see such a diverse range of people all coming together and giving up their precious time for a cause, hopefully a worthy one at that.
Big thanks also to Walter Newton for designing our terrific festival T-shirts.

A special mention to the talented Kerry Leslie who worked tirelessly and selflessly to give us our identity and image. 

Thank you.

The Brewers and Speakers.
One of the distinctive features about the new breed of progressive beer festival is the presence of the brewers themselves along with other enlightened people of the profession. What better way to get people enthusiastic about good beer than to have the people that make it and enthuse about it involved in your festival? Personal highlights include @WildBeerCo cheese and beer matching (Ninkasi and Westcombe Cheddar, a winner). 
The Icebox room smelled fantastic during the @compassbrewery Oxfordshire food and beer matching. A feast of smoked meats, cheeses and sweet things were paired with some superb beers.

The energy and enthusiasm shown by Greg and Doreen from @FivePointsBrew created a great atmosphere in the tasting room for the first tasting event of the festival. Their beers really got the fringe events off to a flyer.

One of the reasons why we put the festival together is so that people could try something new. That's exactly what they got with Ben (@CptCheerful) from James Clay. Some of the best beers from the USA and a pick of world craft beers were sampled. Not all beers went down well (girl who looked like she was about to throw up after tasting Bourbon County Stout- I'm citing you as an example here). Others were all round hits; All Day IPA from Founders Brewing Co. had the room waxing lyrical about its wonderful hoppy aromas, and rightly so. 

We also owe Marverine Cole aka Beer Beauty a debt of gratitude for helping us publicise the event. Also for bringing beer to a wider audience and making it accessible with great energy and enthusiasm. Her tasting session which featured her pick of the beers went down a storm and as a microcosm for the festival as a whole, demonstrated a much higher proportion of female attendees, which is also something we're very pleased with.

Special mention must go to the guys from Thornbridge (DomJanine and James) who not only provided invaluable expertise setting up and working the bars, but also helped run the fault finding sessions and malt seminars. A herculean effort, especially from Dom who gave us all a scare reporting in sick on Saturday morning. But like Lazarus, returned and delivered a great series of talks and tastings. It was a privilege to work with such professionals and to also hear about a certain Brewing Manager's bowel habits. Never forgotten.

Thank you.

Fellow Beer Bash Organisers.
I can't add too much to what's been said already, but it's been a real pleasure working with and getting to know you all. 

Thank you.

What Have I learnt?
A lot, about myself and others. Most importantly, never be without a clipboard.

Thank you.