Well, I was there. Sadly, only for about 4 hours, but that was enough to convince me we need to be there in force next year at all sessions.
So, what was so good about it then? Surely all beer festivals are the same? Well, no. For a start it's not run by CAMRA (the beards and guts society) so good beer - IN WHATEVER DISPENSE FORMAT - was on sale with no "tutting" if you asked for keg. Then there was proper coffee, the food looked amazing (sadly it had been packed away by the time I'd done my meet the brewer) and the venue... well, if you like Victorian tiled grandeur then you'll really love it! It's an old swimming baths if you didn't know, one which has been saved from destruction and turned into a kind of events venue. OK, it's not in the nicest area of Manc being near Chorlton on Medlock and Mosside, but I've seen much worse!
But most of all there was the obvious love for beer by staff and visitors alike, and the customers were of a demographic CAMRA would pay for; in the main, young people (irritatingly young...) who were there to drink good beer without the shackles of the dispense police. So refreshing in it's attitude and so well run you'd never believe it's only in it's second year, I'm ordering everyone to visit next year!
This week we're flat out trying to brew / cask / condition some new beers to replace the ones we've been sold out of! No sooner do we release a list then they're all gone which is a great position to be in but very hard to keep up with... but we are so happy the beers are having such a good response from pubs, drinkers and wholesalers although you've seen nothing yet; we honestly think the beers are improving brew by brew and can't wait to get stuck into some more in the coming weeks.
Today we brewed a new version of "The Boss", the beer which started it all back in 2012! This new version has a different hop profile although the malt is very similar and the ABV is the same as the first one which is bound to cause confusion! We've also transferred "Ta Moko", our South Pacific hopped black IPA, to tank and added lots of lovely Waimea pellets to them which should impart a mellow melon-esque fruitiness by next week.
Tomorrow we brew the latest batch of Tidy Bitter which will be ever so slightly different than the last one with the use of Saaz hops instead of Bobek for a test... apart from that it's the same!
Finally, here are a few photos as is customary....
|The ex King's Arms in the middle of a dodgy estate (not as dodgy as it was, mind) in Chorlton on Medlock... this is where Brendan Dobbin brewed the beers which changed my outlook on beer forever.|
|Gazza doing a "Meet the brewer" at IMBC.|
|This is the room we did the MTB in; Victorian tiled splendour or what?!?!|
|A general view of one of the halls at IMBC|
|Our latest beer to go into conditioning tanks today...|