Archive for March, 2013

March 26, 2013

Birmingham Beer Bash – a personal view

In exactly four month’s time it will be day 1 of the Birmingham Beer Bash.  Just four months.  Eeek!

It’s fair to say that being involved in the organisation of an event like this sometimes has its perks.  Holding meetings (not just within our group but also with potential suppliers, sponsors, presenters and supporters) in pubs over a pint or two is a pleasure that I don’t get to enjoy in the day job.  Maybe that’s for the best though – if all the meetings I attended were like that then I’d really struggle.  More than that, there’s the occasional chance to visit one of the great breweries we’ll be featuring and taste a few beers with them.  To meet the people behind the beer, and other people who have a role to play in the industry whether it is brewing, marketing, reviewing, promoting or simply enjoying beer.  It reinforces just what a positive and exciting industry this is.

It can also have its downsides of course.  To be honest, it is exhausting.  So much to think about that it becomes nearly impossible to switch off.  Dealing with the fun stuff, such as what beer we’ll have and who we can talk into coming along, is one thing.  The realities of finances, bank accounts, advertising, providing enough toilets, worrying about whether anyone will turn up, have we got enough space, who’ll sponsor this & that, what extra equipment do we need, how much security, can we get it set up in time, will we have too much beer, what if we don’t have enough beer, insurance, first aid, volunteers, ticket prices.  All of these things and more.  They are all somewhat less glamorous than selecting the beer, but without considering them all the beer part simply won’t happy.  It’s a team effort and everyone has their own part to play, their own jobs to do, but at the same time all these things are still there, swilling around in my head, needing to be sorted.  Someone’s dealing with them all.  At least I think someone is.  Are they?  See, there I go again…

So why do it? Why get involved in organising what is perhaps, at least in this country, the first ever beer event quite like this that was born so intrinsically out of social media(*), a beer festival for people who share our vision of bringing as many great beers to Birmingham as we can?  Because no-one else was, and we all wanted to bring something like this here.  Ironically we’ll probably all be so busy over that weekend at the end of July that we won’t get to enjoy it in the way I suspect we all originally envisaged.  However I do know that it is going to be so thoroughly satisfying to make a success of this that I for one am not going to get too bothered about missing out on some of the fantastic beers that have been discussed so far (and news of some of these will be starting to trickle out very soon). Or of the undoubtedly splendid beers that have yet to be finalised.  You, of course, don’t need to miss out.  You’re all cordially invited.  Ok, you’ll have to buy a ticket, but that will be possible very very soon.  I promise.  Watch this space, and perhaps more importantly, watch our twitter feed @birminghamCubed where news about all those lovely beers, and the imminent launch of our tickets, will be coming soon.

* for those who didn’t know, Birmingham Beer Bash was arguably born of Twitter.  Birmingham’s first twissup back at the start of 2012 brought together some (apparently barmy, it now seems) hugely enthusiastic sorts who weren’t going to sit back and wait for someone else to bring an event like this to the Midlands.  Oh no.  We’ll do it ourselves we said.  How hard can it be we said.  Someone’s got to do it we said.  So we did it.