Posts tagged ‘bCubed’

July 20, 2013

T-7 (and counting)

Just seven days away now, Birmingham Beer Bash is tangibly close. And because I don’t have much to do in the next week (this may be a lie!) I thought I’d see if I can manage to chronicle the final build-up on a day by day basis. 10 posts see us through to the ‘take down’ and the final party at the end that is hopefully a celebration of a great event.

So today, a week before we open the doors to the public, has also been my last day doing the “day job” for a week and a half.  The last day before going on holiday from work is a busy enough time, but throw in the final preparations for a beer festival and it becomes manic.

After a few days of herculean effort to finalise the programme and get it to the printers (and thanks go to @carldurose in the main
for pulling that all together) it was perhaps inevitable that today would see the last minute changes start to pop up. That’s an obvious risk when you’re publishing a beer list in your programme which has to be printed several days (or two weeks as was the target set by the printers) in advance. So we lost a couple of beers that were planned to be be on the bars. In one case the heat won when our cask decided enough was enough, and “exploded” in transit, in another the beer was found to be just not right before leaving the brewery and so, quite simply, we can’t have it.  But that is good, and fits in entirely with us only wanting to serve the best. And importantly, we’ve made changes as a result that bring in equally worthy alternatives.

The day continued with an ongoing panic as the van belonging to one of our key suppliers closed in on London to collect a range of beers from several breweries. Some of the beer wasn’t in the right place, and moreover we couldn’t get hold of the brewer to confirm where it was! In this case all ended well with an admittedly quite late final pick-up from the last brewery in the capital, and we are very grateful to @realaledirect for their part in bringing together the brilliant beer list we’ve concocted.

So, very conscious that as I write this the time has moved on to day T-6, it is time to close on a busy busy day and prepare for the next. Still much to do, but also a semblance of a normal weekend to maintain.  Monday looms close with the prospect of a Beer Bash road trip to Manchester and Huddersfield, before the start of set-up on Tuesday.  Follow the next instalments for an inside

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.