Posts tagged ‘Beer Bash’

October 14, 2013

Going cuckoo

When I set myself the target, at the start of this year, not only to get some experience of brewing in a commercial setting but also to produce a commercial brew of my own, I didn’t expect it was going to be a trivial task.  Within just a few weeks, however, the excitement was already mounting when I got an offer to do just that.  It was therefore one of the big disappointments (for me) of the Birmingham Beer Bash when that beer was not available as planned, due to the brewery’s decision to sell-up days before I went to brew with them. 

After the time spent planning and preparing it was quite a setback, and with the all-important beer festival on the horizon, opportunity to get things back on track looked slim.  But, one conversation at the Beer Bash changed all that, and now I find myself just over a day away from a visit to Blackjack in Manchester, to brew a version of the American Pale Ale that I created at the start of the year and had a great result with at the Saltaire competition in April.

So, last-minute disasters permitting, it looks like a reality, and in a few weeks you might just be lucky(*) enough to sample Otherton’s first foray into the commercial beer world.  Watch this space for the brewday report, and let me know what you think if you get to try it later in the year!

(*) assuming all goes to plan!
July 23, 2013

T-3 the build begins

It is both exciting and scary to see the cask and keg bars coming together today. Exciting because we’re getting close, and scary because, well, we’re getting close.

Having that final access to the venue gives some opportunity for getting to grips with some of the last minute details, to make sure that how we planned things is in accordance with how things are, or at least how we can rearrange them to be. You also start to feel a sense of the space for the event, rather than having to imagine it the way you want it. It throws up some interesting alternative views on how things really need to be and makes you question lots of things that you thought were all set and decided on.

It wasn’t just about the bars today, either. The beers are all coming together nicely now, with a few extra deliveries swelling the ranks. No further changes to the beer list but for an additional unexpected offering. Who are we to say no…


April 26, 2013

Trials and tribulations

I sort of promised myself after my last post that the next one (i.e. this one) would be about something other than the Birmingham Beer Bash.  It seems I’ve failed.  In my defence, one way or another that event is the main thing that takes up my time at the moment.  The past few weeks have been full of some pretty exciting developments – the list of breweries that have recently been announced for example (not to mention the ones we can’t tell you about yet! There’s more excitement to come there, especially after the news I received just today) and of course the tickets going on sale was a big step forward for us too.  It is a real buzz to see the ticket sales going through and it gives a real sense of things coming together.  This week we’ve sent advertising copy off for our first print ad (watch out for the May issue of Brum Notes!) and we’re getting our first posters up around Birmingham now so that should generate even more interest.

There’s more in the pipeline too.  There are meetings coming up next week that should further develop the beer list, and pull together some of the “fringe” activities that will be taking place.  Then, in just over three weeks I’m due to be heading down to the Beer Geek brewery to rustle up a commercial-sized batch of a saison I originally created at home for the Midland Craft Brewers yeast comparison exercise.  All being well that will make its first appearance on the keg bar at the Beer Bash, which is a fantastic prospect for me albeit one balanced by some very wracked nerves!

But, as the title to this post suggests, it isn’t all plain sailing.  It seems that every day that goes by there is a new concern to address.  Something extra that needs to be considered, a problem that needs to be addressed.  And I don’t mind telling you (as long as you keep it between the two of us) some of them have had the capacity to cause real difficulties.  Fortunately despite the potential impacts, the reality has been that they’ve been solved quietly in the background without too much trouble.  In fact, looking back they can be quite amusing, but that certainly wasn’t the case at the time.

So, I’m relieved to say that after discovering the venue’s premises license didn’t cover one of the two rooms we were basing the whole event around, and furthermore wouldn’t permit us to sell bottles to take away, we are now all sorted out with a Temporary Events Notice that solves both these problems.  And after finding out that there was a (pretty low, in the scheme of things, and rapidly being approached) limit to how much money we could collect through Paypal, we now have our account fully enabled*.  There have also been a few cases of the electronic tickets not getting automatically sent out, but the technical boffins at Event Elephant are looking into it and we will shortly be manually resending them if necessary, so the effect is at least minimised.**

So, despite the odd hiccups, we’re all on track, but there is still plenty to do and only three months in which to do it.  Yes, exactly three months today we’ll be throwing wide the doors and letting you all judge whether we’ve delivered to expectations!  Where has all the time gone?  It doesn’t seem that long ago that this was all just a wild idea in a pub, but that was just over a year ago.  So we’ve just 91 days (yes, I am counting) to put all the final details into place, and I suspect as a result there won’t be much else on my mind for a while yet…

* So, no reason to hold back then – buy your tickets now through the website at!

** If you have booked tickets but have not received an email with PDF tickets attached, please email us at and we’ll make sure you get your tickets once the issue is corrected.