By Ryan Gilbert | Assistant Editor
After years of running the London, Bristol, and Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival, this weekend saw We Are Beer take the long-awaited jump to Birmingham with Beer Central Festival 2019, and it didn’t disappoint. Whether you love sours, huge imperial stouts, or lagers and pilsners, there was something for every kind of beer lover with a lineup of 30 breweries from around the world.
With some great imports such as Stone & Wood from Byron Bay, Australia, as well as up and coming UK establishments like Vault City from Edinburgh and Black Iris from Nottingham, this was a great opportunity to try something that you may not necessarily have tried before.
The festival paired up with some of Birmingham’s best restaurants to offer drinkers some awesome street food to accompany their beers. Original Patty Men were slinging Birmingham’s finest burgers, Baked in Brick were offering some ridiculously tasty wraps, and finally Purecraft Bar were set up with their brilliant beer-battered fish and chips.
For a stout lover such as myself, there was an endless list to choose from. Though, Lervig’s Times 8, a 16% Imperial Pastry Stout, was perfect for me. Ridiculously rich with vanilla, malt, butterscotch, and maple syrup all shining through, it may just be the best imperial stout I’ve ever had. After a drink like this, something a bit more refreshing was needed. Thankfully, Salford’s Seven Bro7hers Brewery were on hand to offer a glass of their Watermelon Wheat Beer, the perfect thirst-quenching beer for summer.
There was a great mix of men and women at the event, and it was clear to see what a brilliant time everyone was having with everyone fully enjoying the soundtrack provided by Kaiser Chief’s (DJ Set). Saturday’s Hip Hop Karaoke went down a treat and was a very entertaining addition to the festival.
All in all, the festival is a brilliant new addition to Birmingham’s booming craft beer scene, hopefully we’ll see more events like this in the future. Until then, I look forward to seeing Beer Central Festival return next year and would definitely be willing to make the journey to one of We Are Beer’s festivals further afield.