We went to check out Birmingham Brewing Company this week, they’ve been making quite a bit of noise over the past few months so we decided that it was definitely worth a look-see.
We were greeted by Paul Harwood, owner and head brewer, who kindly handed us a glass of “Pale Brummie” to bed us in!
The brewery (Est Nov 16) is based in Stirchley, Birmingham just a stone’s throw away from The WildCat Tap, Stirchley Wines and Cotteridge Wines, in an area of Birmingham that is becoming more and more popular with craft beer lovers.
Paul, who has been an avid home brewer for seven years, grew up in Stourbridge and moved around quite a bit, living in Leeds, Manchester and London. Quickly gaining admiration for their individual craft beer scenes, he became particularly inspired while living in London, visiting the likes of Five Points Brewing Company in Hackney Wick, Partizan Brewing and Brew by Numbers on the Bermondsey Beer Mile. The “open door” tap room style that these breweries had prompted him to create a brewery that can not only supply to bars, pubs and stores, but a destination, for craft beer lovers to come and enjoy their beer direct from the brewery, with street food, funky music and a proper chilled out vibe going on! He also thinks that Birmingham has space and potential to become one of the big players in the craft beer scene with even more breweries cropping up; “If you think of the Bermondsey Beer Mile, there’s so many breweries in such a small space which shows that Birmingham’s got potential for plenty more breweries.”
Like any small business Paul’s ride hasn’t been easy and there’s been a fair few hiccups along the way, second hand kegs coming bruised and battered with rock hard sediment that took A LOT of scrubbing and of course all the rules and regs… “The worst was the electric going, ruining two batches and not being able to brew for three weeks! But you’ve just got to plod along and touch wood, there worst of the teething is now over!”
So far demand has been great too! “Demand has shocked me really, I’ve got people calling me up asking for beer and I’m like I can’t offer you anything until the end of march, which is a bit of a shame but great at the same time showing that there’s a market out there!”
Brewing since the first week in December, Birmingham Brewing Company has two beers out so far:
Pale Brummie, which is an interpretation of a session bitter, not as easy as some session pale ales… “I wanted it to be a session beer with a bit of bitterness for an ale lover, not like your average standard, easy drinking Pale Ale.” Our note: Cracking brew, definitely an innovative on a Pale Ale with a bit more punch flavour-wise!
Bitter Brummie: Unfortunately, he didn’t have any for us to try as his pals drank the bottles dry after helping him with the building work of the brewery!
Paul has developed both of these recipes over the last seven years, while going on brewing courses and work experience, eventually evolving to the epic brews on show today.
Birmingham Brewing Company’s beers are also vegan friendly (unfined), yet very clear allowing beer to chill in fermenters for an extra week before it goes into cask, which is allowing yeast sediment to drop out and as Paul says: “With a bit of love it clears up of its own accord.”
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These brews are available in cask with the cans due back soon. Paul also has plans to expand with kegged brews on the way, along with a Stout and IPA too!
Paul’s hoping that Birmingham Brewing Company, like many independents, can get in on and take a bit of the business from the other corporate buyouts and knows that he’s in good company too!
One’s things for sure, we’ll be heading down to the brewery to check out the tap room this summer!