Lock & Key Midlands Beer Convention launched for the very first time last weekend! The event kicked off Birmingham Beer Week in style at The Bond Company in Digbeth and was brought to life by Birmingham bars Cherry Reds and The Wolf and the Midlands Beer Blog, who were also supported by a number of other Midlands businesses.
Lock & Key showcased a whole array of breweries from both local and afar, featuring beers from Black Jack, Debauche, Azimut, Popihn, Alvinne, Dougalls, Lo Vilot, Almasty, Northern Monk, Beatnikz, Arbor, Brasserie De La Senne, Boon, Tilquin, Troubadour, Brew York, Birmingham Brewing Co, Glasshouse Brewing, Punchline Brewing, Davenports, Burning Soul, Nirvana, First Chop, Magic Rock, Mount Saint Bernard, DE14, Dig Brew Co, Elusive, Duvel, D’Achouffe, Boulevard, Liefmans, Vedett, De Koninck, Electric Bear, Fixed Wheel, Fourpure, Freedom, Green Duck, Lervig, Neon Raptor, North Brewing Co, De Molen, Het Uitjle, Nene Valley, Brewboard, Marble, Runaway, Donzoko, Deya, Wander Beyond, Lost and Grounded, Thornbridge, Twisted Barrel, Hopcraft, Waen, Fownes, Brass Castle, Two Towers, Rock n Roll, Siren, Kinver, Salopian, Wild Weather and cider from Hogans. The event also featured bars from Cherry Reds, The Wolf and Pint Shop.
The vibes were fantastic, The Bond Co. being such an idyllic location alongside the canal with plenty of nooks and crannies to explore. The layout made things really easygoing with plenty of places to sit down and chill enjoying your brew. We kicked things off nice and easy with The Tropical from Wild Weather, at a nice 4.0% we weren’t going in too heavy!
We then checked out Working Clasp, a fantastic bespoke jewellery and accessory stall and made our own little hoppy keyring, which was pretty cool! They had the logos of each local brewery so you could don the badge of your favourite brewery with pride.
DE14 had a cracking Jeep that was all pimped out, the interior completely gutted and turned into a hip cool room. They had plenty on tap including Morgan Silk, a NE IPA named after the brewer that devised the recipe as part of their homebrew club. He didn’t want any money for the rights to the recipe, all that he asked was for the brew to be named after him, Morgan Silk… cool name! They also had a skateboard on hand from a competition that they had the evening before, we gave it a go which was dangerous even when we hadn’t had a drink!… (Note to self, delete video).
Hitting up The Wolf bar, we then gave Mini Milkshake from Wander Beyond a go and WOW, for a 3% it completely blew our minds, it’s really epic how they can get so much flavour into such a low abv brew. Wander Beyond “Bloom” – Imperial Black Ice Cream IPA was also to die for!
Tagging onto a meet the brewer session with founder and head brewer of Chapter Brewing, Noah Torn, we listened to how this independent brewery came to light in Cheshire. Run by teachers, they brew “Fictional Beer” – inspired by literature and having a story behind them, it was great to hear what inspired each brew and we especially liked Tired Eyes, their chamomile wheat beer. They are also planning to create libraries for children to read in the brewery while their parents drink… LOVE THAT IDEA! 🙂
Over the weekend, there was also Meet the Brewer sessions from Waen Brewery, Davenports, Glasshouse, Framework, Neptune, Wander Beyond, Elusive and Rock & Roll Brewhouse. On the fringe side of things, there were also talks from Jaega Wise, Des De Moor, Roberto Ross and many more experts within the industry. Freedom Brewery even held a beer yoga session!
There was plenty more that we tried and plenty more that we wanted to, there was so much amazing beer, Burning Soul had their epic Ice Cream Pale, Neon Raptor Fly the Nest, Fixed Wheel Mule Kick, North Brewing Triple Fruited Goes, Dig Brew’s colab with Eyes Brewing (Wheatstack) outstanding. Twisted Barrel were pouring Naido which we included in our “10 craft beers you should be drinking this weekend“ feature in Shortlist back in Feb. Brew York also had their legendary Imperial Tonkoko on.
Full of fantastic beer and smiles, it was time for a bite to eat, so we headed over to the Change Kitchen for some fantastic samosa platters… so much so that we came back for seconds!
All in all we had a cracking time and it was fantastic to see such a wide range of talent. So hats off Lock and Key team, we CANNOT wait until next year! 🙂