The first weekend in July saw the Beer Central Festival roll into Digbeth and I was invited to attend and check out the show, and what a show it was too!
Beer Central Fest took place at a venue which is new to me, 119 Digbeth. This former warehouse factory space was perfect for the event, with a huge inside industrial area which was light and airy, a side room for the DJ and a a large outside space for the street food and seating.
When I first arrived it was the second session and ran into the evening. Crowds were already starting to build, and we milled around sampling various brews.
Something that stood out immediately was the diverse demographic of attendees which was nice to see. A cool vibe prevailed throughout the venue and this was matched by the music.
Beer Central’s owners first started out in 2012 and always championed the highest quality, most creative young breweries out there, the dynamic ones doing it differently. This helped the team move away from the boring traditional beer fests of sweaty real ale male dominated events where the main priority is getting wankered.
Birmingham and The Midlands at large has been accused of being behind the curve on this new beer revolution, but its changing and it’s changing fast. Food and drink is now the city’s biggest cultural renaissance and Beer Central have placed their faith in this and worked along side local small scale breweries and street food stalls to out on something which is super cool.
Local beers which stood out for me personally were Digbrew, Purity, Burning Soul and Twisted Barrel. Food from Original Patty Men, Baked In Brick, and Purity hit the spot too.
Other drinks which we loved on the night were, Braybrooke Beer Co, 19 Crimes Wine (which have the most amazing animated talking labels – you just download the app and wave across the label), Big Drop Brewing Co (who offer very low alcohol beers and are refreshing) and The Five Point Brewing Co. By this point I think it is fair to say we’d had our fill, but not before checking out the soulful vibes of DJ Yoda and the Hip Hop Karaoki. This took the event to another level and reaffirmed that the Craft Beer community is firmly in tune with the cooler aspects of audio entertainment.
In all, the event was curated perfectly, with friendly informative stall holders, lots of smiles, eating, drinking, dancing and milling around which is what it’s all about. Freebies were aplenty and the fact the entrance fee allows you to sample as much as you like is a brilliant idea, smaller measures mean the emphasis is not on rolling around the floor at the end of the night, it is about a serious effort to celebrate all these amazing independent breweries and drinks companies, to show that there is so much passion out there to be unique, that the UK (and Midlands) are not just about large chain breweries these days, a celebration of style and creation in the heart of Britain, that, is Beer Central and I will be back!
For more info on Beer Central click here: https://beercentralfestival.com/
Review by Nick Byng for Grapevine Brum.