The afternoon of Saturday 30th March, I decided to take a trip to TAPS Beer Festival which was taking shape at the recently refurbished Custard Factory Hall in Digbeth.
TAPS ran across three sessions: Friday – 6pm until 12pm. Saturday – noon until 5pm and 6pm until 12pm.
Upon entry to the Custard Factory central courtyard, I was greeted with a large gathering of diners enjoying the delights of Digbeth Dining Club street food vendors Donner Summer (Vegan Donner Kebabs), Only Jerkin’ (Caribbean Inspired Fried Chicken), Jade Rabbit (Asian Street Treats), Urban Cheesecake, Dick’s Smokehouse (American inspired, slow cooked meats and ribs) and Patty Freaks (Dirty Burgers).
The food looked to be going down very well and I tried some Donner Summer and Only Jerkin’ tasty treats, which prepared me for the main event, beer tasting!
It was nice to see The Custard Factory Hall decked out with plenty of beer stalls, in a brilliant open, airy space with natural lighting flooding in, offering a warm relaxing atmosphere.
My journey into alcoholic happiness took me to the stalls of small and micro breweries from around the UK (and one from Croatia).
Local drinks I sampled included Purity, Freedom, Pint Shop, Dares, The Wolf, Kilder, Digbrew, 40 St Pauls and Crushed & Cubed.
It’s brilliant and reassuring to see so many local breweries and drinks companies thriving, and this can only be a healthy thing for the city, and wider region’s creative culture, the jobs, the skills and confidence that brings to the West Midlands is such a huge positive, in what are otherwise very difficult times.
Stall holders were happy to chat and share their knowledge, and passion for their brands. Thought and effort had gone into each stall with some fancy decorations. Obviously I would have been pissed out my head if I had just sampled pints so smaller measures were the theme of the day for me personally.
Music across the weekend was as diverse as the food & drink, with Don Letts, Heavy Beat Brass Band, Leftfoot DJs, Adriatic Coasting, Sam Redmore and Deano Ferrino, who was spinning some dancefloor disco funk grooves as I drifted from stall to stall.
It was smashin’ to see this large venue busy and buzzin’, with proud craftsmen and women, happy smiling and rosy cheeked punters. I look forward to the next installment.. Big up Brum!
Review by Nick Byng.