The journey to Kinver Craft Beer and Cider Festival consisted of much confusion and a lost dog.
Now I’ve spent quite a lot of time in Kinver, but I’ve not frequented the Kinver Sports and Community Association before so when the taxi driver was lost, we were all lost. Four of us sat in a taxi on the High Street, three of us desperate for beer.
But, the wench has an internal beer compass, so once we were out on the High Street it kicked in and I found myself leading the charge until a sign and two balloons showed us we were on the right path.
Then it went dark. Were we on the right path?
Were we about to get completely lost?
Just as we were wondering whether to text someone our location (just in case), a tiny and very angry lost dog came charging at us. Boss bird immediately turned into some sort of dog whisperer using a series of intricate hand gestures to calm the beast. It didn’t work. She did manage to get him inside the Royal Exchange beer garden where she also found his owner at the bar. Good deed done we resumed our journey and as we turned the corner, were pleased to find a craft beer and cider festival!
Now, I believe this was the first of these particular festivals and it was organised by a new start-up, the Halfpenny Green Cider Company (someone will let me know if I’ve got this wrong). Admission £2.50 with a very nice glass to take away.
You know a beer festival is going to be good when the first beer stall you see is Fownes Brewing Co. We all started on a high note with #hottieintheoffice and I going for Love Boat Captain (I certainly fell in love) while boss bird opted for The Pale King. Great to introduce people to a brewery I love.
Speaking of breweries I love, it was great to look around and see some real favourites: Fixed Wheel, Green Duck, Kinver as well as breweries I know less but want to try.
One of the breweries I don’t know well is Dogbreath Brewery, although I have some bottles at home to try. We ended up standing next to them, and chatted to Tim (I hope that’s his name) about how he makes his beer and some of his future plans. He very kindly gave us a taste of some samples, including a cherry bourbon which was lovely. Hurry up and get selling that Tim!
For our next beer we all went for Problem Child (Dogbreath Brewery) and their vegetarian samosas. A tasty combo.
As if he smelled the samosas, sir arrived to enjoy the rest of the afternoon with us. While the others went to try something from the cider bar, I went to say hello to the legendary Kinver Dave and grab Something for the Weekend Sir? (Kinver).
It was a great atmosphere in the hall and I liked this smaller festival format with a focus on local beer. It got me thinking, maybe more of these type of events could be held? I really enjoy our annual Stourbridge and Halesowen CAMRA festival and the local brewery events, but more small festivals like these are also a great showcase for Black Country and Midlands beers. I just like beer festivals, small and large!
It felt like a beery village fete, minus the cakes and jam of course.
Next up for me was Mo-Hi-To (Green Duck) which everyone else seemed to want to taste. I get it, but get yer own! The others went for a new Stourbridge brewery 458 and one of my true loves, Fixed Wheel. I can’t remember what beers because I was too busy fighting them off my Mo-Hi-To (ooh errr missus).
Boss bird and I got into a lengthy discussion about beer marketing. Marketing of beers, breweries, festivals and events. It’s a conversation I often have. I have lots of ideas! Always ‘on the day job’ this wench.
Mind you, if I took up beer marketing (rather than the marketing I do) then surely this is all just research, eh babs?
p.s. I’m awful at making beer notes because we drank more than this and finished up with Fownes. I always start off with good intentions then get tipsy and forget. I can’t remember which Fownes beer we had last, but for the terrible trio escorting me it was described as ‘wow’ and ‘beer of the festival’. Sorry James F, but it was nice to say hello!