Time To Reveal

 Hello.  Prior to 2014, Salford hadn’t had a beer festival in decades. For the next four years, from incredibly humble beginnings, in an incredibly humble location, we put one on. I had been told that it couldn’t be done. That the venue was “a bit difficult to get to” (a comment which still makes me seethe). But we did it. Something that myself and Gerry are incredibly proud of.  The reason for that first event was the basis for the first four. To keep open that incredibly humble location. St Sebastian’s Community Centre. Gerry asked me would I do it. I said “Yes”. And it was the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever said. I knew nothing. Still don’t. But what happened next simply stunned me. The sheer VOLUME of goodwill from people i'd never met. Offers flooded in to help with design, beer, logistics, volunteering.... All of these people I now count as friends. Good friends. Real friends.  Friends I would – in all likelihood never have otherwise met.  Other than raising almost £30k for good causes, THAT'S the thing that makes me feel MOST warm inside, the number of friendships that started at St Sebastian’s. That old saying made truth. “A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet”.  The ethos of this event has never changed either. It is really quite simple. For people to drink great beer. In comfort. In pleasant surroundings. That has never changed. And never will.  And here’s something else that hasn’t changed and – whilst I organise this event – never will, is that this event, The Independent Salford Beer Festival, will ALWAYS be not for profit. It will always donate the profits to a good cause or charity. A number of people have asked me about this very subject. (Almost as if leaving St Sebastians altered this) This was an event set up to raise money to help others. It can’t be anything else. It WON'T be anything else.   

Hello.

Prior to 2014, Salford hadn’t had a beer festival in decades. For the next four years, from incredibly humble beginnings, in an incredibly humble location, we put one on. I had been told that it couldn’t be done. That the venue was “a bit difficult to get to” (a comment which still makes me seethe). But we did it. Something that myself and Gerry are incredibly proud of.

The reason for that first event was the basis for the first four. To keep open that incredibly humble location. St Sebastian’s Community Centre. Gerry asked me would I do it. I said “Yes”. And it was the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever said. I knew nothing. Still don’t. But what happened next simply stunned me. The sheer VOLUME of goodwill from people i'd never met. Offers flooded in to help with design, beer, logistics, volunteering.... All of these people I now count as friends. Good friends. Real friends.

Friends I would – in all likelihood never have otherwise met.

Other than raising almost £30k for good causes, THAT'S the thing that makes me feel MOST warm inside, the number of friendships that started at St Sebastian’s. That old saying made truth. “A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet”.

The ethos of this event has never changed either. It is really quite simple. For people to drink great beer. In comfort. In pleasant surroundings. That has never changed. And never will.

And here’s something else that hasn’t changed and – whilst I organise this event – never will, is that this event, The Independent Salford Beer Festival, will ALWAYS be not for profit. It will always donate the profits to a good cause or charity. A number of people have asked me about this very subject. (Almost as if leaving St Sebastians altered this) This was an event set up to raise money to help others. It can’t be anything else. It WON'T be anything else.

 

 Yes. We’ve moved. To the simply beautiful   Hemsley House  .  I can write paragraphs about what I think of the building. You’ll not truly understand until you walk through that front door.  And anyway, apparently, “a picture paints a thousand words.... “  I’ve fallen in love with the place. And – IF all goes well this year – this could well become our new “home”. So yes, I’m thinking ahead. Beyond 1st December 2018. (Breaking news etc.....)

Yes. We’ve moved. To the simply beautiful Hemsley House.

I can write paragraphs about what I think of the building. You’ll not truly understand until you walk through that front door.

And anyway, apparently, “a picture paints a thousand words.... “

I’ve fallen in love with the place. And – IF all goes well this year – this could well become our new “home”. So yes, I’m thinking ahead. Beyond 1st December 2018. (Breaking news etc.....)

 As always, each year, this event takes place only by the skin of its teeth. I’m a glass half empty type. Whatever can go wrong, etc. And this could all go to ratshit at anytime. It wouldn’t be ISBF otherwise.  But let’s be positive eh?  So. In just under 3 months, we open the front doors at Hemsley House at 6pm. What can you expect? Well. Some things the same, some things changed. The venue obviously. That’s a stunningly attractive given. But last year there was a moment where I thought “This is it. This is always what I wanted this event to be".  I can identify that moment. It was seeing Sean Ayling with his camera phone, videoing   George Fell   playing guitar. That man can play. So, I’m absolutely thrilled to say George will be performing again on the Saturday evening. I was shaking when I was told that. Honestly shaking.  We’ll also have live music on the Friday evening too, but I’m awaiting confirmation on that artist.    Mike   will be back with his “Rebellious Jukebox”. I could have stayed in the keg room all event last year and just wallowed in sound. I love music more than beer. And Mike has had better taste than me for the *coughs* (insert number) of years I’ve known him. Why change a winning formula eh?   I can also say now, that we have a Charity that will receive ALL the profits from #ISBF5. We're proud to announce that that Charity is  Start in Salford . ( More to follow in a future webpost ) They do brilliant work. And - importantly - they're local. And that matters to us.   I’ve lined up up presentations from two new breweries (one for the Friday evening, one for Saturday lunch). Breweries that the vast majority of you won’t know. One of which hasn’t put grain to water yet. But they want to come talk to you. Tell you about themselves and their plans. One from Lancashire, one from Yorkshire. Balance isn’t a dirty word here.  We’ve also got some beer coming.  The day I poured away (in year 2) a phenomenal amount of stunning beer, I knew. This event needed new beer. New beer to Manchester. We did precisely that in year 3. And we almost sold every drop. Someone I respect told me I couldn’t do that again. So I did. (I'm a contrarian) In year 4. And the vast increase in the amount of keg was matched by a thirst for it. You have to listen. You have to analyse the raw data. And understand.  So I did.   I’ve tried. Hell have I tried. I didn’t think that I could outdo year 4. So...... Below is a list of the breweries you can expect at Hemsley House on 29th November.  I hope you like it.  I’ve stated – rather rashly – that there should be at least 5 breweries you won’t have tried on draught before. I’d like to think there’ll be more. Have a look below.   Cask  :    Abbeydale   Bad Seed   Beatnikz Republic   Beer Nouveau   Black Jack   Blue Bee   Brass Castle   Brew York   Brewsmith   Cheshire Brewhouse   Five Towns  x 2 (3 x Beer of the Event Winner!)  Five Towns  x  Rivington   Neptune   North Riding   Pictish   Pomona Island   Rammy Craft   Redwillow   Revolutions   SALT Brewing   Squawk  Surprise!   (All I will say here is, It’s not from the North of England!)    Thirst Class  Tigertops  Torrside  x  Runaway   Turning Point   Vocation   Wigan Brewhouse   Wilde Child   Wishbone     #EvilKegFi lth :    Almasty      Beer Ink      Bexar County      Big Fish Brew Co     Black Iris     Black Lodge     Bone Machine     Brew By Numbers     Buxton        Chain House Brew Co     Cloudwater     Dead End Brew Machine     Elusive  (1 x Beer of the Event Winner!)    Eyes Brewing     Fierce     Five Points     Hawkshead     Kernel    Korupted Brew Co    Left Handed Giant     Little Earth     Loka Polly     Lost & Grounded     Macc Brew Co     Magic Rock     Mallinsons     Marble     Mills Brewing     Mourne     Northern Alchemy     Northern Monk     Odyssey     Pilot     Rivington     Runaway     Shindigger       Six Degrees North      Sixth Day Brewing     Thornbridge     Tom's Tap & Brewhouse     Torrside     Track     Twisted Barrel     Verdant     Vibrant Forest     Wander Beyond     Watts & Co     Weird Beard     Wild Weather     Wilderness     Wylam     Bexar County  x  Offbeat     Thirst Class  x  Tickety Brew     Elusive  x  North Riding     Brewsmith  x     Rammy Craft     More TBC.   A bit of a change, eh? That's 37 breweries that weren't with us last year. With more to come.  The list isn’t complete yet. I was hoping it would be, but there'll be more. Breweries may drop out (I truly hope not), breweries/collabs may be added. And you’ll know additions when I do. Other than that "Surprise" cask, from hereon in, no more secrets.  We are immensely flattered that ALL of these fabulous breweries have seen fit to supply a beer. A BEER NEW TO MANCHESTER. That's not an easy thing to commit to for many of these breweries. So we are truly humbled that they have agreed to do this for us. We thank all of them  I’ve met a number of people who seem to think that – following how good last year was (and the change of venue) – that the tickets won’t last long at all. What I DO know, is that tickets ARE limited. And that we have people from Aberdeen to Brighton, Belfast to Suffolk telling me that they're coming along. Many of whom have never been before. They've heard from others. About this little beer celebration in an unheralded city in the shadow of a beer magnet of a big brother.  But this is a city on the up. Regenerating. Building. And over 5 years, WE'VE built something WE'RE rather proud of. A labour of love.  So. All that’s left for me to say is “Fancy coming to play”?  Tickets are available NOW. Via this   link  . There are also - by "popular demand" - a VERY limited number of "Weekend tickets" available. For all 5 sessions.    Before I go, ENORMOUS thanks to the following. Without whom we'd be up a certain creek without that famous paddle.       Andy H     eggs  - Design genius and best kind of egg. Without whom.....    Rob Hamilton &   Team Black Jack   - without whom......this event wouldn't be so "easy".    Malcolm Bastow of   Five Towns Brewery  . My Yorkshire rock. 3 times winner of Beer of this Festival. And a true "love".      Team Drumbeat   - For generously sponsoring our webby stuff.    Dave & Jen at   The Northern Type Beer Shop & Tap Room  - For generously sponsoring our lovely glassware    Phil & Rachel at   Otters Tears  Beer Co  - For generously agreeing to sponsor our programme    Paul & Cheryl at   Pictish Brewing   - Generously sponsoring the prettiest of beer event wallpaper    And all of the (former) PPE - they know - Without whom I'd have lost my marbles.   Drink Responsibly.  Back soon. Be kind to one another,  Jim x      

As always, each year, this event takes place only by the skin of its teeth. I’m a glass half empty type. Whatever can go wrong, etc. And this could all go to ratshit at anytime. It wouldn’t be ISBF otherwise.

But let’s be positive eh?

So. In just under 3 months, we open the front doors at Hemsley House at 6pm. What can you expect? Well. Some things the same, some things changed. The venue obviously. That’s a stunningly attractive given. But last year there was a moment where I thought “This is it. This is always what I wanted this event to be".

I can identify that moment. It was seeing Sean Ayling with his camera phone, videoing George Fell playing guitar. That man can play. So, I’m absolutely thrilled to say George will be performing again on the Saturday evening. I was shaking when I was told that. Honestly shaking.

We’ll also have live music on the Friday evening too, but I’m awaiting confirmation on that artist.

Mike will be back with his “Rebellious Jukebox”. I could have stayed in the keg room all event last year and just wallowed in sound. I love music more than beer. And Mike has had better taste than me for the *coughs* (insert number) of years I’ve known him. Why change a winning formula eh?

I can also say now, that we have a Charity that will receive ALL the profits from #ISBF5. We're proud to announce that that Charity is Start in Salford. (More to follow in a future webpost) They do brilliant work. And - importantly - they're local. And that matters to us.

I’ve lined up up presentations from two new breweries (one for the Friday evening, one for Saturday lunch). Breweries that the vast majority of you won’t know. One of which hasn’t put grain to water yet. But they want to come talk to you. Tell you about themselves and their plans. One from Lancashire, one from Yorkshire. Balance isn’t a dirty word here.

We’ve also got some beer coming.

The day I poured away (in year 2) a phenomenal amount of stunning beer, I knew. This event needed new beer. New beer to Manchester. We did precisely that in year 3. And we almost sold every drop. Someone I respect told me I couldn’t do that again. So I did. (I'm a contrarian) In year 4. And the vast increase in the amount of keg was matched by a thirst for it. You have to listen. You have to analyse the raw data. And understand.

So I did. 

I’ve tried. Hell have I tried. I didn’t think that I could outdo year 4. So...... Below is a list of the breweries you can expect at Hemsley House on 29th November.

I hope you like it.

I’ve stated – rather rashly – that there should be at least 5 breweries you won’t have tried on draught before. I’d like to think there’ll be more. Have a look below.

Cask :

Abbeydale
Bad Seed
Beatnikz Republic
Beer Nouveau
Black Jack
Blue Bee
Brass Castle
Brew York
Brewsmith
Cheshire Brewhouse
Five Towns x 2 (3 x Beer of the Event Winner!)
Five Towns x Rivington
Neptune
North Riding
Pictish
Pomona Island
Rammy Craft
Redwillow
Revolutions
SALT Brewing
Squawk
Surprise!
(All I will say here is, It’s not from the North of England!)
Thirst Class
Tigertops
Torrside x Runaway
Turning Point
Vocation
Wigan Brewhouse
Wilde Child
Wishbone

#EvilKegFilth :

Almasty
Beer Ink 
Bexar County 
Big Fish Brew Co
Black Iris
Black Lodge
Bone Machine
Brew By Numbers
Buxton

Chain House Brew Co
Cloudwater
Dead End Brew Machine
Elusive (1 x Beer of the Event Winner!)
Eyes Brewing
Fierce
Five Points
Hawkshead
Kernel
Korupted Brew Co
Left Handed Giant
Little Earth
Loka Polly
Lost & Grounded
Macc Brew Co
Magic Rock
Mallinsons
Marble
Mills Brewing
Mourne
Northern Alchemy
Northern Monk
Odyssey
Pilot
Rivington
Runaway
Shindigger

Six Degrees North
Sixth Day Brewing
Thornbridge
Tom's Tap & Brewhouse
Torrside
Track
Twisted Barrel
Verdant
Vibrant Forest
Wander Beyond
Watts & Co
Weird Beard
Wild Weather
Wilderness
Wylam
Bexar County x Offbeat
Thirst Class x Tickety Brew
Elusive x North Riding
Brewsmith x
Rammy Craft

More TBC.

A bit of a change, eh? That's 37 breweries that weren't with us last year. With more to come.

The list isn’t complete yet. I was hoping it would be, but there'll be more. Breweries may drop out (I truly hope not), breweries/collabs may be added. And you’ll know additions when I do. Other than that "Surprise" cask, from hereon in, no more secrets.

We are immensely flattered that ALL of these fabulous breweries have seen fit to supply a beer. A BEER NEW TO MANCHESTER. That's not an easy thing to commit to for many of these breweries. So we are truly humbled that they have agreed to do this for us. We thank all of them

I’ve met a number of people who seem to think that – following how good last year was (and the change of venue) – that the tickets won’t last long at all. What I DO know, is that tickets ARE limited. And that we have people from Aberdeen to Brighton, Belfast to Suffolk telling me that they're coming along. Many of whom have never been before. They've heard from others. About this little beer celebration in an unheralded city in the shadow of a beer magnet of a big brother.

But this is a city on the up. Regenerating. Building. And over 5 years, WE'VE built something WE'RE rather proud of. A labour of love.

So. All that’s left for me to say is “Fancy coming to play”?

Tickets are available NOW. Via this link. There are also - by "popular demand" - a VERY limited number of "Weekend tickets" available. For all 5 sessions. 

Before I go, ENORMOUS thanks to the following. Without whom we'd be up a certain creek without that famous paddle.

Andy Heggs- Design genius and best kind of egg. Without whom.....

Rob Hamilton & Team Black Jack - without whom......this event wouldn't be so "easy".

Malcolm Bastow of Five Towns Brewery. My Yorkshire rock. 3 times winner of Beer of this Festival. And a true "love".

Team Drumbeat - For generously sponsoring our webby stuff.

Dave & Jen at The Northern Type Beer Shop & Tap Room- For generously sponsoring our lovely glassware

Phil & Rachel at Otters Tears Beer Co - For generously agreeing to sponsor our programme

Paul & Cheryl at Pictish Brewing - Generously sponsoring the prettiest of beer event wallpaper

And all of the (former) PPE - they know - Without whom I'd have lost my marbles.

Drink Responsibly.

Back soon. Be kind to one another,

Jim x