A Bonkers Idea. In More Ways…

About a month ago, I wrote about two ideas that were whispered in my ear on the Saturday of #ISBF5. Read that post here

In the post, I mentioned a “little project”. And that I wouldn't say anything further until I was sure it was “in the can”. Well…. I think we might just be there.

For those - and there are many of you - that have been on the journey since Year 1, this event has changed almost beyond recognition. But that change has been incremental.

Going from 36 to 45 casks. Of Northern beer.

To 40 casks and 14 keg (and Beer from outside the North). To 40 casks and 34 keg.

To (last year) 35 cask. And 60keg. And ONE beer from outside of the UK. In cask. And a beautiful new venue.

The applicable phrase being “Evolution not Revolution”.

However, when an opportunity arises, I've always tried to grab it. I guess I'm greedy like THAT. And for US, this one is a little revolutionary…

I need to explain the reasons for this waffle.

As I referred earlier (as discussed in the post re De Molen), last year, on the Saturday of the event, I was approached by two people with slightly “out there” ideas. One - as lauded in that post - was Mark Smith-Magee.

The other was Ben Stubbs. Of Rivington Brewing. And his idea - for a small bash like this, with a relatively low profile - was quite astonishing. Certainly to me.

I like Ben. He really is a lovely fella. And he and his brother-in-law (the equally lovely) Mick have been quietly gaining an excellent reputation for their beers. I’m not talking out of school when I mention the times I've been approached by more established breweries with glowing comments about the output from this farm on the shores of Rivington reservoir.

But his idea….

Ben & Mick run regular tap sessions at the farm. Called “Tap Beneath The Trees”. If you've been, you get it. If you haven't, you should. It's simply idyllic. With a camping site mere yards away.

Anyway. Last year, Ben, Mick and Ben's brother Adam (more about him later) destroyed me. Bottles came out late. Silly, delicious stuff from breweries I'd never heard of. Oh dear, the mere memory of it…. But some things stick with you.

So when Ben dripped honeyed words in my ear, memories of that evening beneath the trees flooded back.

This has taken since last December to put together. And there are still potential bumps in the road. To be frank, it has - at times - been quite scary. This event isn't “big” in any sense of the word, so (as someone who has birthed this event) I'm incredibly flattered that Ben & Adam have gone to the lengths that they have.

Adam works in the beer industry outside of the UK. (So yes, this whole waffle concerns imported beer - something we hadn't done AT ALL until last year) Adam has gone above and beyond to put something together from respected Micros close to his location. He's a hero. As is Ben. Our early morning What's App messages have become a daily feature and have kept me awake on many a 5:20 am bus to work. A proper cure for my sleepy eyes.

And following a recent series of messages, I think this has been pulled off. And it's audacious. For a small event like this.

So. WTF am I on about?

Importing beer. From Melbourne. And not the one in Derbyshire. This one involves airfreight.

Melbourne, Australia. Let that sink in.

Everything is subject to change, of course. But these breweries - ALL new on draught in the UK (I think) - will be sending beer to a little event in Salford

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Deeds Brewing (Deeds are an indy Micro based in Melbourne. I've been incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to try some small pack. Oh my……..)

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Tallboy & Moose (Brewing since late 2016, these guys brew their tasty beers in Preston, just north of Melbourne……..)

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Hop Nation (Commencing brewing in 2015 and started by former winemakers, these guys now brew out of Footscray, just to the west of the centre of Melbourne ……..)

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Dollar Bill (These Brewers and Blenders focus on delicious mixed fermentation, fruit and wild beers and come from Ballarat approximately 30 miles NW of Melbourne……..)

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Moon Dog (One of the longer established independent Micros, Moondog are “crafting beers that are fun and a little bit different” just to the east of the centre of Melbourne ……..)

As stated above, ALL those breweries (I think - but DEFINITELY the beers) are new to the UK. It's taken some pulling together. And that is down in its entirety to Adam & Ben.

I can't thank them enough.

For commercial reasons, all of the beers from these breweries will be single keg only. So. If you want to try something you may never get to try again, you'll need to get tickets for the earlier sessions, because these will fly.

Tickets remain for Thursday evening, Friday lunch and Saturday evening. Click here.

Bloody HELL I'm excited!

Back soon.

Be kind to one another.

Jim x