#BrumBW18 is the hash tag for a celebration of all things great and good in Birmingham’s beer scene. Birmingham Beer Week (which runs for ten days incidentally) started in 2016 and has grown as more and more new breweries and boozers come on board.
Whisper it quietly, but it has arguably as much prominence as the CAMRA beer festival and is part of an Independent scene in Brum that is mushrooming.
As it happened I was in Birmingham on Friday for the launch of this event but there was no big tickertape New Street opening, rather a series of events in bars around the city.
Since the days of Ansells and M&B have long gone there has been an explosion of new breweries in the past five years alongside the revamp of an old favourite.
Birmingham Brewing Company (Stirchley), Burning Soul Brewing Company (Hockley), Davenports (Birmingham – old favourite), Dig Brew Co (Digbeth), GlassHouse Beer Co (Stirchley), The Indian Brewery (Snow Hill), Leviathan Brewing Company (Boldmere), Moseley Beer Company (Moseley), Ostlers (Harborne), Edmunds Brewhouse (Birmingham), Rock & Roll Brewhouse (Hockley), Thousand Trades Brewing Company (Hall Green), Two Towers Brewery (Birmingham) and Froth Blowers Brewing Co (Erdington) are all now on the scene along with quite a few in the neighbouring Black Country, Solihull and Coventry areas.
There has also been some funky new additions to the bar scene in Brum and none more so than 254 – Tilt B2 4TX.
I’ve got plenty of time for the people who opened this place as it is in the Grade II listed City Arcade which had a succession of retail shops close in quick succession. Despite being in an impressive location prior to its arrival in 2016, this shopping arcade was looking a little tired.
It was built in 1901 and certainly fits the bill of offbeat bar as it is stacked with pinball machines and I saw arguably as much coffee being sold as beer during my 45 minutes there on a Friday at around 4pm.
Game of Thrones, Iron Maiden, Star Wars and Pirates of the Caribbean were all on the wall (so to speak) and Tommy would have had a whale of time in The Who’s classic movie.
However, despite all the local brewers it was tap takeover day in the spirit of #BrumBW18 and Tilt had in the Swedish brewers Omnipollo for the day.
There is always a modern vibe to this place and this is the most full I’ve seen it…
…with punters talking about beer, coffee and pinball and I plumped for a third of the Fatamorgana (Omnipollo), an Imperial IPA apparently, which came in at £4.30 so definitely not for the faint hearted or someone looking for a big session at that price.
It opens at 9am but I suspect it doesn’t have many professional drinkers in at that time as there is also a coffee culture running through this bar.
Tilt is in a part of town that needs some bars and they are clearly making it work whilst riding the crest of a craft/keg wave that means Birmingham is finally catching up with some if its contemporaries across the country.