13 Oct Taking Over a Beer Festival – Square Root at Indy Man Beer Con
Indy Man Beer Con has always been one of our favourite beer festivals so when we got the call asking if we wanted to provide soft drinks at this years festival we were super excited! It’s held in a beautiful old Edwardian Bath House with bars being put up in the old pools themselves. There’s a great mix of breweries from all over the UK and even some brewers from around Europe make the trip over to pour their beers for the thirsty punters! This is the first year IMBC has had a dedicated soda bar and we had a lot of fun helping to make it happen!
As always, the most popular flavour by far had to be our Rhubarb Soda! It was going down a treat with lashings of Jensen’s Old Tom Gin and some squeezes of fresh lime! We wanted to make something different for the IMBC punters as well so we took down lots of different kinds of hops to make some DIY hop tonics, offering people the chance to choose which hop flavour they wanted in their G+T! We chose to take Sorachi Ace (Robyn’s favourite hop!) for a coconutty, buttery popcorn flavour (trust us, it’s delicious), Hallertau Comet (a new variety) for some floral spice, Cascade for the traditional American citrusy/floral flavour and Equinox for a herbal, tropical fruit flavour. We made the hop extracts on the stall and served them up to order with our Jensen’s. There are so many different hop varieties out there and it was really nice to see beer drinkers getting behind tasting hop flavours in a different setting.
It was great to take our little Soda Bar to Manchester! We even designed some new posters to decorate the baths with and spread around everywhere. Iwan, one of the organisers found us a spot to put the stall up in the old Females Pool in the baths which was just right (as in our stall fitted exactly in the alcove and we had to crawl out from the bottom to get in and out…) which was lucky. It was great sharing a room with our friends at Beavertown Brewery in Tottenham and we made some new ones from Lervig Brewery in Stavanger (woah, their beers were strong). They were pretty pleased to have us close by and Cascara Club became the hangover cure of the festival!
While not working behind the stall we were, of course, roaming the festival trying as many of the beers as possible. Cloudwater brewery really stood out for us. They had their own little bar in the whole of the Pineapple Room which, in the day time, was beautifully bright and airy and a pleasure to relax in with a Vienna Lager or a Barrel Aged Cherry Sour. In the main room we enjoyed beers from Magic Rock Brewery (the Pina Collider, a soured pineapple beer was a team favourite), Redchurch Brewery (long live their Tartlette project), Brew By Numbers and Lambic beer blenders Tilquin. As you can tell sour was definitely the flavour of the festival (and heartburn the main aftereffect)!
All that beer definitely required some amazing food to keep us going. We Eat were ever present on our stall with their awesome beer snacks – we were big fans of the smoked nut! In the outside of the festival, we were really excited to try some new Street Food stalls and were really impressed with the Bundobust Halloumi Kebabs and Okra Fries (several rounds of those were devoured in the four days we were there)! We’re definitely hoping to be back in Manchester soon to sample some more things at their up coming restaurant!
We were so pleased with how excited everyone was to try something different (we were at a beer festival after all!) so we’d definitely love to be back again next year – if you’ll have us IMBC, of course!
The Independent Manchester Beer Convention was held 9 – 12 of October 2015 in the Manchester Victoria Baths. Cover Image from @JoannaHalton.