When Darren from Two Towers Brewery approached me about doing a brewery to brewery bike tour I couldn’t have been more excited. I jumped at the chance to help celebrate and promote the great beer scene we have here in Birmingham. We got together with my good friends at cycle Birmingham and BeerYeti to organise a great route, 15miles with 3 brewery stops where the riders would be rewarded with a great beer. This biking for beers event was far more popular than we could have hoped for and it was not only a great day for all but also raised money for Birmingham Children’s Hospital, so we were very happy when the event sold out.
We planned the ride to be part of Birmingham Beer Week, a week long celebration highlighting the epic beer scene and what better way to do this than by introducing the people of Brum to 3 of the cities great breweries and by bicycle, we had this in the bag!
Kicking off at Two Towers Brewery 25 cyclists enjoyed a great beer to get the started and a talk about the history of the brewery and their beers by Darren. The pub (The Gunmakers Arms) and brewery combined are classed as a grade II listed building which makes it a great venue, lovely local pub with a great atmoshphere serving up some great Birmingham themed beers including; Hockey Gold and Bhacker Ackhams (If you know, you know). All of their beers are also vegan which is good to know, especially with my recent change to an animal free diet.
With our taste buds tickled, we were then raring to go, excited about what waited for us at the other breweries. We had a great mixture of riders and bikes within the group, all with one thing in common, an interest in bikes and beer! The sun was shinning and we set off with James from Cycle Birmingham up front, myself, Sally (aka Vegan in Brum) and Mr BeerYeti, nicely blended in the group for middle and back markers to keep the pace and group together. Heading along the Grand Union Canal we were on route to Thousand Trades Brewing Co. in Hall Green. A great ride where we all just about managed to keep up with the avid cyclist up front and arrive at a slightly different set up. We met Paul Scrivens, head brewer in this small retail unit and hidden brewery, armed with another great beer and Samosas for the riders. We were all very happy to be fed and watered, we enjoyed a great talk about the brewing ingredients and what went into their great tasting beers. People even stocked up on some bottles for later. (We don’t advise drinking while drunk)
We then headed for the Cole Valley route which took us back up onto the canal and through to Stirchley and our last stop, Birmingham Brewing Company. This was the more scenic part of the route, we got a bit of rain but we braved on with smiles on our faces only to be hit by a puncture on a fixie. We decided to split the group, James and the others led most of the group to the finish. Staying behind with the mountain bike and fixie crew for a quick bit of puncture repair I was then left to lead the boys to the finish line. A girl that rides a mountain bike and drinks beer I had something to prove and I gave the boys a run for their money, with banter flying and smiles on our faces we arrived only a little late to our destination. Paul from Birmingham Brewing Company looked after us, waiting with beers already poured, he definitely knows what he’s doing. On an industrial estate at the back of Stirchley high street, the brewery also has a tap room (with limited opening times) which was absolutely buzzing and full of people, after the first sip of our beer it’s not hard to see why. We had a short talk from Paul on his brewing process and then had some time to enjoy the beers which we had all worked hard for. Luckily we were only a stone throw from the train station so we were covered for the journey home. My favourite was Gold Brummie (check out the BeerYeti review here) and I have to say it went down very nicely. A hoppy IPA exploding with flavour, again all Birmingham Brewing Company’s beers are vegan friendly which will make a lot of people very happy.
The day was a great success, biking for beers… life doesn’t really get any better. There are definitely plans to do this again, watch this space.
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