I Choose Live: Local Drinks Market
It's the anti-Glastonbury
We didn't get Glastonbury tickets either. But what we did do is mastermind (come up with the title for) the event which will keep your thoughts far away from Worthy Farm come June 25. The very best liquid refreshment you can get within 50 miles is the concept and most of the distillers, makers, mixers and food givers you'll gain access to are based considerably closer. Here's what you've inadvertently traded in Coldplay and trench foot for. Well done.
Fill Thy Purse With Shakespeare
Distance from market: 28.8 miles
Venturing into big bad Brum from the rolling countryside, Shakespeare's Distillery, which formed 399 years after the death of its namesake, is bringing their Stratford London dry, which is handcrafted in small batches with Tudor garden botanicals including rose, lemon balm, rosemary and old English lovage. You can also get a first taste of their dreamy second production, Mulberry Gin.
Blind Taste Test: Budget v Boutique
Distance from market: 1.7 miles
Morrisons beat off plenty of branded competition to top Which?'s 2015 gin taste test. And at £10.49 a bottle, it's probably about time to challenge your palate and get involved in what is one of a number ofmasterclasses taking place on the day — The Great Gin Debate. Join Carl Hawkinswho is pitching boutique brands against Lidl's finest. Like all masterclasses, it's bookable separately (from £10).
(Probably) Your New Favourite Beer
Distance from market: 8.6 miles
After ten years of home brewing and two national cycling records (still held), the obvious next step for founder, Scott, was to open a brewery, right? Blackheath-based and family run, Fixed Wheel was incepted in September 2014 and has been growing organically ever since. Try Pope of Dope, the team's Giro d'Italia inspired brew, which is flavoured with lemon and hibiscus, pink in colour and named with cycling's doping king, Michele Ferrari in mind. It's dark. It's niche. And we love it.
The Cordial Connoisseur
Distance from market: 4.2 miles
Using ingredients from the garden as well as foraged and local, ethically sourced wares, Cuffufle Preserves is pretty much the queen, the king and all the minor royal roles we don't know the official titles for, when it comes to cordials. Try classic elderflower, or plump for lime & mint (AKA Cuffufle's official unofficial instant mojito mix). Founder and creator, Rachel is also quick to recommend a splash of dark rum with Cuffufle's apple & ginger cordial.
Bag Some Brummie Fish'n'Chips
Distance from market: 18.9 miles
Fish and chips just got given the ultimate south Asian makeover. The English Indianis serving up fresh marinated cod, deep fried in pakora batter, served with chaat masala fries and chilli minted mushy peas. There's pakora battered halloumi for veggies and first sight of Baked In Brick'snew wheels (as well as its pizzas), plus the man formerly known as Low'N'Slow. Actually, that's still Andy's name.
Any Other Booze-ness?
Distance from market: 28 miles or less
Also getting all drinky and local will be the city's best shakers and creators. Get intoThe Wilderness without moving, care of a cocktail and canape sesh from Brum's most fantastical newbie. Get your chops round 40 St Paul's Hockley Tonic Syrup (previously only available in the bar), then take in their cocktail stint at the Brum Association Bartenders choice stand, executed by Rob Wood. Or learn to Grow your own G&T with Kitchen School &Langley's. Greatness guaranteed.
The Local Drinks Market is on Saturday June 25, from 12pm until 5pm at The Bond. Entry is £15, with masterclasses from £10. More happenings, one-off hook-ups and local traders to be confirmed. Tickets right here.
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