Sunday, 30 July 2017

Birmingham Independent Festival

You know the Independent Birmingham card right? It gets you exclusive discounts at lots of independent businesses, including Digbeth Dining Club, The Electric and Cherry Reds. They've recently branched out into events, including the Festival which I went along to in May. This was so successful that there's another one planned for September.

So what happened?

The venue

The festival was held at The Bond in Digbeth, a gorgeous canalside venue. Food and drinks stalls were set up all around, leading up to an old warehouse building, where the entertainment was taking place. Bands were on all day and it was lovely to stand and watch with a drink or just hear the music as you were walking about.

It was busy, but the fact that it was a ticketed event meant that it wasn't overwhelmingly so. Moderate sized lines moved quickly and there were plenty of other options.


Probably the best drinks line-up I've seen at one of these events.

Several bars were there, serving cocktails, spirits and beers as well as coffee and soft drinks. I managed to make my way around a fair few of them.

I visited the Smultronstalle stall twice. This was a mixture of drinks created by genius bartender Robert Wood, including some from his secret bar Smultronstalle (which I have been to, you get a seven course cocktail menu). I tried the Viking Bubbles and the From Ooty With Love, the one which comes in a bag at Zindiya in Moseley.

I loved the fluorescent green American Dream, comically served in a red cup, with an oreo and American flag, just to really hammer the point home.

The Cuban Embassy Moseley were there selling some classic rum based cocktails. I love a Cuba Libre- a fancy rum and coke to you (with the addition of lime).

One of my stand outs of the day was a Sazerac slushie from The Church- so popular I do believe I had the final one! A Sazerac is usually a very short drink, made with rye whisky, bitters and absinthe, so I loved the flavours served in a long and refreshing manner. This went down very well- I could have a couple more of these, but perhaps it's for the best that I didn't.

The Victoria were there too, with the promise of boilermakers (whisky served with a matching beer) but sadly they had run out by the time I worked my way round. Happily they had some beers left. I'm a fan of Manchester Brewing Co and their nods to music (My Bloody Clementine for example). I'm a sucker for clever names and nice packaging but I do like a pale ale and this was refreshing, bitter and a little fruity.


Don't worry, I did line my stomach, with a giant box of chicken wings and sweet potato fries from Boo Boo Coffee. These wings were small and not crispy but the spicy sweet sauce packed a punch.

There were loads of food stalls, including the ever popular Low 'n' Slow, hot dogs from the Bureau (see below) tapas from El Borracho de Oro and chicken pittas from Baked In Brick. It was so hard to choose, hence why I panicked and went for chicken wings. I did try to get padron peppers from El Borracho but they had sold out.

I don't always care about dessert at street food events but I always want waffles from Bournville Waffle Company. Light, fluffy waffles are topped with cream and completely indulgent toppings like chocolate buttons, fudge pieces, strawberries, biscuit bits...


Another thing I loved about this event was the quality of the produce available to buy and take home. I picked up some beautiful Peel and Stone bread, cheese from Anderson and Hill and Cheval Blanc and some lovely Birmingham coasters.

Independent Birmingham
Independent Birmingham Festival - book tickets for next time!

Photos by Helen and Edd.
Everything paid for ourselves.

No comments: