The other week I was invited down to The Birmingham Whisky Club in the Jewellery Quarter for an evening dedicated to this area. Taste the Quarter promised to be an evening of all things boozy that the Jewellery Quarter has to offer.
Now I’m still finding my feet in Brum. I know I know. But I do only work in this city (and not that close to the centre in all honesty) and I mainly find myself dealing with troublesome trains on my commute. This means I don’t really fancy spending much time in the city outside of my work hours (due to crap trains). So I was hoping Taste the Quarter was going to persuade me to spend a bit more time in the city.
Burning Soul Brewery
We started with local brewery Burning Soul Brewery. Birmingham actually has a lot of craft brewers – I really do need a day of beer consumption in the city. Anyway, we sampled their Saison, which was just beautiful. I do love a decent Saison, and this was a collaborative effort with Brad Carter from Carter’s of Moseley, made with locally foraged meadowsweet flowers and honey. My friend James would love this, I may have to bring him some next time I visit Manchester. Burning Soul have the joy of being a small craft brewers, so they can do what they want and push flavour boundaries. I’ve heard good things about their ice cream flavoured beers (that often sell out in a weekend). So I’m going to have to pay a visit to their taproom!
Now I know I love Vanguard already. Sam’s cocktails are incredible and his ethos is just perfect. His specialism is Mead so this is where we started. The Shire Meadery Light Mead was delicate and refreshing, not sweet like you all think it’s going to be. We also had a wonderful cocktail called Kanpai to Sakura – cocktail of gin, Honjozo sake, citric acid and homemade cherry blossom cordial. Sam again focusing on flavours rather than the booze in his drinks (you won’t get more than the flavours on his menu – but trust him!) If you haven’t been to Vanguard yet, then you need to rectify that! Especially now his residence at 1000 trades in the Jewellery Quarter has been made permanent!
Now, somewhere that’s been on my list for a while (and after this I need to go ASAP) is The Wilderness. Food and drink here is innovative and pushes flavour and taste boundaries. I was looking forward to their offering. The drink offering was a gin martini with a nod to Islay, with the Botanist gin (made on Islay) and flavours of heritage tomatoes and celery. I must admit I am not the biggest martini fan (I know I know) but this was beautiful.
Of course Connollys Wines brought with them a wine offering. The first was a Domain de Pellehaut Blanc 2017. This (you guessed it) is a French white that was perfectly summery and refreshing. It was fruity with tropical flavours and a very easy drinker. Next up was a wine that I didn’t enjoy (each to their own right?!) The Cosmic Hand white from Elemental Bob is a biodynamic wine. Biodynamic I hear you say? Well yes, it’s all a bit bollocks to me I’m afraid. The wine smelt like a farm and tasted like one too. Not many of us were keen to be honest. Their last offering, the Wiener Trilogie, Weingut Wieninger 2014 was delicious and a real winner! A very easy drinking red from Vienna (cue Ultravox) that I would definitely go and visit for. Sorry I didn’t get a pic of the red though, I was too busy giggling…
And that is where my journey around the Jewellery Quarter ends. The girls stayed on for the whisky round, but I had to head back to Narnia. Check out Chloe’s blog for details about the rest of the evening. You’re probably wondering, is she convinced to try out more places in Brum? But I think you’ve guessed it, I definitely am. I’m making a b-line for Connollys Wines when we get back from our holiday next month!
Have you tried out any of these places in the Jewellery Quarter? What’s your favourite place to visit? Let me know in the comments,
The Birmingham Whisky Club – Vyse Street, B18 6HA
Burning Soul Taproom – Mott Street, B19 3HE
Vanguard – Top floor of 1000 Trades on Frederick Street, B1 3HE
The Wilderness – Warstone Lane, B18 6JQ
The newest offering from Connollys, Arch 13 Bar can be found on Livery Street, B3 1EU