The Brum Vegan Beer and food festival returns this week from the 20th until the 22nd July at The Gunmakers Arms in the city centre.
This year it is one of the events of The Birmingham Beer week.
I've never understood the point in not making all beers, ciders etc vegan and Veggie friendly, after all in an economy that's sales driven surely by doing so you'll sell more beer and everyone will be happy. Of course others will disagree, but I'm a vegetarian so this is important to me. After all it makes perfect sense.
There are many vegan and veggie friendly beers on the market. The range gets bigger and bigger and breweries are now seeing the sense in this.
The Gunmakers Arms will host the festival. There house beer is brewed by Two Towers Brewery, who provide only vegan friendly beers.
The Gunmakers Arms has its own self contained Brewery-Two Towers Brewery.
For this it's third year it will be free entry.
However they are now offering beer tickets for £11.00 for 4 drinks. That means each pint is £2.75. Paid for in beer tokens.
Each ticket can be used on any of the festival dates.
These tickets can be purchased via Eventbrite: see below link.
There have been a lot of false dawns with restaurant openings recently. The hype doesn’t always result in a place been good for repeat visits. For Vegetarians disappointment when the menu is presented to you, a lack of choice, a lack of thought. I can safely predict that Zindiya doesn’t fall into that category looking at the menu which is on first glance predominantly veggie.
Zindiya, a new Indian Street food eatery and cocktail bar opened on the 7th February in Moseley, Birmingham in a building that has been empty for 10 years. Some of you may remember Lukers the bakery. Others won’t, well it was 10 years ago! Remembering last week is hard enough.
But, you’ll remember Zindiya. Well that’s the plan from owners Ajay and Shivani Kenth. Moseley born and bred, and back to rock the village with little plated curry stuff. Hurray!
Derived from the Indian name for life and the name of the owners daughter ‘Diya’. Seating 90 people it’s decor is colourful bustling, Indian street food market.
Across the road, is one of the best. Kababish a Moseley icon is different so don’t go to Zindiya expecting the same. This is Street Food, tapas like sharing plates and dosas, flatbreads and more sharing dishes than a family picnic in the summer.
It’s the Cocktails that are on the tips of people’s tongues though. Created by Rob Wood the man behind so many great cocktails in the city they borrow influences from all over India and can be paired with food, which I’m hoping to be convinced is ok.
Purity Beers are providing the beers for those that prefer. Lawless lager and Longhorn IPA is the name of the game. Plus delectable bakes from Miss Macaroon and wines from city centre based Connolys.
Also Birmingham Lager from Indian Brewery Co.
The food menu is reasonably priced and won’t set you back on your mortgage repayments and includes for Vegetarians:
Chaat street food: £4
Pani puri, papri chaat, Bhel puri, Aloo tiki chaat, Pav Bhaji, samosa chaat, chilli Paneer, and Vada Pav ( potato pasty and bun with chutneys)
Side Street: £3
Chilli cheese toast (Mumbai cheese and toast) okra fries, Mogo Chips, onion bhajis, Masala chips.
A La Carte: £6.50
Idli Sambaar ( steamed rice and lentil dumpling served with sambaar, a lentil based stew, with coconut chutney,
Trio of Dosas, (Masala aloo, Paneer)
Grill Street: £7 cooked over charcoal.
Hara Bhara Kabab(served with yoghurt dip and salad.
Paranthe Wali Gali: Flatbread. 12-4 Saturday and Sunday only.
Aloo Paratra: potatoes and onions.
Gobi Paratra (cauliflower)
Metri ( fenugeek leaves)
Deserts include Chocolate Gol Gappe and kulfi and Cin alla Kreer (rice pudding)
With so many Vegetarian options Zindiya goes straight to the top of the must visit list (for vegans check beforehand).
Also available will be An Afternoon tea which includes sandwiches, Pakoras, Cardamon scones and chai infused prosecco.
For the best in good value eat-drink-share It’s sure to do well and bring a spot of Indian colour to Moseley.
See you there.
Thanks for reading,
Zindiya is at 21 Woodbridge Road, Moseley, Birmingham. B13.
0121-439-0953 Or firstname.lastname@example.org for bookings.
This July The Birmingham Vegan Beer Festival will be returning after the much deserved success of last years event.
The event which will be this year held at The Gunmakers Arms in Bath Street in the Jewellery Quarter and not at Two Towers Brewery in Hockley like last year.
The Gunmakers Arms which is owned by Two Towers Brewery and has recently opened will run the event over two days, 15th and 16th July which is the beginning of the Birmingham Beer week.
Last year I attended the event with Ruth and loved trying and ticking off the different beers and the food that was on offer from ChangeKitchen and last year The Warehouse Cafe.
The event will be bigger than last year, and include roughly 20 mainly locally brewed Vegan friendly beers.
The beers taking part in the festival haven’t been confirmed yet, but last year selection included from Two Towers, the excellent Chamberlain Pale Ale, Complete Muppetry, Hockley Gold, and Electric Ale.
Plus there were beers from Rock and Roll Brewhouse (Meat is Murder) named after The Smiths seminal album, and their full bodied mild called Telstar, Ginger Stout from Angel Ales brewed with fresh ginger, and the lovely Duck Blonde from Green Duck Brewing Company, with its fruity peachy then citrus, refreshing flavour and Gold Work from the fantastic Beowulf Brewing Company.
The Food will be provided by ChangeKitchen and Vegan Grindhouse.
Keep an eye on my blog for the full list of beers and food closer to July.
One Trick Pony Club opened in 2014 in Moseley, replacing the tired and quite frankly dull O’Neil’s on the Alcester Road. Though it’s a chain owned by the same parent company as its predecessor, Mitchells and Butlers ( it’s part of the Castle Pubs Group) its revamp resulted in a rustically lit, richer and a more hipster cool venue that’s introduced an American diner-style food menu for the Moseley (or London) wanna be’s.
Though I’m not one to shout out too loud about chains, the One Trick Pony Club offers a cosy warm feeling space with a mixture of bar stool seating set around tall tables, brown leather booth style seating and a keen real ale list that includes Doom Bar, a Wychwood Beer and local Purity UBU as well as Thwaites Wainright.
On a Tuesday 2-1 burgers are served and this is the deal that Ruth and I enjoyed, when we visited.
The vegetarian burger is a Spicy chickpea, cous cous,and coriander burger with crispy onion and sweet potato fries costing £8.95.
Spicy chick pea, couscous and Corriander burger with sweet potato fries.
The element of spicy chickpea gave the burger a nice flavour, and with a good texture worked well with the cous cous to provide a veggie burger that didn’t fall away when bit into, (always a good sign) and with the addition of the crispy onion it was a satisfying eat.
The sweet potato fries I enjoyed. They were good looking fries with a good flavour and bite to them. Nice.
I’d recommend the veggie burger at One Trick Pony Club, especially on burger nights 2-1 deal. Though not the best in town by any means it was a cut above many and was good value even without the deal. For a drink it’s spacious and offers varied wine and beer options with some good real ales on tap. Though not offering a great and original choice of food for vegetarians, it’s satisfactory with a group of mates who may eat meat or with your partner for a relaxed evening.
I liked the One Trick Pony Club’s cool funk feel it’s a nice place to chill and be fed and watered but, disappointingly not a horse in sight.
Well not on the night we went. They were all in the Prince of Wales. Probably.
Sweet potato fries.
One Trick Pony Club also have a brunch menu on a Saturday and Sunday which includes a vegetarian breakfast but no defined Vegan breakfast.
They also offer what’s called a shoomhalloumi, (under burger menu) which is a grilled flat mushroom and Halloumi and you can build your own veggie burger with a base of Spinach and lentil, with extra toppings, extra patty and dips if you wish. Each topping is £1, and the basic burger is £6.95. I think this is good particularly for those with particular dietary requirements.
The Toppings include avocado, crispy onions, Halloumi, flat mushroom, jalapeños, fried egg and Mac and cheese.
Thanks for reading,
We paid for our burgers and drinks in full. My opinions are my own and honest as they can be on a one off visit.
Bar Opus at One Snowhill is raising a glass to the Peaky Blinders by being the first ever bar to sell Peaky Blinders Gold, a soft and fruity ale created by Stourbridge based Sadler’s Brewery.
City-centre Bar Opus at One Snowhill, is to give punters a taste of the hit, period-gangster TV show, Peaky Blinders, by selling the beer on draught for the first time ever at the contemporary bar.
Created and brewed by Black Country-based Sadler’s Brewery, the 4.3% ABV golden beer is a more modern, crisp version of the first beer Sadler’s created at Steven Knight’s request, ‘Peaky Blinders Black IPA’, which launched in April 2014 and recreated the taste the real Blinders would drink in the 1920s.
The Peaky Blinders Gold Is also Vegetarian friendly.
Sam Cross, manager at Bar Opus, said: “As a huge fan of Peaky Blinders, and with it currently being filmed at the Black Country Living Museum, what better way to celebrate than by being the first bar to ever sell Peaky Blinders Gold on draught.
A flavoursome craft beer, its lighter taste is the perfect partner to dishes on our autumn menu.
When I tried the beer I unfortunately didn’t try it with the food menu, but suffice to say it works on its own too. It’s golden and crisp and is quite easy drinking but very subtle in its fruity flavours. I loved the beer and it also looks the part in the glass.
Here’s hoping that Tommy Shelby and the gang have a night off from The Garrison and pop down here to give it a try.
Peaky Blinders Gold draught craft beer is now available at Bar Opus at One Snowhill.
Cafe Opus at Ikon has been named Birmingham’s ‘local gem’ by The Good Food Guide 2016 a superb achievement for the Ikon Gallery based cafe.
The contemporary cafe was given the seal of approval by The Good Food Guide 2016 earlier this month (Friday 4th September), stating that the food was “fabulous and excellent value for money” whilst the setting was “the ideal opportunity to watch the world go by”.
The Good Food Guide, which was set up in 1951, reviews restaurants, pubs and cafes across the UK, to highlight the best eating establishments in Britain. Reviews are compiled by feedback sent in from readers, as well as anonymous inspections to ensure every entry is assessed afresh. It does not accept advertising so readers can be rest assured that every review is authentic and honest.
Irene Allan, director at Cafe Opus, said: “We opened our local gem two years ago on the ground floor of the magnificent Ikon gallery and to have this accolade from the UK’s best food guide is fantastic news. The fact that these entries are based on anonymous inspections is an even greater achievement, and is proof of the commitment and passion of our manager Greg, chef Zack and the team to provide quality and value to our customers. We are very proud.”
The entry is not the first time Cafe Opus has received attention from top food guides, as it was recently described as “one of the country’s top 18 venues for al fresco dining” by Stylist magazine and one of the “top 10 inspirational indies to eat for well under £10” by The Guardian Travel Guide 2015.
Opus at Cornwall Street, the flagship restaurant of the Opus family, was also entered into the food guide and received high praise for its “vibrant modern British dishes based on fresh, seasonal produce, delivered by confident staff”.
I’ve enjoyed numerous good meals and drinks at Cafe Opus, and the terrace is certainly one of the best outdoor eating and drinking areas in Birmingham.
I have to say that I was happy to receive an email from The The Plough Harborne’s PR team about their revamp in November.
Because if you asked me where the best place to get a whisky in Birmingham is I may say The Plough, if you ask me where’s the best Vegetarian Sunday lunch (so far) then tick the Plough. The best veggie burger, maybe the Plough though not tried it yet. The best veggie pizza maybe the Plough too, especially as their redevelopment includes a pizza oven, which gives it a good start in my book. The Plough cover all basis, from coffee, brunch and dinner.
The Plough in Harborne is set to launch ‘Upstairs at The Plough’ this November. Work has started on the £750k project which will see the popular neighbourhood pub on Harborne High Street add a new first floor extension which will be home to two new private dining and meeting rooms whilst extending its ground floor by 40 covers.
‘Upstairs at The Plough’ will be home to two flexible private dining rooms with 30 covers combined. The rooms have been designed to accommodate meetings or conferences with both boasting wi-fi, large flat TV screens and private audio systems. The entire space can also be opened up and cater for up to 40 people standing.
The ground floor renovations will see the arrival of a new bar dedicated to showcasing The Plough’s global selection of rare, award-winning and artisan whiskies alongside a carefully curated collection of craft beers.
The make-over will also see the arrival of a new pizza kitchen and oven and coffee bar.
They are also introducing a family style sharing menu in the private rooms.
The team have re-ignited their long term partnership with interior design expert Melony Spencer of Spencer Swinden to create the new spaces which have been designed to complement The Plough’s trademark eclectic design.
Adam Johnson, Director at The Plough, said, “At The Plough we pride ourselves on the close relationships we enjoy with our regular customers and we take their feedback really seriously. The idea for ‘Upstairs at The Plough’ was born as a result of the regular requests we received to host private events whilst the additional covers and kitchen space downstairs will allow us to develop our menu and product range, enhancingThe Plough experience further. We’re also introducing a family style sharing menu in the private rooms which will further enable us to cater for growing demand. We’re really excited about the next phase in the business.”
Launched in 2003 The Plough has built a reputation for its menu of fresh home-cooked food and its imitable design whilst clocking up awards for its Sunday lunch, coffee and interior.
The project will create 10 jobs and is set for completion in November.
Plans for The Plough.
The Plough, Harborne has been serving fresh home-cooked food and the best coffee and Sunday lunch in the neighbourhood for 11 years. Established in 2003 The Plough has undergone extensive renovation since its launch boasting a quirky and eclectic interior and an ‘outdoor lounge’ that is airy, light and unrestricted by season. With a focus on quality and provenance, ingredients are carefully sourced locally to minimise the environmental ‘tread’ of the business where possible. No stranger to accolades The Plough has been recognised for its coffee, Sunday lunch and interior – named by the Independent as ‘best coffee shop’, celebrated by The Times for the best Sunday Lunch in the region and awarded the ‘Best Restaurant / Bar Design’ at the Northern Design Awards.
Warwick is a grand old place. It’s castle is one of the most iconic places in the county and its character filled streets have been used for numerous tv shows including Doctor Who, Pride and Prejudice and Dangerfield amongst others. At the centre of the town lies the old square, the market square. The Rose and Crown is a 17 c inn with rooms and sits looking out into a market square, and has shaped its own character within the town, blessed with some modern touches it also has rooms and on the Saturday we visited was holding court to a pop up bar and the popular folk festival. Now I’m no Billy Bragg but I like a drop of folk and enjoy the musical notes of real ale.
Warwick lies 11miles from Coventry and a shortish train journey from Birmingham. It’s a place that Ruth and I have enjoyed before, though our castle visit a couple of years ago was scarred by severe rain and a drenching was had. Warwick has a number of small shops, antiques, cafes, restaurants, and a good independent streak. A nice place to visit at any time of the year.
We had been invited on this occasion by Peach Pubs (an independent pub company who also own The Highfield in Birmingham) to try out some of their vegetarian options. Having booked in for a Saturday lunchtime, we realised that our visit coincided with the Warwick Folk Featival which in itself created a nice musical atmosphere, (with live music and Morris dancers) and made Warwick very busy, and yes it was sunny.
I was pleased to find an outside bar near the doorway of the inn from Church Farm Brewery an independent family run craft micro brewery in Budbrooke, Warwickshire. I enjoyed their IPA which is brewed with citra and Crystal hops and was a nice easy drinking beer with a good full flavour, ideal for summer.
Church Farm Brewery IPA at The Rose and Crown.
Certainly on walking inside you don’t get a feeling that The Rose and Crown is part of a small chain, as internally it differs to The Highfield. The inn has recently been refurbished and presents a light, clean lined, but traditional decor which is instantly inviting and relaxing. The inn does have a bar area and outside tables, though on this occasion with the festival, tables were taken. The restaurant part is to the rear.
So to lunch.
The Rose and Crown prides itself on its seasonal menu, with the freshest ingredients mixing classic, comfort and contemporary dishes. They have a select few vegetarian dishes which look good on the menu but could benefit from having a few more options.
To begin I decided to try their ‘Soup of the day’ off their changing specials board, which was pea, mint, creme fraiche and for my main The Veggie Board, which I’ve been meaning to try for awhile.
Pea, mint and creme fraiche soup with croutons.
The Pea, Mint and Creme Fraiche soup was a thing of beauty. It had a warming, summery gaze, that with the added croutons was balanced and a happy starter. The seasonal flavour of the peas came through. A Faultless soup. It also looked stunning and indulgent.
The Veggie Board consisted of stuffed artichoke hearts, and pesto Mayo, Heritage Tomatoes, salad, goats curd, spicy Hummous, and radishes with toasted pitta, and seeded straws.
It was a simple looking dish, plentiful and packed with good Summery flavours. I liked the seasonal crunchy radishes, and juicy firm heritage tomatoes. As well as the stuffed artichokes which were good to see on the board, (not often found on menus) and the presentation was inviting.
The spicy Hummus and pesto Mayo (I didn’t really enjoy the goats curd too much) added a good dipping element with the crunchy and well made seeded straws and toasted pitta. A good board. The Veggie Board may not be an exotic or innovative dish but it’s summery and delightful for lunch. Its not too heavy and idle for grazing with a pint, maybe outside. It’s the ingredients that make the board work, I’m not sure it would work so well in the Winter for example when the produce is not so fine, but it all depends on what’s put on the plate and makes up the board.
For desert I was happy to choose the Dip Your Own Strawberries which is a seasonal special I wrote about a few weeks ago.
If any menu has strawberries on it in the summer I have to try it. It’s one of life’s foodie pleasures and reminds me of my childhood and strawberry picking.
The locally grown Dip Your Own Strawberries were presented on a board, with details of where they were picked (Staffordshire) and with each of the elements, strawberries, Valrhona melted chocolate sauce and chantilly cream I their own pot. With shortbread biscuits on the side for dipping.
The idea is that the strawberries and biscuits are dipped into the chocolate and cream, much like a clottedcream tea, maybe.
The desert wasn’t too heavy. The strawberries, juicy, red, sweet in flavour. The chocolate velvety, thick and rich. The cream unctuous, sweet and thick. What’s not to like.
The shortbread though we’re disappointing. They were soft, not crumbly and a little wet at the base. Though homemade and looking the part they didn’t deliver the contrast the desert required.
The dish worked in parts. It was fun, the ingredients were good but maybe the dipping could have done with a optional cocktail stick to assist the dipping. Maybe the flag could be used for that purpose.
An intriguing English garden desert.
The food at The Rose and Crown was excellent, the dishes I had were varied and fulfilling. The added bonus is the seasonality of the ingredients and the presentation which is thoughtful and well done. The menu is varied though I would like a few more (maybe one or two) additional Vegetarian dishes on there. The service was excellent throughout. Friendly and attentive and I could tell passionate about the dishes.
For Vegetarians The Rose and Crown is a good place to eat. The inn has good ales, wines and has a nice relaxed decor that feels authentically a country pub in a busy pretty town.
It works on many levels. It was a charming and enjoyable lunch experience and as Billy Bragg sang ‘there is power in a union’ of beer and the freshest food.
Serve the good stuff.
Thanks for reading.
Thanks to Giles and his team for a good lunch and having us.
Disclosure: Our food and drinks were complimentary. My views are my own and honest as I found the experience on the day.
This Saturday 15th August sees The Brum Vegan Beer Festival arrive at Two Towers Brewery, which is based just outside The Jewellery Quarter on Mott Street in Birmingham. Its a double Unit warehouse with a Two Towers/JRR Tolkien inspired signage outside.
They craft their own beer on site some Birmingham inspired and some suitable for Vegans.
The festival will showcase 12 beers that are all suitable for vegans and for £5 entry you can try 2 beers from the range of 12.
LEADING BIRMINGHAM STREET FOOD ORGANISER AND VEGAN STREET FOOD COMPANY TEAM UP FOR BIRMINGHAM’S FIRST ALL VEGETARIAN STREET FOOD EVENT.
The teams behind the successful Brum Yum Yum and Midlands based Vegan street-food company The Vegan Grindhouse have collaborated to host the region’s first ever all meat-free street food event.
The event, ‘Brum Yum Yum Goes Veggie which is taking place on Sunday 19th July at Kings Heath Village Square , High Street B14 7RA from 11am-5pm will feature Birmingham’s leading street food chefs showcasing an entirely Vegetarian menu with Vegan options available on each stall.
See Barebones Pizza, Pietanic, Savanna Grill, Bombay Tapas, 9 Tea Cups and much more.
It has traditionally been quite a minefield for vegetarians and in particular vegans to get well fed at Street food events, though this has improved a long way in recent months and at yesterday’s Brum Yum Yum #KingshEATh there were three purely vegan and vegetarian traders on show. So this event will even more so readdress the balance of many such events and thus deserves to be supported as an initiative.
Earlier this year I loved Barebones Pizza’s Vegetarian pizza.
I also loved Bombay Tapas’ samosa Chaat yesterday at KingshEATh:
In addition to street food, the event will showcase local musicians, an all Vegan Midlands based independent brewery – Twisted Barrel Ales from Coventry along with organic fruit and vegetables, crafts, cruelty-free skincare, cakes and a juice bar.
Lisa Burbidge-Brown, Co-owner of The Vegan Grindhouse said “Street food has become more and more popular in Birmingham, and it is about time people got to try some amazing vegan and vegetarian street food from some of the most popular street food chefs. More people are looking to reduce or eliminate their meat intake due to health, environmental or ethical reasons and this is a great opportunity for people to try exciting new vegan and vegetarian food and see why going meat free is a viable alternative diet and lifestyle.”
Said Duncan Stanley, Brum Yum Yum Founder, “I’m so happy to be presenting an all-veggie street-food show. Here at BYY we’ve always set out to prove that street-food isn’t just about the meat-in-a-bun classics and I firmly believe that a lot of the best street-food out there is served up by the vegan and veggie traders. What better way to spend a Sunday than stuffing your face with some of the tastiest and most interesting meat-free meals in town?! Add in the vegan beer and the great vibes and this is set to be the animal-friendly street party that Kings Heath’s been waiting for!”
The Vegan Grindhouse by Vegan Vox travels around the wider Midlands area to markets, festivals and street-food events to bring their high-end Americana handmade organic vegan food to a wide range of customers. They have traded across the UK including Birmingham, Warwickshire, Blackpool, Manchester, and London since starting the business in April 2014 and have many more events booked throughout this year working with some of the big names in Street Food events.
Brum Yum Yum ‘The Street-food Pimps’ produce Birmingham’s flagship street-food market, KingshEATh alongside a range of innovative street-food and dining events across the city. Licensed by Birmingham City Council, Brum Yum Yum presents the freshest street-food around and the most interesting events anywhere. BYY incubates, manages, represents and promotes street-food from Birmingham and beyond.
The Vegan Grindhouse is a small independent all-vegan mobile catering company from Bilston in the West Midlands, who produce organic, fair trade, cruelty-free tasty vegan street-food and treats.
This should be a fantastic ‘Streetfood’ day for food lovers.
It’s what veggies and vegans have dreamed of.
Thanks for reading
Brum Yum Yum goes veggie.
Sunday 19th July, Kings Heath Village Square, High Street, Birmingham. B14 7RA.