I can’t say IndyManBeerCon was on my bucket list, but being up in the city anyway I could put it off no longer. I loved it, but probably not for the usual reasons. I’d have gone just for the food (startlingly spicy pizza), music and architecture, which made it pretty similar to the End of the Road festival I featured earlier, as did the wide range of folk attending. The difference is here you get great beer in a glass rather than plastic.
Basically this is a beer festival concentrating on small, newish breweries and their keg beers covering all styles and ranges. I’m no fan of beer fests, rarely even going to the Cambridge one, as standing in a tent or field isn’t my idea of fun. At IndyMan I was able to sit in a choice of seats and listen to 2 hours of contemporary music from the Heavenly Records DJs, before unfortunately Motown kicked in as a concession to the oldies.
I worked my way through six 1/3rds, ranging from sours to espresso stouts to whatever Yakodai (13%) was – I’m no beer expert. They all tasted good to me, particularly in the lovely glass that allowed you to smell as well as taste the beer. I reckon that worked out at about 8 units of alcohol in 2 hours, not healthy but not as bad as you might expect. The Hackney Ginger beer was worth a try too. My personal favourite was Moor’s Old Freddie Walker on handpump, but I enjoyed all the rest on keg. I’ve no interest in the making of beer, but appreciated the unfussy way in which the nice folk on the brewery stands explained their beers to me, especially Celt.
I’d never been to Victoria Baths before; it’s both a superb setting logistically and a wonderful building to explore, with tiling that would not be out of place in the pubs of Walsall or the toilet museum of Stoke.
I left just after 8 so I could catch a gig at Gorilla; watching Jane Weaver’s pulsating psychedelic pop was the icing on the cake.