“Never Say Never”
On two separate occasions during last year’s event, I was approached by two people who are hugely significant to both myself and Manchester on a beer and social level. The question?
“So. When are we doing this again?”
“Come back in 6 months. And I’ll still say ‘No’ ”
So what changed?
That’s a difficult one. And not easy to answer. But primarily, last year was THAT good – from a personal (volunteers) enjoyment perspective (it was – perversely – the first one that I truly enjoyed) that, within a couple of months or so, I started to amuse some people by having second thoughts. Added to that, I needed to understand if this was a part of my grief reaction, or an untainted reaction to the response we and I received following the event.
There are a number of other factors too that needed to be addressed and we have gradually addressed those over a period of two or three months, the final one being on Monday evening when a band of brothers and sisters met. Only following that meeting (and the personal generosity of those people) – could I (Jim), feel safe about announcing #ISBF4.
So. In short. We go again.
Each event has been an incremental progression from the previous one. And – judging by the response from you, the audience – better. That, in and of itself, creates a certain pressure. To be better again than last year. To improve. Something that – to me – might be difficult to achieve. But it won’t stop us trying.
Same place. Same formula. With some significant twists.
- More #EvilKegFilth.
The #EvilKegFilth room was TOO successful. We effectively ran out of beer mid Saturday. That won’t happen again. In my role, I will be looking to get exclusive beers – as much as possible – from the best breweries around the country. I did it last year. And a keg beer won Beer of the Festival (Still need to get Impy to Andy Parker at Elusive!) That speaks volumes.
- More Collaborations
I’ve already agreed collaborations with some exceptional breweries. Breweries that excite me – and I take a lot of exciting. I hope to agree – in outline – more over the next couple of weeks. As and when these things actually happen, you’ll hear here first.
- More Manchester Exclusives
Those who came last year, know. Every single beer, in both rooms, was seen – and tasted – first at St Sebastian’s Community Centre. And that – especially in the same month as a certain extravaganza at Victoria Baths – took some doing.
And – whilst I can’t promise the same – it won’t stop me trying.
But, to us, the people who organise it and run it, what is more important than all of that, is the feeling. Relaxed. Fun. Friends and strangers talking. Initially over a shared love of beer. Great beer. But then realising that that person who was – just a few minutes earlier – a stranger, now feels like someone you have known for ages. Good beer people.
So. Put the dates in your Google / Apple calendars (or, if you still use one, diary)
19th – 21st October 2017.
And ask people who came last year. You won’t want to miss it.