“Well I’ve got a secret, I cannot say
Blame all the movement to give it away
You’ve got somethin’, I understand
Holding it tightly, caught on command
Leap of faith, do you doubt?….
Whatever you do, don’t tell anyone… “
There is no need here for a history lesson about this beer celebration. That it has progressed – year on year – is evidentially measurable. It is also measurable emotionally, in that the response I got from the last webpost simply knocked me for six. I’m rarely stunned, but genuinely, I was shocked.
The evidence of our eyes also bore testament to the success of last year. In that we….
a) Raised over 50% more cash for St Sebastian’s, and
b) Poured away virtually ZERO beer.
I’ve always tried to secure the best breweries that I can. For the first two years, that meant local. No further West than Liverpool, no further South than Crewe, East of Scarborough, North of York. But last year was different.
Last year I invited some breweries from South of my personal border and they provided – quite literally – stunning keg beers. Be it the Jim Beam BA Double Pearl from Weird Beard, the Kombucha Soured Milk Neapolitan Ale from Bexar County or the winner of Beer of the Festival, Love Action from Elusive. But the selection was precisely that. Select. And small.
So. How do you improve on the best yet? Well. More beer for a start.
The only measure by which we (which translates as I) failed last year was in the beer running out in the #EvilKegFilth room. So, we need more. That much is obvious. But who? And what?
What I have done, is sent messages out by all means possible short of carrier pigeon. To some of the best breweries in the UK. To some breweries I haven’t even seen on draught in Manchester yet. To breweries that have no earthly reason to have their beer poured in a youth club room in a small Salford Community Centre.
These messages sought 2 distinct things.
1. Commitment to supply an – as yet – unspecified beer.
2. For that beer to be one that hasn’t been poured in Manchester yet. That we get it first. Even if only by one day.
I also set myself a special challenge. I asked some of my closest beer friends – who volunteer for the Celebration – to reach for the sky. Who would THEY want to see/drink…..
The #EvilKegFilth room will have double the amount of beer it had last year. I have sent messages to 25 of the best breweries currently kegging (and I fully accept that you can’t please all!) Of those that have replied (80%), only 1 couldn’t immediately commit. That’s 1 out of 20. I have 5 responses awaited and 5 slots (possibly) for another EKF 5-a-Side collab series.
It’s rare for me to get giddy with excitement – especially where beer is concerned. But receiving these emails, one by one, I had fingers crossed. Expecting the worst. But after each response I’ve been dancing inside.
Being an inveterate tease, I’m going to say nothing more than that I’ve been incredibly flattered that – again – a little Community Centre beer celebration can get the responses that I’ve received. I’ve invited some of my personal hero breweries that we’ve never had before. And they’ve said that they’ll sort us something new to Manchester.
Over the last 3 years, I’ve pulled a few rabbits from hats. This year, I’ve aimed for a warren full. And – not to tempt fate – if we get this lot to the finishing line……
I’ll be doing a “Dad Dance”.