Jul

11

Craft beer + independent coffee are becoming ever closer pals!

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So, am I blogging about beer on a coffee blog? Yes I am. I  fortunate enough to receive a complimentary box from craft beer subscribers Beer 52 the other day. Beer and coffee drinking are both in something of a golden age at the moment. It’s also fair to say that both worlds are so fairly closely interlinked.

As a relative notice to the world of craft beer, I have been lapping up Beer52’s beer, thoroughly enjoying each bottle much like I do a new coffee.

Beer is often a big part of what a coffee shop offers these days.

First of all, recent research from the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) highlighted the consumer demand for independent craft brewed beers to be sold in coffee shops. A fifth of people in the UK would visit coffee shops more often if they sold British craft beers.

Increasingly, our coffee shops are selling craft beer as part of their offer. ‘Beer Cafes’ (for want a better term) are cropping up across the UK which fuse the laid back look of continental coffee shops with British and international craft beer.

The excellent Tilt in Birmingham is a case in point with its varying menu of continental coffee mixed with a wide array international craft beer. See AA Abbot’s appreciation here.

Home subscription is on the up.

The marriage of craft beer and coffee extends to ‘home delivery’ subscription models too. I’m a huge fan of coffee subscription and sample various subscription models.

Well, relatively unbeknownst to me, there are a plethora of beer subscription models too and with a recently received box from Beer 52, I’m already a convert.

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Talking to friends who know way more than I do about beer, they’re impressed with what Beer52 offer. Beer52 are a first port of call in the subscription model world. They deliver a box of ‘exclusive small batch beers’, free snacks and a copy of a magazine calling ‘Ferment’ every month.

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They have opened up a new world of enjoyment alongside my home coffee brewing. Discovery and flavour comes in small bottles as well as bags of beans. Fortunate life, eh!

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Everything is lovely and considered from the branded packaging to the added treats (a lovely Graze box). Did I mention the beers are great too.

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Admittedly, I’m not a beer expert. What I know is in liking what I taste! I received their Danish Box and the range of beers are exceptional ranging from …

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So yes, there are a lot of craft beer and cider subscription boxes out there to try but I’m ordering with Beer 52 again. All in all, they offer such excellent choice in a beer community all of its own.

So there you go, wonderful beers to your door, expertly packaged and selected.  So why not try for yourself and get an offer to boot?

When you visit www.Beer52.com, use the voucher code COFBRUM10 and that gets you £10 their first order when they sign up.

A huge thanks to Ben from Beer 52 for getting in touch and for his generosity.

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May

15

Author AA Abbott takes a visit to Tilt.

AA Abbott is a British crime thriller writer and loves her coffee! Returning to guest blog for Coffee Birmingham, she pays a visit to Tilt and laps up its many treats.

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Tilt is located in the beautiful, but under-loved, City Arcade off Union Street. It describes itself as a craft beer café and coffee shop, but it’s with pinball that it really scores. With a row of glowing, buzzing beasts by the door and more in the basement, it’s a great place to hang out with friends the old-fashioned way. There’s the obligatory free wi-fi to bring life back to the digital age, especially handy for freelance workers with their laptops.

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Beer is served from midday until late. The current selection includes Belgian-style wheat beer and Wiper & True’s Milkshake Milk Stout, the ale that thinks it’s vanilla ice cream. It’s a good introduction to beery pleasure for those who don’t think they’ll like it – the closest craft beer gets to an alcopop.

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But what of the coffee? There’s filter and espresso on offer, with bags of coffee to take away so you can replicate the taste at home. (Hint: in my experience, like holiday wine or a hairdresser’s creation, it’s never the same.) I had an unctuously creamy latte with a hint of bitterness: delicious, and ten times better than anything the international coffee shop chains could produce, but like the milk stout, it wouldn’t frighten the horses.

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Tilt also serves tea, hot chocolate and a selection of home-made cakes. My carrot cake, spruced up with walnuts and buttery frosting, was the best I’ve ever had. Even better, the slice was so huge that it substituted for breakfast.

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First thing in the morning, Tilt was quiet, hosting a few freelances and shoppers stopping for a coffee. It was easy to hear the background soundtrack of punchy eighties anthems. At noon, chat levels rose. The café was significantly busier as the lunchtime crowd drifted in to play pinball. I imagine the joint is jumping in the evening too. It deserves to be.

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The café is simply decorated – perhaps too simply – but other than that, Tilt does the basics very well indeed. It offers carefully chosen coffee, cake and beer served without fuss, a chance to chill alone or with friends, and a side order of pinball. What more do you need?

LINKS:

Tilt website: http://tiltbrum.com/
Tilt Twitter: https://twitter.com/tilt_brum
Tilt Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tiltbrum/
AA Abbott website: http://aaabbott.co.uk/
AA Abbott Twitter: https://twitter.com/AAAbbottStories
AA Abbott Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AAAbbottStories/

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