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Oliver Webb was studying at the Slade School of Fine Art in London when he decided that it would be a good idea to build a Tiki bar in his studio for a bit of fun outside of lectures. His fellow students loved it. The police didn’t.
“It was shut down after 9 or so months when we were deemed to be in breach of licensing laws. They took it OK”, laughs Oli.
The standard tipple in your average Tiki bar is exotic, rum-based cocktails, but Oli also began to brew beers to serve at the venue and soon got the bug for decent beer. So much so that when he finished his degree and returned to his hometown of Birmingham, a brewery was the logical next step. Only this time he would follow the letter of the law in setting it up.
Oli teamed up with the famous Mad O'Rourke's Pie Factory from the Black Country to make the Digbeth site possible, converting a former clothes warehouse into an incredible brewery and taproom, complete with a lagering tank under the bar, serving up some of the best grub and grog in Brum. Well worth a visit if you’re in town. We asked Oli why the location in Digbeth, an up and coming part of Birmingham, was so important to him;
“Digbeth is a bit like Brooklyn and Shoreditch of old, and other generic ex-industrial areas within cities, in that property developers, are always talking about the potential of the area, but if you actually come here you will see and believe in it and the people working here and now. We have some of the best people in the world working all around us in fields from contemporary fine art to body shops and carpentry. I am sure you can get anything you could ever need making within Digbeth and the rest of the West Midlands and to a world-class standard as well. We want to be a part of that”.
Tonight’s beer, Sofa, brewed in collaboration with BeerBods is a nod to the regions brewing heritage. Oli explains...
“Having hailed originally from Wolverhampton the incredibly rich and historical Black Country brewing industry has always been a source of inspiration for us at Dig Brew.
Invited to make a beer to celebrate our friends at BeerBods 8th Birthday (also Black Country-ites) we have taken a traditional BC Mild and only added hops post flameout (a NEIPA technique we utilise in some of our IPA recipes). We used a huge amount of hops to achieve the required bitterness. The hop variety is top secret as it is part of a plan we have to take over the world and we don’t want anyone to copy it.”
We were chuffed to team up with Dig Brew in what’s a pretty big week for us here at BeerBods. To say we’re delighted with the result is an understatement. Sofa is a beer that epitomizes everything we’re about here at BeerBods. We can’t wait for you to try it.
Here’s to the next 8 years.