Since I moved to city the Two Towers Brewery tour has been on my bucket list of Birmingham-based activities to partake in. Being at a loss to what to get my dad for his birthday earlier in the year, I bought him a present which, although masqueraded as being thoughtful, was actually just a present to myself and an excuse to get drunk at midday on a Saturday.
Located not too far off the beaten track in the Jewellery Quarter is a rather unassuming looking garage-like building which bears little resemblance to what ‘Two Towers’ conjures in ones head. Regardless of the lack of grandeur or Lord of the Rings-esque magnitude of the brewery’s headquarters, the beer that Mark Arnott-Job and his team are producing here is exemplary and I knew the exterior was a facade for the magic that was taking place inside (I’m sure there’s a LOTR/Gandalf/Tolkein related pun in their somewhere).
As to be expected, we walked into the room where fellow beer tourists had gathered and was greeted by many male faces, a couple of which had traveled all the way from Grimsby for the 6th best activity Birmingham has to offer – at least, according to Trip Advisor. After a very brief introduction, Mark’s eagerness to get people sipping on something was tangible.
I was already fairly well versed with their array of beers – having sampled many throughout the course of my time in Birmingham and frequented the Electric Cinema and drank their aptly named Electric Ale brewed especially for the venue – but their were still a couple of their creations I was intrigued to try straight from the barrel. It just so happened that due to an event the previous night they had 6 of their selection available. Ten past twelve it may have been, but the sumptuous chocolatey bitterness of the Bhacker Ackhams (5.6%) porter went down like bucks fizz.
After we all took to our seats, drinks in hand, Mark continued the history of the brewery, combining a lot of the details with that of Birmingham itself and in doing so filling me with a huge sense of guilt that I knew pretty much nothing about the city I live in.
After a further sampling, this time the Smith and Pepper (6.3%) – an overtly hoppy, golden ale and most definitely Two Towers’ drop kick to the face – we were shown into the next room where the beer is brewed. Nothing unusual here, but the detailing of the processes were made far more entertaining with Mark’s über-dry anecdotes and a crowd of punters who already seemed to know their stuff.
Some stayed for faggots and peas, others, like me and my old man, disappeared into the cold Saturday air to continue the merriment. One thing’s for sure though, Two Towers have really started to get a firm grasp on the Birmingham market in the last year. Bespoke creations for Electric and the Pride of Birmingham Awards have assisted with embedding themselves in the city’s independent food and drinks scene and with stints in a few of the city’s Whetherspoons coming up in the next few months, you never know we may have another Purity on our hands. Two Towers Bar and Kitchen, anyone?