I’m sure you need no introduction but allow us to introduce you to BEER MERCHANTS, our glass sponsor for IMBC 17. Beer Merchants will also be bossing a bottle shop at Victoria Baths for all your takeout needs. They’re always busy blighters, check out who they are and what they do below…
Hello Beer Merchants! Who am I speaking to?
Jonny Garrett, marketing manager at Cave Direct and Beer Merchants. And the Craft Beer Channel, for my sins.
Beer Merchants are our glass sponsor for IMBC 17. You’ll be in everybody’s hands in Victoria Baths. Can you tell us a little about Beer Merchants?
We’re one of the oldest online beer shops in the UK, specialising in beautiful British and Belgian beers, but with delicious stuff from all over the world too. Usually we’ve got over 1,000 beers (and the odd gin!) live at any time and we try to have the widest, most eccentric list on the internet. And thankfully being an importer too means we get the best prices too.
You’ll be operating a bottle shop at IMBC 17 for all our takeaway needs. What can punters expect?
An absolute whale fest. Cantillon, 3 Fonteinen and some incredible Belgians you’ve never heard of but have to try; loads of carefully selected bombers from the US plus the absolute best the UK has to offer next to beers from all the brilliant breweries at IMBC. On top of the rare bits we’ll also have everything you need to keep the party going at home (road beers!) and lots of amazing merch from breweries too.
Are you looking forward to locking horns with Lervig at IMBC this year?
If by locking horns you mean pouring ourselves all the 3 Bean and Tasty Juice then hell yeah. We import their beers so we’ve worked really closely with them to create an experiential space that will be unlike any sponsored room has been at IMBC before – but that will pale in comparison to the beers they have on. We’ve always thought Lervig were world class and that’s why we partnered with them 3 years ago, but what they have put out in the last 12 months has been nothing short of show-stopping. It’s going to be a great event for them.
You lot are doing a couple of talks / tastings at IMBC 17. Lip smackingly titled “So much more than sour”. Can you give us a spoiler as to what that might entail?
I’m going to try to end this awful term “sour beer” as a catch all for a whole bunch of styles. Like the term “lager”, it just doesn’t do justice to all the amazing sub-styles within the category – geuze, kriek, wild, berlinerweiss, oud bruin, gose – that are as distinct from each other as IPA and stout. It’s not all my own personal mission though – we’re gonna be trying some seriously rare and exciting beers while I get ruddy in the face and tell you all about them and the adventures we’ve had with the Craft Beer Channel and Beer Merchants discovering them.
What have Beer Merchants got in the pipeline? I know there’s exciting plans underfoot with Unit 101. Amazing that you guys are doing the Zwanze Day this year!
There is so much in the pipeline with Beer Merchants I don’t know where to start. We’re launching an aged beer section soon, with lots of stuff we’ve been cellaring for years, our beer club has relaunched to be better than ever, and we’re doing events up and down the country to get rare beers into the hands of people that don’t usually get a chance to try them. Meanwhile our pub pop-up Unit 101 in Manchester has been great since it opened and its an honour to host such an iconic event in Zwanze Day. People should keep their eyes and ears open as we have a HUGE bit of news about a new venue coming soon.
Where should visitors to the city hit during the festival? (Asides Victoria Baths, obviously)
Oh my well we’ll be holing ourselves up in Café Beermoth or Port Street every chance we get but we’re also big fans of Cane & Grain and Cottonopolis – maybe some vegan food at V Rev to balance the bad out. Then obviously we’ll be at our Unit 101 afterparty on Friday for some crafty beer pong. This time around we might not do it with Lervig Sippin’ into Darkness. No one wins when you do that.
Lastly, where is best to keep up with what Beer Merchants are up to?
Follow us on twitter @beermerchants as that’s where we get involved in fights and pedantry. Oh and news, sometimes we do news. It’s also worth following @cavedirect our trade arm, because most things go through there first so you can get the skinny on the rare stuff before it hits the site.
Thanks Beer Merchants! We all look forward to drinking from your cup at IMBC 17.
Not got your ticket for IMBC 17 yet? No challenge! Thursday and Sunday tickets remain. Pick up your ticket for the opening Thursday 28th September or closing Sunday 1st October sessions HERE.