Lunchtime beer?
BECAUSE 100 BEERS IS TOO MANY
We got a little carried away about the launch of Pure Bar & Kitchen - from the people behind Purity Brewery and Simpsons Restaurant - by showing up on the opening day at their Waterloo St venue, at 5pm on the dot, and becoming their first official customer. "Dedication", said a very wonderful man, "that's what you need".
It's an incredible place. The emphasis is very much on trying beers you haven't had and learning about them. They have a beer tasting room, downstairs, where they soon hope to be holding classes - and there's no shortage of subject matter. T
hey have over 100 different beers available and because that's a few too many for an email, we asked director, Martin Hilton, to tell us about six standout beers and pick dishes from their menu to match. Click the pics for more info. 

SORACHI ACE (7.6%)

"This is a lovely beer from Brooklyn. Very limited availability in the UK, you will struggle to find it elsewhere. At £15 a bottle, you share this with a friend like you would a bottle of wine. It's 750cl and strong. Sorachi Ace is actually a hop [grown by a single farm in Washington] and the brewery felt that the hop deserved its own beer."
Drink with: Mini beer battered fish and chips (£5.50)

SADDLE BLACK (5.1%)

"There's an interesting juxtaposition here. If you were poured a glass of it, you'd think it's a stout. But your nose will tell you it's not before your taste buds get a chance. The beer is a collaboration between Purity and Birmingham-based bike experts Brooks England, which explains the bike seat display on one of our walls. This stuff is hoppy, chocolatey and stunning." 
Drink with: Charcuterie board (£12)

LONGHORN IPA (5.0%)

"This IPA is probably our top-selling beer. We serve it in a very cool glass. The way Purity have made it, it's very balanced. The fashion in beer, just now, is for very strong and hoppy beer, but often that's all they are. Longhorn has a malt structure that gives a beautiful balance of fruity, zesty bitterness. Citrus, pine and tropical fruit." 
Drink with: Slow roast belly of pork (£14.50) 

 

MODUS HOPERANDI (6.8%)

"From Colorado, it's one of our most bitter beers. A really interesting IPA from a punky brand. The English invented IPA, a cask beer with lots of hops which stopped the beer going off, so it could get shipped to the troops in India [in the 19th Century]. But it went out of fashion here and the Americans got hold of it and started to keg it. Make it differently. This one is unlike any other beer."
Drink with: After dinner 

NØGNE Ø

"From a Norwegian craft brewer called Nøgne [also the first and only producers of saki in Europe] this is a really deep, rich brown bottled beer with a superb hop character. It's just immaculate. Definitely one of our stand out beers. It goes incredibly well with red meat. [Here's how to pronounce it and what it means].
Drink with: Steak and frites with Longhorn-glazed shallots (£16)

MAISEL'S WEISSE (0.5%)

"We've all tasted alcohol free beer and it's almost as if you're being punished for being the designated driver. This stuff is different. Not many people would be able to tell it's alcohol free, in a taste test. A really impressive wheat beer from Germany, it tastes absolutely as it should. Notes of banana, aromas of orange zest and cloves." 
Drink with: BBQ beer-glazed Chicken (£13)
Follow Pure Bar & Kitchen on Facebook and Twitter. Food and drink menu, here

BOWIE AT THE JEWELLERY QUARTER

You know that three grand you have burning a whole in your back pocket? Well, St Paul's Gallery, Jewellery Quarter, were recently asked to publish their fourth David Bowie signed print: The Archer. One of his favourite photographs, taken by John Rowland in 1976, there are only 100 available in each size, with the biggest costing £2750. Whether you're a buyer or not, you should visit (there's no charge), because the gallery boasts the world's largest collection of signed album art. It's gobsmacking. StPaulsGallery.com

WHEN WE ALL SWITCHED TO DVD, THIS GUY STUCK TO VHS


Birmingham local, Dale Lloyd, bought his first video at 13 years old and, 16 years later, is still buying them. To date he has 3500 movies on VHS and he's cherry-picked two (Anguish and Popcorn) to screen at Flatpack Film Festival on Saturday, March 29. Both movies are horror and both feature cinema going. So, you go to the cinema to watch people going to the cinema and, probably, ending up dead. The fear is layered. Tickets are £7.50 and if that's not your cup of tea (coward), check out the entire schedule.

CHANCES ARE YOU WON'T HAVE SEEN THIS BEFORE


Frontiers Festival, Birmingham's annual celebration of new music, kicks off this weekend in peculiar, but inevitably brilliant style. Violinist and artist Sarah Farmer will perform in ice skates frozen in blocks of ice, in Centenary Square, from 12pm, tomorrow. We'd love to tell you how long for, but that's entirely weather dependent, you see, she plays until the ice has melted. We're as baffled as you, but it's free and there's all sorts going on. Find out more about Sarah's performance here and the rest of the festival here
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