Digbrew Co., based on River Street less than a stones throw from the Custard Factory have been making waves in the brewing world.
Constantly keeping Digbeth?s craft beer enthusiasts on their toes with an ever changing range of brewing based innovation, including a collaboration with Brad Carter, Ollie and the team have been steadily building a solid reputation.
Based on simple concepts such as good times, great beer and great people the brand has grown exponentially over the last 3 ? years.
The addition of Dough, a pizzeria doing things a little differently and international beer distribution, this crew are trailblazers in the independent scene. We caught up with Ollie Webb founder of Digbrew Co. to find out more.
?At the end of every university year the first and second year art students would help the third years with their final project. It was always a great atmosphere and social scene but it was a shame that it only seemed to happen right at the end of the term. I wanted to keep it going all year round so we built a really trashy tiki bar out of bamboo in my studio and started inviting people and selling drinks from there.?
?It grew into this social scene and we were quickly in need of a more sustainable supply of beer, so we started brewing our own! The brewing side of things became more and more interesting and I ended up working in other breweries to find out as much as I could about the process.?
?I graduated and went to New York with no money just like every other art student. Whilst there I visited Other Half brewery to see how they operated. At the time I was undecided whether to be a sculptor or get into brewing and seeing how they operated sealed the deal for me. Seeing them do something that brought people together from all different backgrounds was a really exciting part of brewing and I wanted to offer something similar in the U.K. Digbeth seemed like the perfect place to make it happen so we went for it.”
?We won a prize for most exciting brewery in the UK in January last year which was amazing considering we were only just really getting started. We?ve been to a lot of festivals off the back of that which was also an amazing experience.?
?The addition of Dough was also a massive step forward for us as we were able to combine great beer with great pizza and really drove the brand forward.?
?It?s been tough but it has also pushed us to do things that we were testing out anyway, like bottling the beers, starting an online shop and expanding the capacity of the brewery to brew a range different beers at the same time.?
?When we went into lockdown there were a lot of people who wanted to support us and try different things so there were a lot of people who wouldn?t usually buy beer online making orders and trying the different things we were putting out.?
?I?d say the main thing that makes us different is being multifaceted. We try to push the boundaries when making numerous different types of beer all at once instead of sticking to what?s comfortable and I think our customers enjoy that as they feel a part of the brand and the journey as they get to try different things all the time.”
“Having Dough as part of the brewery adds another string to our bow especially as they?re also doing things a little differently by recently adding Detroit ?Grandma Style? pizzas to the menu to give Digbeth something new. Nat describes them as being ‘like the best cheese on toast you’ll ever eat’, and she’s not wrong.”
?Our goal is to give people a unique experience both in the Digbeth taproom and when they buy beers from us online.?
?We want to get the taproom back to the social place that it was before and also improve the overall customer experience when people come down.?
?We also want to push the brewing side of things by increasing capacity and increasing our customer base in the UK and internationally.?
Digbrew Co.?s taproom is now back open so you can sample their new range of beers for yourself and get your hands on Dough?s latest pizza offering. You can book a table via email, Instagram but be quick, space is limited and you definitely don't want to miss out. You can also order the latest beers delivered straight to your door here. You can also try out one of Digbrew's latest beers as your complimentary drink when you book your next haircut at Stag Digbeth, just ask one of our team about the latest offering.
By Ethan Webb
Stag Digbeth’s coffee is supplied by Quarter Horse Coffee Roasters, located on Bristol Street, Birmingham, just over a mile from Stag Digbeth. Our house blend ‘Dark Horse’ combines a mixture of Brazilian and Colombian beans offering a unique flavour profile that is comparable to Cadbury?s Fruit and Nut bar.
Rumours of coffee’s origins stem from a 9th century Ethiopian goat herder named Kaldi. His goats ate berries from certain trees and became so energetic that they didn?t want to sleep at night. Kaldi told the abbot of the local monastery about the trees and he decided to roast and boil the berries to make a beverage. The aroma from the coffee beans over the fire created a delightful smell and also meant that the monks could stay awake for hours of prayer.– The History of Coffee, National Coffee Association
Since then coffee has become the second most sought after commodity after crude oil.
Our house blend contains a Brazilian bean grown at the Fazenda Zaroca farm in Tres Pontas, Sul De Minas (Farm Owner Gilberto Basilio and a member of his team are pictured on the left). These are what give the blend its body of flavour.
The Colombian beans are picked by AMACA, a group of all female coffee producers which began in 1999 and has since grown to over 140 members. The members are all women farm owners and heads of household. (Some members of AMACA pictured on the right).
The beans from AMACA cost a little more in order to support their goals as a group. Their main aim is to improve the quality of life for them and their member?s families. Currently one of their most pressing needs is a warehouse to properly receive, cup, store and manage their coffees.
The beans are picked, de-pulped, washed and have their parchment removed.
The beans are then transported from their farms to the UK to be roasted.
When the beans reach Birmingham, Nathan Retzer from Quarter Horse picks the different blends and also selects the specific roasting method to suit the flavour profile of the beans.
The beans get tipped in to the roaster and they slowly begin to change colour. The machine spins a drum over a gas flame to create an even roast. The roast is monitored using visual checks through a small window and temperature probes.
Next, the beans get released from the roaster and drop into a cooling tray.
A large rudder circulates the beans to cool them down.
The beans will then be weighed, bagged and sealed, then sorted for delivery or collection.
We collect our beans weekly, sometimes right after the roasting process. This means the beans are sometimes still warm as we start making coffee first thing in the morning.
If you haven?t already, why not come down and try a cup, or claim your complimentary drink with your haircut?
For what’s on at Stag Digbeth in the coming months, visit our Event Page.
Photography by Joe Matten.