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  • Birmingham Beer Week comes to Head of Steam One of the city’s newest bars is helping to kick off Birmingham Beer Week with a special launch night and a whole host of beer related events and activities. The Head of Steam, which opened its doors on Thursday 7 June, has had a successful first few weeks offering not only a diverse real ale and craft beer selection, but also a range of pub classics with a twist – from burgers, pie and mash to artisan pizzas. The bar, owned by Hartlepool-based Camerons Brewery, is now sponsoring the annual Birmingham Beer Week, between 20 – 29 July. Organised by the assistant manager of the new Birmingham venue, Adam Bayley, The Head Of Steam will host the event’s launch party on Thursday 19 July, the day before the Lock & Key Beer Con kicks off. The event is held across pubs, bottle shops and restaurants in Birmingham, and was created to champion the city’s much-loved beer scene and to cater to the hundreds of craft beer lovers living in and around the area. To celebrate the launch, special beer and cocktail concoctions have been added to the menu, including craft brewery Loka Polly’s Kaffir Lime Leaf Margarita, a twist on the classic Tom Collins using Northern Monk’s Obelisk Triple Dry Hopped pale and Tiny Rebel’s Stay Puft, flavoured with toasted marshmallows. To keep the celebrations going throughout the week, the venue will also host a Trappist Beer & Cheese Tasting on Tuesday 24 July at 6pm, pairing its rare Belgian beers alongside a selection of cheese from the Trappist monasteries. On Thursday 26 July, local Birmingham brewery, Fixed Wheel, will be hosting the tap takeover at the ...
  • Popular music festival goes from strength to strength One of Worcestershire’s most popular music festivals has raised more than £12,400 for a local charity this year. Woo Fest – which returned to The Drum and Monkey pub, near Upton-upon-Severn on Saturday 7 July – smashed its previous record of raising £10,008 in 2017 for St Richard’s Hospice. This was the festival’s fourth year with more than 500 festival goers attending the family friendly event.  It was the second year running that the festival boasted two stages, which allowed for continuous music throughout the event. The festival is unique in that 100 per cent of the proceeds from the festival are donated to the hospice as sponsors, volunteers, bands and technicians provide their time and equipment for free. The event – which is organised by Luke Simons – from Northwick – his sister Ria Simons and a committee of family and friends – was set up in memory of Luke and Ria’s father John Simons, a local engineer, who was cared for by the hospice before he died in 2013, aged just 66 years. Luke Simons explained : “We are absolutely overwhelmed by the generosity of all our supporters who make Woo Fest happen.  We are so grateful for all those who make it happen from the bands and engineers through to all the volunteers who get involved and the venue itself.  It is fabulous news that we have raised more than £12,400 this year, something that we never thought would happen!  Thank you everyone so much!” Charlie Homer, Fundraiser at St Richard’s Hospice said : “We are so delighted for Luke and the team; they have yet again made Woo Fest an outstanding success.  ...
  • Events supremo returns to roots in charity boost for Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Corporate hospitality agency Eventmasters, whose Managing Director Denise Sheasby is a former nursing sister, has announced backing for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity. It is in part a return to her first love for Mrs Sheasby who worked at the QE from 1982 to 2002, specialising in the care of cancer sufferers. Now Eventmasters and QEHB have joined forces. Over the next 12 months QEHB Charity will assist in the promotion of Eventmasters’ events and in return when Eventmasters organises charity fund raising at such events, some of the proceeds will go to QEHB Charity. The firm expects to donate a four figure sum over the period. Mrs Sheasby, the daughter of a hospital administrator, and at the time one of the QE’s youngest ever ward sisters, said: “For me the link-up is special – it brings back happy memories right back to when I was part of 100 new entrants, all girls, not a male in sight! “The Eventmasters Charitable Trust was established last year with the aim of raising in excess of £20,000 a year for our charity partners and worthy causes. And the hospital charity is one of the most worthy causes I can think of.” Justine Davy, head of fundraising at QEHB Charity said: “It was a pleasure to meet Denise and hear about her time working as a nurse here at QEHB. The Charity is delighted to welcome the support of Eventmasters and I look forward to working closely with them in the future.” Eventmasters, established in 1985, has grown rapidly to become one of the UK’s leading official corporate hospitality specialists, providing experiences and VIP packages around top sporting and cultural ...
  • Young Brummie chef is invited to Adam’s Restaurant to compete in semi-finals for national award A talented young chef from Park Regis Birmingham has secured a place in the semi-finals of this year’s Chef Stagiaire Award, a prestigious initiative for passionate UK-based chefs under 25. 24-year-old Misha Ellaway, the senior sous chef at the city centre hotel, has made it through the first phase of the competition, after creating a signature menu for the panel of expert judges; Luke Tipping, Chef Director of Simpsons in Birmingham, James Mackenzie, Head Chef and Owner of The Pipe & Glass Inn in Yorkshire, and Tim Blake, Regional Executive Chef for Restaurant Associates at Google in London. Now, as one of 10 hand-picked semi-finalists in the nationwide contest, Misha will serve her menu at Adam’s Restaurant, one of Birmingham’s top Michelin-starred eateries. “The Chef Stagiaire Award is very well-regarded in the industry but it’s only open to chefs under 25, so with this being my last year to give it a go I decided to enter and see what comes of it,” said Misha. The Chef Stagiaire Award invites ambitious young chefs to submit a menu for two covers, with a written recipe, pictures and method for an amuse bouche and a main course – for which the theme this year is British lamb. Misha’s menu comprises a hibiscus macaroon with a foie gras ganache, while her main course is lamb faggots with kohlrabi fondant, pickled radishes and fève, rhubarb, wild nettle and black garlic purée, served with red wine jus. “When designing my menu I thought lamb faggots would be a great way to represent my West Midlands roots, as faggots originate from the Black Country,” explained Misha. “I also paid close attention to ...
  • Cream Tea treats raise funds for local people Employees at Stafford and Rural Homes (SARH) have served up more than 100 cream teas to colleagues in an effort to support vulnerable members of the local community. During celebrations to mark National Cream Tea Day staff raised £435.55 that they’ve donated to the housing association’s C.A.R.E.S Foundation, which supports projects and groups helping some of the most vulnerable in the community. Nikki Oldfield, SARH Homes Manager, helped organise the event that honours a longstanding English tradition and said she was delighted at the response from colleagues. “National Cream Tea Day is a great opportunity to have a little fun and raise money for such worthy causes; it’s very satisfying to know that, by everyone indulging in a small treat, we are really helping some of the most vulnerable people in Stafford,” she explained. The money was raised through the sale of Cream Tea boxes – containing scones, butter and jam – from the Cream Tea Society and by the proceeds of a raffle with prizes very generously donated by local businesses. Karen Armitage, SARH Chief Executive added: “The SARH team regularly shows its generosity when it comes to raising funds for worthy causes- well done to everyone who organised this Cream Tea Day event for the third year running. “A big thank you to everyone who supported this fun celebration that’s provided a real boost for the SARH C.A.R.E.S Foundation where money raised is directed to ‘Make a Difference’ to those who are affected by homelessness, social isolation and severe hardship.”