This week we’re having a bit of a reminisce about how far we’ve come since we started out in 2011, when we started as a small tasting events company. Before lockdown and over the last few weeks since we’ve been back, we’ve been working hard on this new website, new products, and new cocktail menu, plus chatting about the story of the Club over the years. 2021 will ring in our tenth anniversary, so we’ve been thinking back to where it all began whilst thinking about the future.
We were a slightly nomadic organisation, popping up in bars and pubs all over the city hosting tastings, food matchings, and private functions. Birmingham in 2011/12 was a very different city, and there was a huge enthusiasm for these events. Over the years we have organised 100s of these tastings as well as starting the flagship whisky festival ‘Whisky Birmingham’, also nearing its tenth year. It’s been one hell of a decade, and bearing in mind I came from a very corporate background and whisky was only ever meant to be a very small part of a food and drink focused events company. Whisky took over my whole world and in 2016 I felt it was the time to look for our own venue to host all these events and open a bar to complement the offering.
It took over a year to find a space, after a few places that didn’t work out. The corporate property market is a savage one! But In April 2017 we looked around a not-often-utilised events space at the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter and realised we were onto something special! A stunning Grade Two listed space which had potential to separate into a bar, lounge area and tasting room – all the things we wanted! We signed on the line and then the wait began to get all the appropriate licensing and planning through. It actually wasn’t until 2nd January 2018 when I sat in a very cold and quiet pub down the road to sign the formal contract with the Museums Trust. From then it was a race to the finish to be able to open on Burns’ Night on 25th January, a date we couldn’t really miss as a whisky bar with lots of Scotch! My builders were not too impressed with this but they ended up making the deadline, even though on the day we were still painting.
Two and a half years later, we’re very proud to still be here, despite what’s happening to the world right now. The space feels more lived in, has seen 100s of people sit and enjoy a drink at the bar or attend a tasting event. We have helped people to start their whisky journey, or been able to find even the ardent whisky-lover something new and interesting. We have a lot of things we still want to do and whiskies we want to bring in. Planning for our tenth year has begun in earnest and we’re very excited to reveal the next stage of The Whisky Club.