Back in 1995, a group of friends were drinking in a Walsall pub, discussing the latest news about the local brewery which had just been bought by the management from Bass. They knew that the chances of success were dependant on locals supporting the brewery and explored different ways of giving practical help. Apart from drinking the “Highgate Mild”which they already did, they came up with the idea of a “Friends of....” group to give first hand support direct to the brewery, and Friends of Highgate Brewery (FoHB) was born.
At our regular monthly meetings (originally six at Highgate Brewery and six at pubs selling Highgate Beers) we socialize with like minded people and our organised tours to other breweries and beer related places usually sell out very quickly.We have supported and worked at several events over the years, purchased and erected the Highgate Brewery Centenary gates in 1998, assisted with
How we began
Barbed wire: Australian slang for beer - from the XXXX characters
Merry-go-down: an old term for strong ale
Dog’s nose: beer with a measure of gin added
Mother-in-law: slang name for stout and beer
Three heads: three kinds of beer mixed together
Stingo: ale strong enough to sting the drinker as it is consumed. 17th century on
Submarino: San Miguel lager with a shot of tequila in it.
Arval: a funeral ale or festival.
Barley-cap: to wear a barley-cap formerly meant to be tipsy.
Beer terms -old and not so old
painting and decorating the brewery, and maintained a high profile at the Walsall Beer Festival.
With the help of our members we fund raise for various local charities (see Charity Work) but our main project has been fundraising for Walsall Breast Cancer Self Help Group (£800.00 Donation at last AGM). The total amount raised for all of our Donations since 1995 is well over £25,000 and we only boast about 100 members! Obviously the friends rely on a capable committee of dedicated volunteers who give up a lot of their time to organise and co-ordinate events, and the day to day management of resources, and the unfailing support of the membership, who come on trips with us, drink beer in the pubs, and send in their annual subscriptions of only £5 a year (£7.50 joint membership).