Passing Fancies took our award for Best Bar in the Midlands & East Anglia (sponsored by The Busker) and also the nationwide gong for New Bar of the Year (sponsored by Hapusa Gin).
Launched last autumn by Tommy Matthews, Matt Arnold and Eve Green, Passing Fancies has quickly become the Birmingham bar industry’s flagship venue.
Based in the Custard Factory, which was formerly home to Bird’s Custard, Passing Fancies is styled to look like “the kitchen at a house party”, with a moving feast of ingredient-led cocktails that draw on the latest techniques.
The bar has a real sense of community, with local bartenders invited to talks, masterclasses and trial the bar’s lab equipment.
As Matthews says: “We’re the only bar in the Midlands which has a rotavap, a centrifuge and loads of other lab kit under the same roof. But instead of using this as some sort of competitive advantage, I’m of the mindset to just open it up to everyone who wants to try it out.
"It’s pretty low cost to me when you consider the aim: we’re upskilling, sharing ideas and techniques. We’re investing in our community’s future."
New Bar of the Year sponsored by Hapusa Gin
Finalists: Blinker, Manchester; Seed Library, One Hundred Shoreditch; London
Best Bar in the Midlands & East Anglia sponsored by The Busker
Finalists: Birmingham; Fox & Chance, Birmingham; 400 Rabbits, Nottingham