Events Programme 2016

To accompany our amazing selection of over 600 beers, ciders & perries, MBCF has invited some of the UK’s most respected beer experts to present  a series of talks and tasting events. Entry to tasking sessions and talks will be by ticket only. Places are limited. Click here to book.

The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of IPA

No style of beer has been more misunderstood and wrongly represented than India Pale Ale. Was it the beer of Empire and the Raj? Was it really made strong and intensely hoppy to survive a long sea trip round the Horn? Are modern IPAs really true to style? In his engaging and knowledgeable way, John Clarke has the answers and you’ll find out by attending this fantastic session. Make your own mind up while tasting and talking your way through different examples of the style.

Mild, Porters and Stouts

Roger Protz, Britain’s leading beer writer and editor of the Good Beer Guide, will examine and discuss the history of mild, porters and stouts, while illustrating the variety of styles and tastes on the dark side of beer. You’ll taste sweet, bitter, mild and strong, with each of the beers carefully chosen to give you an outstanding taste experience from the foremost authority on the subject. History, beer tasting and Britain’s best beer writer is a winning combination. This will be popular, so please book early.

Beer and Chocolate

Love beer and love chocolate? This is the perfect session for you. Christine Cryne will present six different beers, each paired with a different chocolate designed to bring out the taste in each. She will explain how the beers were chosen as being the perfect match for each chocolate. As both beer and chocolate have a balance of sweetness and bitterness, when consumed together, the tastes and textures complement each other in a very striking way. Some say it’s the perfect partnership. Come along and see for yourself.

An Introduction to Belgian Beer

There are approximately 180 breweries in Belgium ranging from international giants to microbreweries. Want to know about Gueuze, Lambic and Wit? Flemish Red or Saison? Golden Ales or Pilsners? Not sure where to start? This is the tasting session for you. Our Belgian beer expert, John Clarke, knows his way around a Belgian bar will give you the lowdown on this fascinating country and its wonderful beer. This is a taste treat which you won’t want to miss.



Day Time Subject Host
Thursday 21st Jan 1pm The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of IPA John Clark
Thursday 21st Jan 7pm Mild, Porters and Stouts Roger Protz
Friday 22nd Jan 4pm Mild, Porters and Stouts Roger Protz
Friday 22nd Jan 5.30pm The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of IPA John Clarke
Friday 22nd Jan 7pm Beer and Chocolate Christine Cryne
Saturday 23rd Jan 1pm An Introduction to Belgian Beer John Clark


Tasting event tickets include the beer you will sample during your selected sessions (a minimum of 5 x 1/3 pints). Note that tickets do not include festival entry which must be purchased separately.


Your hosts:

John Clarke @Beer4John

John is a leading member of Manchester’s beer community and enjoys beer in all its forms.  He often travels to Belgium and the Netherlands in search of good beer.  He is an experienced, respected and enthusiastic beer taster, presenter and judge and writes a monthly beer column for City Life in the Manchester Evening News.  He will be talking and tutoring two of his expert fields, IPA and Belgian Beer.

A long-time member of CAMRA, John is also chairman of the Stockport & South Manchester Branch, editor of Opening Times, a leading local CAMRA magazine and blogger at

Christine Cryne @ChristineCryne

Christine writes regularly for the London Drinker Magazine amongst others, and is the chair of CAMRA’s London beer tasting panel.

She has been involved in beer tasting for many years and is an independently certified taste trainer (People 1st). She judges at a number of beer (UK and international) competitions including having chaired both CAMRA’s Champion Beer of Britain and the Winter Beer of Britain and is an European Beer Consumers Union accredited judge. She is also a member of the British Guild of Beer Writers.

Christine believes we underestimate the complexity of beer and has undertaken many tutored tastings to explain why – including in the Tower of London – she did eventually get out! Her other passion is beer and food matching and loves challenging people’s perceptions that wine is a better with food.

Roger Protz @RogerProtzBeer 

Roger Protz is a leading beer writer and author of more than 20 books, including the best-selling ‘300 Beers To Try Before You Die’. He writes for ‘What’s Brewing’, ‘BEER’ and the Publican’s ‘Morning Advertiser’ in the UK and for ‘All About Beer’ in the United States.

This year he has been given a Lifetime Achievement Award by SIBA (the Society of Independent Brewers) for services to the British Brewing Industry and an Honourable Knighthood of the Mashing Fork by the Belgian Brewers Federation. With co-author Adrian Tierney-Jones, he was given a Silver Award in December by the British Guild of Beer Writers for their book ‘Britain’s Beer Revolution’.

Roger has edited more than 20 editions of the annual CAMRA Good Beer Guide and was named Glenfiddich Drink Writer of the Year in 1997 and 2004 and in 2003 was presented with the first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award from the British Guild of Beer Writers. He has won two Gold and six Silver Tankard awards from the guild and in 2013 won Gold as Best Writer in Pub and Beer Press. He has won 13 awards from the North American Guild of Beer Writers. He is a frequent broadcaster and has appeared on the Today Programme, You and Yours, and the Food Programme.

His website is