Yearly archives: 2014

Three months to go

It’s now just over three months until the return of the regions biggest and most spectacular beer event. The Manchester Beer & Cider Festival will return to the Velodrome at the National Cycling Centre from the 21st to the 25th January 2015 and is promising to be bigger & better than the sell out event in 2014.
The 2014 festival featured no fewer than 357 cask conditioned ales, but this number is set to increase to well over 400 for 2015. 200 of these beers will be on new bars located on the concourse around the track which will also host a second cider & perry bar and a brand new bar packed with the best craft beers from around the world. Visitors to these bars will have easy access to over 3000 seats overlooking the track from where they will again be able to watch Britain’s top cyclists training.
We have taken on board loads of feedback from the first event and made changes where needed. As well as locating half the beers on the concourse level, a new layout on the floor inside the track will allow additional seating and ‘poseur’ tables for your drinks. A new customer care team is being introduced to guide people to their beers and help those with mobility difficulties get under the track to floor level via the lift and ramp. They also expect to put a limited number of advance tickets on sale although have not yet confirmed when this will be.
Of course the festival is really all about the beer and you’ll be pleased to hear there will be more of that – around 40% more – to ensure that your thirsts are satisfied right through until Saturday evening. Once again the selection will feature some of the very best brewers from the North West – including the finalists in CAMRA’s Champion Beer Of The North West Competition alongside some of the top names from around the country. It is exciting that as well as established breweries, some of the freshest and most exciting new breweries in the area are already signed up to feature – names like Squawk, Seven Brothers & Deeply Vale. We will also be featuring the very best representatives of what is termed the craft beer movement from around the country.
The extremely popular Hawkshead Brewery will again be bringing their own bar to the festival, but they will have some new neighbours in what will be two brewery bar areas. The full line up of brewery bars will be revealed shortly but two which have been announced are very exciting – Manchester’s Blackjack Beers & Crewe’s Offbeat Brewery are two breweries who are very much at the cutting edge of British brewing and will be sure to bring some stunning beers to the festival.


Preparations are underway for the second Manchester Beer & Cider Festival (MBCF) to be held at the city’s Velodrome within the National Cycling Centre, the home of British Cycling.

The first event last January was hailed a huge success with more than 10,000 people attending the festival over four days, and all 16 bars being drunk dry by the Saturday afternoon.

Now organisers, The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), are working hard to ensure the 2015 event will be even bigger and better. The Festival will take over the whole of the Velodrome from January 21st–24th 2015. The expanded festival bars will be spread across the Velodrome concourse and floor with around 17,500 more pints of beer, cider & perry available.

All this can be enjoyed in the iconic National Cycling Centre, home to Team GB’s fantastically successful Olympic and Paralympics cyclists. The Velodrome track remains in use throughout the festival by Team GB who train every day. As pints are enjoyed, there is every chance that medal winning cyclists such as Sir Bradley Wiggins, Laura Trott and Jason Kenny will be whizzing round as they train for the 2015 World Championships and the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.


Festival Charity – Henshaws

HenshawsManchester Beer & Cider Festival is pleased to welcome back Henshaws Society For Blind People as our festival charity for a second year.

In 2014, Henshaws raised £2750 at MBCF. Louise Walmsley from Henshaws said “Please pass on our heartfelt thanks to the festival organisers and all of the CAMRA members and visitors who donated – we really do appreciate every penny!”

Henshaws Society for Blind People is a specialist charity providing expert support, advice and training to anyone affected by sight loss. Their principal object is the relief of people who are blind or visually impaired through the provision of services, care, facilities, support, advice, education and training. They also work with people with other disabilities, and because sight loss and disability affects family, friends and colleagues, they work with them too.

Henshaws is one of the oldest charities in the UK, opening in Manchester in 1837. Throughout
their more than 170 years of history they’ve built a reputation for trust and expertise. Their services support children and babies, their families, young and older people by providing reassurance, practical support and in some cases simply companionship. They help hundreds of visually impaired and disabled people each year to develop the skills and independence they need to lead lives that are as full and independent as possible.

There are almost two million people with sight problems in the UK, with this number set to soar over the next 25 years due to an ageing population and increased prevalence of obesity and diabetes. In Greater Manchester alone there are 17,775 registered blind and partially sighted people – this is just the tip of the iceberg however, with current estimates that only one in six people with a visual impairment are registered as such. At a time when statutory services are being cut, Henshaws continue to offer a crucial lifeline to all those affected by sight loss within Greater Manchester and beyond.

Henshaws work throughout the North of England, with centres and communities in Manchester, Harrogate, Knaresborough, Merseyside and Newcastle. They also have an Arts & Crafts Centre and specialist college, a unique further education college for students aged 16-22. Each centre offers different services and programmes – but they all have a common goal: to enable the people who use our services to live an independent and fulfilling life. to for sponsoring Henshaws at MBCF 2015. Visit their website for all your printing needs.


Manchester Beer and Cider Festival are delighted to be supporting Henshaws again and look forward to working with them to raise the profile of their work and raise funds to support their activities.



MBCF 2015 takes shape

Manchester Beer & Cider Festival LogoThe first Manchester Beer & Cider Festival was an unprecedented success with 25% more visitors attending than had been expected. Planning for MBCF 2015 is now well under-way and as well as planning for the increased numbers, we are looking to implement changes in a number of areas to improve the experience for you, our customers.

The provisional dates for the 2015 Festival are Wednesday 21st – Saturday 24th January. To reflect our second event, our new logo features a tandem inspired by Team GBs tandem riders who were prominent on the track during MBCF 2014.

The most significant change will be that we will take over the whole of the Velodrome. We will be adding at least three brand new bars (taking us to a total of at least nineteen bars). We are planning to have at least seven bars on the concourse level with two mixed cask ale bars, a second cider and perry bar and a number of brewery bars.

Bars on the concourse level will allow those with mobility difficulties step free access to a wide range of beers (around 40% of the total selection) and easy access to the toilets and plentiful seating in the stands overlooking the track. Access to the floor inside the track and the rest of the bars will be available via the in house lift and we are planning on introducing dedicated customer care volunteers to assist those with difficulties. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer toilet facilities on the floor inside the track.

Additional seating will be available on the floor in the centre of the track and we”ll also be hiring in a whole bunch of extra tables. Hot food will remain on the concourse level but cold snacks will be available inside the track. With bars on both levels, you can get a drink nearby wherever you choose to dine.

Overall we’re looking to have almost half as much beer again as we started with in 2014, so will be offering even more choice and with around 40% of it upstairs. Overall we expect to have at least 500 beers, ciders & perries available.

Opening times will be similar with only minor changes but changes in the foyer should reduce queues at peak times.

Once again, Team GB will be on the track training during many of our sessions (training timetable to be confirmed) with other local clubs and groups (maybe featuring future Olympians) at other times.

We are still a long way off yet with lots of planning to do but we’re determined to improve the festival in as many ways as possible.

Beer, Cider & Perry Of The Festival

Punch TavernsCustomers of the Manchester Beer & Cider Festival were invited to vote for their Beer of The Festival – sponsored by Punch Taverns.

The result of the vote was:

1st: Bateman’s Mocha Amaretto

2nd: Pictish Blue Moon

3rd: Bridgehouse Porter

Customers also voted for their Cider & Perry of The Festival

Cider Of The Festival: Millwhites Hedgelayer

Perry Of The Festival: Troggi Perry

Thanks to all those who voted and congratulations to the winning breweries & producers.

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