Monthly archives: January 2016

The Great Manchester Beer Debate


Saturday festival-goers can take a foyer seat and join in The Great Manchester Beer Debate, a free discussion on Saturday afternoon, starting at 2.30pm.

If you’re opinionated, interested or passionate about beer and everything associated with making, promoting or just drinking it, we have a star-studded panel for you. Chaired by Connor Murphy – who may take every opportunity to promote the first Manchester Beer Week in June – the panel comprises:

  • Peter Alexander – our Deputy Organiser who blogs about beer as Tandleman
  • Dave Bailey – HardKnott Brewery owner, brewer and force majeure
  • Jerermy Stull – Beermoth co-owner and man of opinions
  • Mark Welsby – Runaway brewer and non-shrinking violet

We expect it to be a rather more lively affair than the BBC’s fast-fading Question Time, and the Chair hopes that questions will flow – especially from “you, yes you – the chap at the back holding the pint”.

All welcome, no charge.

Gluten Free Beers

With all the beers we have available at MBCF16, we are concious that unfortunately some people can’t enjoy them all because they have an intolerance to some of the ingredients. Most of our beers are made with malted barley and therefore contain gluten.

We have however sourced a number of Gluten Free beers so that coeliacs and others with gluten intolerance can still enjoy a beer or two.

And of course all our range of ciders and perries are also gluten free.


Bar 1
First Chop Extra Love Golden Ale 4% Warming, US-style pale ale using real mangos. Hazy golden with a tropical fruit aroma.
First Chop AVA Bitter / Pale Ale 3.5% Czech ‘noble’ aroma & fruity Australian hops give a whole lot more flavour & character than might expect
Bar 2
Nene Valley Bitter Bitter 4.2% A smooth, full-bodied, pale chestnut traditional bitter for everyday drinking
Nene Valley Mid-Week Bender Strong Bitter 7.4% Amber ale brewed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Maris Otter malt
Bar 3
Stringers Plan B Bitter / Pale Ale 3.7% Pale, light and zesty. With a touch of honey.
Stringers Turbine Porter Porter 5.1% A warming tasty porter with hints of coffee & caramel
The Font – KeyKeg Conditioned Bar
Nene Valley Big Bang Theory Strong Bitter 5.3% Balanced pale ale with a huge hop aroma giving way to malty sweetness and a gentle bitter finish
Bière Sans Frontières – German / Beligian / Czech
Greens Dark Stout / Porter 5.8% A pronounced chocolate flavour with sour cherries and burned sugars, has a rich and complex mouthfeel.
Greens India Pale Ale IPA 5% Amber red in colour with a mix of herbal and pine aroma, a full mouth feel of the special hopping is unique for this IPA
Mongozo Pils Lager / Pils 5% Mongozo Pils is the first beer in the world to combine gluten free, organic and Fairtrade in one bottle. This beer is easy to drink and has a mild slightly bitter flavour of hops.
Brew Dog Vagabond Best Bitter / Pale Ale 4.4% Hop-forward pale ale, that just so happens to be gluten free. Vagabond Pale Ale melds citrus and tropical hop flavours with a light caramel malt base, backed up with a raucously resinous bitterness
Bière Sans Frontières – Rest Of World
Estrella Daura Lager / Pils 5.4% A clear yellow beer with aromas of grain and frosted corn flake aromas. Taste is much the same with toast, grain, and sweetened corn flake flavors on the finish. There is a very mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer still tastes like a normal beer of this style even though it is gluten removed. Gluten Free

To Ticket or Not to Ticket – That is the question

Eventbrite - Manchester Beer & Cider Festival 2016Advance tickets for the festival have been selling like (insert your favourite beer here) – with take up around 50% ahead of the 2015 festival.

One of the most frequently asked questions is “will I be able to pay on the door”? Well the simple answer is “that depends how many other people want to pay on the door”.

Around 50% of the available space for each day has been put on advance sale. When these tickets have gone, remaining space each day will be pay on the door on a first come, first served basis. When the hall reaches capacity, entry will be on one out, one in basis.

It’s a big hall but capacity is not just governed by floor space – we have to consider many legal requirements for your health & safety and of course we have to make sure we have enough beer to sell to those who come through the door. We don’t want to ask people to queue in the cold, but if we’re full, we’ll unfortunately have no choice.

At time of writing, we don’t expect any problems with capacity on Wednesday & Thursday – however remember that advance ticket holders will have a separate entrance at busy times so you can beat the queues.
Friday and Saturday are expected to be busy. Saturday’s original allocation of tickets has already sold out once and after reviewing capacity we added a few more but these are expected to be sold out soon.
Currently there are a good number of tickets for Friday remaining so if you want to guarantee your space at the festival, grab some now.

Eventbrite - Manchester Beer & Cider Festival 2016


13th January 2016

For Immediate Release:


 Manchester Beer & Cider Festival confirms unique partnership with Barcelona Beer Festival

 It what may be the first tie up of its kind, Manchester Beer & Cider Festival (MBCF) has twinned with its equivalent in another of Europe’s top beer destinations – Spain’s second city Barcelona. The partnership with March’s Barcelona Beer Festival (BBF) will see each festival curate a special selection of beers to feature at the opposite number. Brewers from each region will also travel to meet customers at the festivals.

The two festivals have much in common – both cities are leading the way for great beer in their respective countries; as Manchester Beer & Cider Festival enters its third year, 2016 will see just the fifth BBF; and both have iconic venues – while MBCF moves to Manchester Central, BBF 2016 will be held at the city’s historic Maritime Museum from 4th – 6th March.

For next week’s Manchester event, the organisers of Barcelona’s annual beer celebration have curated a carefully selected range of 16 beers from 4 of the most highly rated Spanish craft breweries which are being imported specially for the festival. The featured breweries are Dougall’s and Bidassoa from the Basque region, Catalonian favourites Cervesa Guineu and one of the smallest but most innovative in Quer brewery. It will be the first time most of these beers have ever been available in Britain.

Brewers from Quer and Bidassoa will be in Manchester for the festival which opens on Wednesday 20th January and will also be teaming up with local brewers Blackjack Beers and Runaway to brew up a couple of international collaboration beers while they are here.

Barcelona Beer Festival organiser Mikel Rius said “Barcelona Beer Festival is a young festival, as is our beer scene. BBF wants to establish relationships with other beer festivals who share the same ideas about spread the beer culture. This time we have teamed up with this amazing festival that you have in Manchester. With this collaboration, six breweries from Greater Manchester area will come to the BBF in March, and four Catalan and Spanish breweries will come to MBCF”

For the Barcelona Beer Festival, MBCF organisers will return the favour by curating a range of 24 beers from 6 Mancunian brewers which will be shipped out to Barcelona in March to feature on a Manchester Bar at the Spain’s largest beer festival which attracts up to 30,000 customers. These will include 12 cask conditioned ales – the traditional British style being revered as the peak of the brewer’s art amongst Spanish craft beer fans, much as it is across the world.

Blackjack Beers Head Brewery Rob Hamilton said “Barcelona is my favourite city in the world, full of amazing architecture, friendly people and in recent years, some of the very best beer in the world. When I was approached to ask whether would be interested in going over to Barcelona Beer Festival with my beers, I didn’t need a second to think about it – if my beer is there, I’ll be there too!”

The Spanish Beers will feature on one of two international bars at MBCF alongside an extensive range of draught & bottled beers from Denmark, Sweden, France, Italy and well as more well travelled beers from New Zealand and the USA.

 For further information, contact:

David Rigby
See contact page

Notes to editors:
1) The Manchester Beer & Cider Festival is organised by the Greater Manchester Branches of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA). The festival opens at Manchester Central from 20th – 23rd January 2016

2) The 2015 festival attracted around 11,500 customers to Manchester Velodrome over 4 days from 21st – 24th January 2015.

3) Barcelona Beer Festival 2016 takes place from Friday 4th – Sunday 6th March at Museu Marítim de Barcelona. Full details are available from the festival website

4) About the breweries:

  • Dougall’s (Liérganes – Cantabria): Andrew Douglass was born in London. He fell in love of this little village in the north of Spain but he missed good beer. So, he started to brew it. Ten years after is one of the best breweries with a great variety of good beers.
  • Quer (Berga – Catalunya): A very small brewery on the hearth of Catalonia. With small batches (400 litres) has become one of the most surprising breweries in Catalonia with a huge number of great beers. Most part of them called with circus motifs.
  • Guineu (Valls de Torroella – Catalunya): Creativity and more creativity making amazing beers. A lot of collaborations with great breweries from all over Europe. Beer tributes to so different characters like Peter Higgs or Marky Ramone. Have we said amazing (and creative) beers?
  • Bidassoa Basque Brewing (Irún – Basque Country): The passion of three friends and beer lovers become reality few years ago with the creating of one of the most promising breweries of the new beer scene at the Basque Country. Beers with international inspiration and local roots.

5) The Spanish beers will feature on one of two Bière Sans Frontières bars with an International range including beers from Germany, Beligium, Netherlands, Italy, France, Sweden, Denmark, Czech Republic, USA & New Zealand



11th January 2016

Fans of international beers are in for a treat as Manchester’s biggest beer festival arrives later this month.

Organisers are planning for a celebration of European beer styles alongside the largest selection of British ales ever seen in the city. And the rest of the world will also be represented, with ales from the Americas and Australasia ordered.

Now in its third year, the Manchester Beer & Cider Festival is organised by the Greater Manchester branches of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA). And drinkers will have a new venue as the festival moves to Manchester Central in the heart of the city, following two successful years at the Velodrome.

Bière San Frontières bar manager Tony Evans is part of a 30-strong organising committee. He said: “It’s a bit like Christmas morning when our orders arrive – I know what I’ve asked for and I’m confident it will arrive. There’s usually room for a few surprises, though.

“We know beers from the ‘big three’ – Germany, Belgium and the Czech Republic – always go down a treat with our festival-goers. But we’ll also be showcasing beers from much further afield.”

Tony expects to have all six Oktoberfest beers on draught, with another two dozen fonts dispensing the best German beers. Seven Belgian beers and three styles from Budvar on draught complete the barrel line-up, with Budvar’s Krausened Lager making its first appearance at the festival.

Bottle lovers can expect more than 50 types sourced from the ‘big three’, including alcohol-free and gluten-free styles.

The celebration of local, regional and national brewing runs from Wednesday 20th to Saturday 23rd January 2016. Over 500 British beers, ciders and perries will be available to enjoy in the main hall, alongside the Bière San Frontières and Rest of the World bars.

Organisers are anticipating bigger crowds than 2015’s record-breaking attendance. Advance tickets are available from the festival website, and its Facebook page.




  1. The current list of expected international beers is at
  2. The 2015 festival attracted nearly 11,500 visitors who enjoyed almost 39,000 pints of cask ale and 4,000 pints of cider and perry.
  3. More than 300 CAMRA members volunteer to set up and serve at the festival.
  4. The full schedule of prices can be found at
  5. A selection of images from previous festivals is at

Contact: David Rigby
See contact page