Yearly archives: 2016

Not just the ale talking

Not just the ale talking

Experts may have been scorned by Michael Gove, but visitors to the biggest beer and cider festival in the North will soon have the chance to hear from people who really know their stuff.

The Manchester Beer and Cider Festival 2017 returns to Manchester Central in January and has lined up some of the most entertaining beer and cider speakers to share their liquid loves. And as you’d expect, generous samples will help bring their knowledge to the taste buds of their audiences.

The festival has grown consistently and for 2017 will offer 30% more floorspace – and more seating – than ever before. It is organised by the combined expertise of the eight Greater Manchester CAMRA branches. Offering nineteen separate bars, it has become an essential entry in most beer lovers’ calendars.

The line up of speakers is:

  • “Whatever happened to IPA?” John Clarke, a Manchester-based beer writer and newspaper columnist takes a look at the rise, fall and re-birth of India Pale Ale. From Empire to your local. Where it started to where it is now. Tickets include tasting of six different IPAs and John’s entertaining and expert commentary.

  • “Going Dutch – the Dutch beer revolution.” It isn’t all Heineken. The renaissance of artisanal Dutch beer is not as well-known as it ought to be. John Clarke, an expert in the subject will bring you an insight into what is happening in the Netherlands as he discusses six craft brewed Dutch beers of varied and contrasting styles. Tastings of six beers are included in the ticket price.

  • “Certificate in Beer appreciation.” This training course is presented by Christine Cryne, a Master Trainer, Member of the Guild of Beer Writers and European Beer Consumer Union accredited judge. She’s aiming at beer lovers who want to understand how the ingredients that go into beer affect the appearance, aroma and flavour. The course is externally accredited by People 1st, part of the Hospitality Guild. Christine says that no prior experience is necessary, and promises six beers to taste alongside her humorous style.

  • “Cider tasting.” Charlotte Bulmer (no relation) lifts the lid on the traditional delights of the UK’s favourite fruit drink. She’ll be pressing her audience to try six core examples sure to appeal.

  • “Holy Orders.” Monks have been involved in the brewing of beer since time immemorial. John Clarke talks guests through the history of brewing in monasteries by introducing you to six different beers, all brewed by the Trappist Order of monks in Belgium and the Netherlands. Tastings of six exciting beers are included in the ticket price.

Deputy organiser Peter Alexander said: “There’ll be nothing dry about any of these talks! The space we have at Manchester Central gives us the opportunity to put these tutored tastings on. I’ve been able to secure some of the best speakers whose expertise is nationally recognised. They will be entertaining as well as informative. And advance tickets make great Christmas gifts for those people you’ve no idea what to buy.”

Manchester Beer and Cider Festival runs from Thursday 19th to Saturday 21st January 2017. General entry tickets are available from, and the special event tickets are now on sale at

Further information:

David Rigby
press (a)

Notes to editors:

1. The Manchester Beer & Cider Festival is organised by the Greater Manchester branches of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).

2. The festival will be open to the public on Thursday 19th, Friday 20th and Saturday 21st January 2017. Detailed opening times; Thursday 12pm – 10.30pm; Friday 12pm – 10.30pm; Saturday 12pm – 7pm.

3. Advance tickets for the 2017 festival are on sale via, and

4. Entry prices now include £3 refundable glass hire and are from £7.

5. The 2016 festival attracted 14,804 customers to Manchester Central from 20th – 23rd January 2016.

6, There will be a trade/CAMRA members only preview evening between 5pm and 9pm on Wednesday 18th January. This will incorporate a press reception. Media organisations can be added to the invitation list by contacting press(at)

7. Follow us for all the latest news: and @MancBeerFest.

Drink & Learn at MBCF

Drink & Learn at MBCF

Tutored Tastings and beer appreciation course give visitors an educational experience

Manchester Beer & Cider Festival has confirmed its range of special tasting events allowing visitors to learn more about their favourite drinks. In a first for the festival, visitors will also be able to gain a recognised qualification in the love of beer!

Visitors on Thursday 19th January can book to train for their Certificate in Beer Appreciation, fully accredited qualification from People 1st, a part of the Hospitality Guild. The three and a half hour course will be led by Master Trainer, European Beer Consumer Union accredited judge and Member of the Guild of Beer Writers Christine Cryne.

Other events in the programme will give an insight into the history of what is an often mis-construed and mislabelled beer style – the India Pale Ale. In Whatever Happened to IPA will discuss the origins of this style, its fall from popularity to its current American inspired status as the must have beer style – fuelled by a wide selection of examples of the style.

Cider and perry fans won’t miss out with Thursday evening seeing local expert Charlotte Bulmer (no relation) lead a session exploring the massive variety of flavours which can arise from the fermented juices of humble apples and pears.

Two events explore different aspects of continental brewing. In Going Dutch, beer traveller and writer John Clarke will show his audience that the Netherlands has so much more to offer the moden beer drinker than Heinekin as he discusses six craft brewed Dutch beers of varied and contrasting styles. Meanwhile, some of the heritage of Dutch and Belgian brewing will be discussed in “Holy Orders” – a tasting event which will look at the history of Monastic brewing before leading drinkers through six different beers, all brewed by the Trappist Order of monks in Belgium and the Netherlands.

Tickets for all sessions are now on sale at

The tasting events will be complemented by a number of pop-up Meet The Brewer sessions throughout the festival – visitors should keep an eye of Facebook & Twitter for details.

The final day of the festival will conclude with the Great Manchester Beer Debate where a panel of industry experts will give their opinions on a controversial subject before the floor is thrown open to you, the festival visitor. Organisers are being tight lipped about the subject to be debated and who will be on the panel, but all will be revealed in December.