Yearly archives: 2018

Mini cooper revival at Manchester beer festival

New bar celebrates old craft

The wraps are off the newest bar at the North’s biggest beer festi val. And alongside the mass of modern breweries and beer styles, traditionalists will be delighted that a wall of wooden casks will greet drinkers at Manchester Central in January.

For fifty years or so, breweries have increasingly moved to racking beer into metal casks and these dominate distribution. But there has been a recent surge in interest to return to using wooden barrels. Most of these are made of oak, and many have previously been used to store wine or spirits. But chestnut is also used and is popular with some American breweries.

Organisers of the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival are working with the Society for the Preservation of Beers from the Wood (SPBW) to bring the bar – simply named ‘Beers from the Wood’ – and a host of interesting beers from a wide variety of breweries both large & small are heading to the event – led by SPBW’s current Champion Beer From The Wood ‘Hickey The Rake’ from Newcastle based Wylam Brewery. (more…)

Crumbs! Beer expert really takes the biscuit!

Ever wondered which shortcake to dunk in your stout? Does a digestive go with a doppelbock? Is brown ale is the perfect accompaniment to a bourbon? Wonder no more as the North’s biggest beer festival brings a set of tutored tastings next month including the unique pairing of biscuits with beer.

Building on last year’s sell-out tasting sessions, Manchester Beer and Cider Festival will give drinkers the chance to hear from three of the country’s leading beer experts. They will be running tutored tastings, suitably accompanied by generous samples of some of the 600+ ales on offer. Tickets on sale here.

Kirsty Walker, Roger Protz and John Clarke will be talking about some of their favourite beer styles, showcasing the breadth of taste and history of real ale in the UK and further afield. All three have gathered reputations as entertaining writers and presenters. Their combined expertise will be available to selected audiences on two of the three days the festival opens to the public. Their subjects will range from the story of Belgian beers, the tradition of serving ales from wooden barrels, the mystique of lambic beers from mainland Europe and how beer can best be matched with biscuits.


Brewing can be challenging…..

The Manchester Brewers Challenge was launched at Manchester Beer & Cider Festival in 2018, a unique competition to find Manchester’s top beer irrespective of serving format – cask, keg, key-keg, bottle or can.

The inaugural Challenge was won by Alphabet Brew Co with their Type A served from Key-Keg with bottled Karma Citra from Wigan’s  Wily Fox coming second.

MBCF has now laid down the challenge again – inviting every eligible brewery in Greater Manchester to put forward their best beer. With over 70 breweries in Greater Manchester, the only constraint is that brewers can put just one beer in front of the judges next January as the festival opens so brewers must choose the format which they believe best represents their selected beer


Move over Herbie, we’re parking the bus

There’s a special vehicle heading for the North’s biggest beer festival – but it will remain stationary when it arrives at Manchester Central.

The ‘Jaipur Beer Bus’ is a 1975 VW campervan lovingly restored and owned by one of the most popular British breweries, Thornbridge of Bakewell in Derbyshire. Last seen at the Great British Beer Festival in London’s Olympia, the eye catching vehicle heralds the debut of the brewer at Manchester Beer and Cider Festival.

The festival will have beers from over 100 breweries, as well as a remarkable selection of foreign beers and ciders. It has always invited some brewers to promote their beers at their own bars, where festival-goers will have the chance to meet brewers, talk all things beer – and, of course, drink their ales. Demand for space has been exceptional and organisers have been busy whittling down the choice for the January event. But they are pleased to have tempted Thornbridge to the Manchester festival for the first time. (more…)

Nineteen to 2019


The end of the traditional summer holidays sees a step up in activity for organisers of the North’s biggest celebration of traditional and modern beers and ciders.

Planning for the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival starts with a review of the previous year’s event in March. But as the lighter nights fade, many contracts are secured and valued sponsors signed up. Dedicated beer orderers (tough work but someone has to do it) have spent the last few months researching new beers and checking the availability of old favourites.

Organised by the Greater Manchester branches of the Campaign For Real Ale (CAMRA), the 2018 festival featured over 750 different beers and ciders. There was an amazing 14% increase in attendance to 15,478; and those drinkers obliged by downing almost 65,000 pints.

The festival promises the return of firm favourites alongside debuts from exciting new breweries. Almost all of the dozen brewery bars are now signed up for January. Last year’s introduction of the Little Ireland bar was a winner with all the specially imported beers sold out, so an extended range is planned.

The foreign beer bars are always popular, with curated beers from the ‘big three’ European brewing countries of Germany, Belgium and the Czech Republic to the fore. And Manchester’s reputation of providing the biggest cider and perry selection in the North will again be fiercely defended. (more…)