Monthly archives: February 2021

A half-formed sketchy ‘roadmap’ ….

As 2020 played out, the MBCF team knew my July that a physical festival at the start of 2021 wasn’t going to happen. But we knew that we didn’t want to do nothing. And we knew that what we did had to be about the part of the beer and cider world hit hardest by the pandemic – our beloved pubs.

We held out hope that by January we’d be able to organise events in the pubs across the city to encourage customers to return. As the terribly conceived “substantial meal” requirements and curfews imposed on Manchester pubs morphed into Tier 3, all the amazing work our pubs had done over the summer to keep staff and customers safe was unjustifiably discarded. With lockdown looming, it became clear MBCF was going online.

On an early December zoom call, the #PubsMatter festival was born. A half-formed sketchy ‘roadmap’ (probably better than Monday’s, but still…) was conceived. But we needed the trust of five friends, five pubs that represented our city’s amazing pubs and would work with us to make it happen.

The Marble Arch
©Marble Beers Ltd

Five of the finest were approached and agreed – The Marble Arch, Wigan Central, Petersgate Tap, The Font Chorlton and The Smithfield Tavern. And with several other partners, we believe the #PubsMatter festival has brought you, dear drinkers, great beer, cider, fun and the connection with friends. In pubs.

We asked for five different events that reflected the characters of the pubs and we asked for beers (and ciders) that represented what we will find on the bars of those pubs when we can return. The pubs and their partners delivered (literally!).

From chillin’ with tunes from the Devils Jukebox at The Smithfield to working out that Ginger Dish is an anagram of Shindigger at the Wigan Central Quiz, we saw the best of pubs – all be it from the end of a broadband line.

The Devils Jukebox at The Smithfield Sessions

And you, their customers ordered the packs, came to the events and showed them that you might be being prevented from visiting them in person, but you still love them, you miss the conversation, miss the camaraderie.

Those who attended The Marble Arch After Hours debate and who listened to the brewers and publicans at other events heard that while pubs are down and breweries have had to adapt and diversify, they are still hanging on in there.

We’re not out of the woods. There’s yet more tough times and uncertainty ahead for all hospitality.

We need to maintain the support – let’s be clear, the financial support – for all our pubs.

Because …..

Thank you for your support. #MBCF/#MPMF will be back.

Don’t miss Super Saturday…

The final day of the Manchester Pubs Matter festival will see two very different online events accompanied by two very different boxes of drinks but there’s only a few hours left to order them…..

Super Saturday takes place on the 20th of February.

The day will kick off at 1pm when The Font, Chorlton and The Cat In The Glass welcome you to their virtual pub to explore the Joy and Diversity or Cider & Perry.

They’ll be joined by four award winning cider makers including Allen Hogan of Hogan’s cider and our own local cider maker Chris Hewitt of Dunham Press Cider based in Dunham Massey.

Five ciders and perries from the box of twelve put together for the event will be tasted, with the cider makers sharing the knowledge and passion that went into making them.

Last orders by midday Monday.

On the evening of Super Saturday, we’ll be heading to the Northern Quarter where Blackjack Brewtap DJ kings The Devils Jukebox are shipping their decks to The Smithfield Tavern for a night of tunes and pints. The Smithfield Sessions will take place live on Zoom with a special high quality stream for those that want to crank the music up for a boogie at home.

In between the two hour long DJ sets planned, there will be an exclusive first look at Blackjack brewery’s brand new brewing facility which has been being installed in the brewery’s new home in the Green Quarter over the past six weeks. There’s video tasting notes on the Blackjack beers, a chance to find golden tickets under the labels of cans from guests Pictish Brewery while Runaway Brewery will be presenting a unique video on cooking with their beer.

Last orders by Tuesday for nationwide delivery.

Last orders at the Arch…

Boxes of beer and cider have begun shipping across the country for the five Manchester Pubs Matter Festival events which begin next week.

Petersgate Tap pack – ©Dave Atkins @daveratkins

Two events have sold out already so don’t miss your chance to book for the other three – The Smithfield Sessions, The Joy & Diversity of Cider & Perry and The Marble Arch After Hours.

©Marble Beers Ltd

To ensure your box of beers – including the launch of Marble’s newest Uppe Hele Natten Irish Whiskey Edition – arrives in time for the event on Wednesday 17th, orders for The Marble Arch After Hours must be in by midday on Friday 12th.

Also included in the box of 12 beers are two new offerings from Wander Beyond Brewing – La Adelita, a Mexican Cake Imperial Stout and Imperial Milkshake IPA Coral Connection.  

Marble Arch After Hours will come to you live from the iconic pub, the original and now spiritual home of Marble Brewery. Both Marble and Wander Beyond’s head brewers, Joseph Ince and Dan de Becheval will be online to talk to you about the new beers, joined by Marble director Jan Rogers and Customer QA lead Mars Pascale.

The Marble Arch
©Marble Beers Ltd

Join them as they look to a future for both pub and brewery in a post COVID world – whenever that may be. Will drinkers and diners return to the pub? Will it be casks or cans rolling out the brewery gates? This will be your chance to listen to those at the coal face and put your questions to them.

Sorry – Sales for The Marble Arch After Hours have ended.

Book for one of our other great events:

Don’t miss the box….

Tickets for Manchester Pubs Matter festival have been flying out.

The Welcome to The Darkside event by The Petersgate Tap and Thirst Class Ale has already sold out.

Demand for the other events has exceeded all expectations with our pubs’ partners adding extra stock to meet demand but time is running out to book your place.

Sales for Hop, Twist, and a Julie, the special event at the virtual Wigan Central end at Midnight on Monday 8th February. The award winning pub’s manager Jo will be your host where she’ll be joined by three of the pub’s favourite breweries – Wigan’s own Hophurst, Warrington’s Twisted Wheel and Neptune brewery – recently named as Merseyside’ top brewery by Rate Beer.


If this isn’t enough, it will be quiz night at the pub with four beer themed rounds of questions to test your knowledge.

There’ll be prizes for the winner and runners up including a copy of Pete Brown’s latest book “Beer by Design”, a bar tab to be used when Wigan Central opens, beer, tee-shirts and much more.

Also still on sale are :

Our pubs are still suffering from enforced closure with inadequate financial support from Government. Please join CAMRA’s campaign for improved support for our pubs – visit the campaign page and ask your MP for support.