For Immediate Release:

Northern brewers join forces to create special festival ales…

Not content with lining up an incredible line up of some of beers from some of the best breweries around, Manchester Beer & Cider Festival 2015 (MBCF) will feature a number of collaboration brews with top brewers coming together specially to brew new beers for the festival.

MBCF teamed up with Real Radio XS to produce a special festival ale on Wednesday, January 7 with BlackEdge brewery in Horwich.

In commemoration of 100 years since the great war, brewers Shaun and Wayne produced a golden session ale combining hops from Britain and Germany. The station’s Steve Berry headed to the recently expanded brewery to help out with the brew while listeners of the classic rock station on 106.1 FM will have the opportunity to name the beer by entering a competition.

The first in an incredible line up of collaboration brews saw the hand of friendship extended in the War Of The Roses with Yorkshire’s Ilkley Brewery coming over to Manchester in December to brew with brewer Rich Andrews at Blackjack Beers.

Their beer, Betting Cap, is described as a very hoppy amber ale made with the Belgian yeast which is becoming a signature of Rich’s Blackjack brews and Galaxy, Chinook, Belma and Columbus hops.

This week, more collaborative brews got underway in East Yorkshire on Monday when one of the most exciting new names of Scottish brewing, Edinburgh’s Elixir Brewing Company, joined up with Hull’s Atom Beers which has grown massively after only launching just over one year ago.

The resultant beer named Devil’s Bilge Water is a bit of a beast, weighing in at 7% ABV. A smokey porter style beer, a special secret mix of spices has been added to give a unique flavour. Despite the heritage of the beer, it will make its debut on the right side of the Pennines and Hadrian’s Wall at the festival.

Tuesday, January 6 was a big day for special brews with no fewer than three being completed in one day. The day began when one of the festival’s bar managers, Caroline O’Donnell, headed to Rochdale’s Pictish Brewery for a 5am ‘mash in’ with owner and brewer, Paul Wesley.

The beer they came up with is the appropriately named ‘Tandem,’ a 4.2% pale and hoppy brew featuring two malts and two hops – Pacific Gem from New Zealand and Cascade from the USA.

As Paul and Caroline mashed in, Matt Clarke, head brewer of the multi-award winning Hawkshead Brewery was setting off from his Lake District home heading to Manchester to meet up with his counterpart, Matthew Howgate, at Marble Beers, for what is set to be one of the most highly anticipated beers brewed in Manchester for some time.

The brewers were being tight lipped about exactly what they were brewing up, but Hawkshead’s twitter feed let slip, tweeting “Think a mash up of Lagonda IPA and Cumbrian Five Hop…. lots of hops!” Given that Lagonda has a string of awards to its name and Cumbrian Five Hop was voted ‘Champion Beer Of The North West’ last year, beer fans are in for a treat.

The third brew of the day took place in Bury when Amanda Seddon from Middleton’s Wilson Potter Brewery joined up with Alex Lord of Outstanding Beers to brew up the intriguingly named ‘Honey Badger.’ Fresh honey will be added to the brew during fermentation to produce a beer which the brewers describe as “Pale amber coloured with aromatic malt, light hops and sweet honey.”

The final ale of the week was brewed on Thursday, January 8 when brewster Michelle Kelsall from Crewe-based Offbeat Brewery teamed up with Dan Tasker from Hebden Bridge’s Bridestones Brewing Company to create a dark and fruity beer called Sprocket Wort Orange which is 4.6% featuring chocolate, orange, juniper and sorachi ace hops.

Another collaboration is planned this Saturday, 10th January at 10am when Rik Garner, owner / brewer of First Chop Brewery will join forces with Andrew Rodbourne – festival hospitality manager and CAMRA Regional director and Mark Reeves – Trafford & Hulme Branch committee member and keen home brewer to produce their own take on the classic “Manchester Bitter”.

Photographers are invited to First Chop Brewery to take photos of this special bitter being brewed. For mroe information.

For further information and images contact:

Clare Barber
0151 255 0152

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 takes place in the National Cycling Centre’s Velodrome from 21st – 24th January 2015 and will feature more than 500 beers ciders & perries over two levels.

3) The 2014 festival attracted over 10,000 visitors who drank over 40,000 pints of beer and , cider & perry. The 2015 festival will have another 17,000 pints available.

4) For more information about the festival visit
Information on Breweries

*Pictish Brewery was one of the pioneers of the microbrewery revolution in Manchester whose unashamed hop forward beers provided inspiration to brewers such as James Campbell (ex Marble, now Cloudwater) and Colin Strong (Buxton).

*This will be the second time Hawkshead Brewery and Marble Beers have collaborated, the previous occasion being in 2012 when Matt Clarke and Marble’s then head-brewer, James Cambell ,produced Little Evelyn, a 7% American IPA named after Matt’s daughter.

Contact details:

Pictish Brewery 01706 522 227


Blackjack Beers 0161 819 2767

Ilkley Brewery 01943 604604

Offbeat Brewery 07502 096438

Bridestones Brewery 01422 847104 / 07921 211870

Marble Beers 0161 8192694


Hawkshead Brewery 01539 822644

Outstanding Beers 0161 764 7723

Wilson Potter Brewery 0161 654 6446