Beer festival organisers in Manchester are opening the flood gates to welcome a remarkable collection of European beers into the heart of the city this month.
To mark becoming the biggest beer and cider festival in the North, the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival team’s experts have sourced beers from across the continent to rival traditional home-produced delights for drinkers.
The European invasion will take control of two of the festival’s specialist Bière Sans Frontières bars – one for traditional German, Belgian and Czech beers with the second featuring the Rest of the World – and spill over onto the adjacent bottle bar. They are just three of 20 bars at the Manchester Central event.
The festival is organised by the combined expertise of the nine Greater Manchester CAMRA branches. It has become an essential entry in most beer and cider lovers’ calendars.
Six Octoberfest draught beers from Germany are expected in Manchester, and bar managers plan to rotate these on the bar. All German beers at the festival are brewed according to the Reinheitsgebot (purity law) and are suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
Many European beers are brewed to strengths that can come as a surprise to British drinkers, and organisers are preparing to sell these in third or half-pints only. The Kees! Brewery from the Netherlands will have two 11.5% ABV beers at the festival, a barley wine and a caramel fudge stout. At the other end of the scale is an alcohol-free beer, ‘B free’ from famous Czech brewers Budvar.
There’s a strong Scandinavian presence with Omnipollo brewery heading a selection from Sweden and Norway’s Lervig and Nøgne Ø represented. Further east, Pinta from Poland will have several different beer styles in bottles, but Italian and French beer lovers will also be catered for.
Bière Sans Frontières bar manager Ralph Luxon has his eyes firmly on the big three from Europe – Belgium, Germany and the Czech Republic. He said: “As well as our published list, there will be an additional range of German beers, bothe draught and bottled. We’ll only know when the beers are delivered, but we are expecting regional specialities such as Altbier from Dusseldorf, Kolsch from Cologne and Rauchbier from Bamberg.
“Alongside the fruit beers we offer, wheat beers, both dark and pale are always popular. I’m particularly watching out for ‘Tropical Ralphie’ from Dutch brewers Two Chefs!”
Ralph’s other recommendations for beers not often seen here include an Imperial Russian Stout, ‘Sans Pardon’ (11% ABV) on draught from brewers Dochter vd Korenaar and two experimental bottled Belgian fruit beers from Hanssens, ‘Framboise’ and ‘Oudbeitje’.
There’s also the opportunity to sample and learn about some of the Belgian and Dutch beers at the festival with tutored tastings on the Friday and Saturday.
Manchester Beer and Cider Festival runs from Thursday 19th to Saturday 21st January 2017. General entry tickets are available from www.mancbeerfest.uk
press (at) mancbeerfest.uk
Notes to editors:
- The Manchester Beer & Cider Festival is organised by the Greater Manchester branches of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).
- 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.
- Advance tickets are on sale via www.mancbeerfest.uk, Eventbrite.co.uk and Facebook.com/manchesterbeerfestival.
- Entry prices now include £3 refundable glass hire and are from £7.
- ABV = Alcohol by volume, a measure of a drink’s strength. Fuller details of the foreign beers expected is at https://mancbeerfest.uk/beers-ciders/bsf2017/
- The 2016 festival attracted 14,804 customers to Manchester Central from 20th– 23rd January 2016.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Follow us for all the latest news: com/manchesterbeerfestival and @MancBeerFest.