Strong line-up of special brews at festival

Innovative brewers from across the country are set to stagger drinkers with a bevy of new and collaboration beers launching at the North’s biggest beer festival.

Eluisve’s Andy & Jane with RedWillow’s Toby McKenzie

Now in its fifth year, the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival has developed a reputation for curating unique pairings of brewers to create new beers.  The festival, which returns to Manchester Central at the end of the month, also provides some brewers with a prestigious venue to launch new ales. And it’s a perfect opportunity for those following ‘Tryanuary’ – the antidote to ‘Dry January’ – where drinkers are encouraged to try different beers, pubs and venues to support the UK brewing industry in what is usually a difficult month for the trade.

Some local brewers have travelled far and wide to give birth to new collaborations while others have welcomed visitors to the Manchester area.

Locally, Macclesfield’s RedWillow hosted a visit from Andy & Jane Parker of Berkshire’s Elusive Brewing to brew MoreOrLess American Brown Ale generously hopped with Cascade and Columbus. North Wales brewer Cwrw Iâl travelled to New Mills to collaborate with Torrside. Their effort really took the biscuit – ‘Viennese Whirl’ promises vanilla and raspberry to create a biscuit in a beer.In early January

Manchester’s Runaway travelled to Newcastle upon Tyne to forge an alliance with Newburn’s Box Social; expect a dry double-hopped Nelson and Apricot IPA, ‘Metanoia’. Alphabet Brewing Company’s Tom Evans set off from his Piccadilly railway arch on a 490-mile round trip to the well respected Vibrant Forest in Hampshire. Their beer is a 5.4% ABV Dunkle Weiss with exotic citrus notes from the hops.

Another well-travelled brewer is Pig and Porter of Tunbridge Wells.  Head brewer Sean Ayling’s destination was Peterborough’s Bexar County brewery where the heavyweight ‘That’s Mintal’ – a peppermint porter at 8.2% ABV – was conceived.

A collaboration of a different kind saw Manchester’s Track brewery work with the three Font bars in the city to make ‘Altered State – Orange Acid IPA’ . The 5.3% ABV ale features Amarillo and Eldorado hops and orange zest and will be launched on The Font sponsored keg bar at the festival.

Festival beer orderer John O’Donnell said: “Manchester is the modern beer capital of the UK with a range of brewers that are the envy of other cities. We are pleased that we’ve been able to spread some Mancunian beer love to brewers the length of the country – we have some exciting beers to try.”

Jon Gobbet digs out the mash tun at Stubborn Mule

Various members of the festival organising team have also been getting on on the act joining brewers to create some special edition beers available for the first time at the event. Lancashire brewers Rivington are contributing a new porter, ‘ You Have To Call Me Nighthawk’ brewed with bar one manager Graham Walsh, while Altrincham’s Stubborn Mule teamed up with brewery bar manager Jon Gobbet to produce a low ABV table beer, ‘Little Napoleon’. Brewsmith Brown Ale will debut on their own bar at the festival – the result of a collaboration with bar manager Caz O’Donnell & husband John. Chorlton Homebrewer’s Alex Pembroke travelled to Maghull (Liverpool) brewer Neptune with the result being a new best bitter named King Of The Sea’ (4.7%).

Other beers debuting at the festival include the new permanent beer from Middleton brewer J W Lees –  a long-time supporter of the festival. The Stout is an eagerly-anticipated part of a shake-up of the family brewer’s core range, the second new beer after a craft lager appeared last autumn.

Bury’s Silver Street crowdsourced suggestions for its new beer. ‘Good Intentions’, a 5.4% lightly hopped coffee porter has orange and cardamom spice, but, brewed in a small batch, will be a target for those beer tickers who enjoy collecting new ales.

Madonna championed Timothy Taylor’s Landlord as her favourite beer more than a decade ago, dramatically boosting the Keighley brewer’s business. Part of the Taylor Made limited edition range, Poulter’s Porter will debut in the Manchester area at the festival. It is described as a rich, dark, warming ale with hints of coffee, chocolate and liquorice (4.8%).

John continued: “We aim to offer our visitors an unrivalled choice of beers and ciders. From our special collaborations to returning favourites, international beers and our largest ever range of keg beers, with over 750 beers, ciders and perrys we have something for every taste.”

Manchester Beer and Cider Festival runs from Thursday 25th to Saturday 27th January 2018 at Manchester Central. Tickets for entry and special tasting events are on sale at the festival’s website,


For further information, contact:

David Rigby
press (at)


Notes to editors:

  1. The Manchester Beer & Cider Festival is organised by the nine Greater Manchester branches of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).
  2. The festival will be open to the public on Thursday 25th, Friday 26th and Saturday 27th January 2018. Detailed opening times; Thursday 12pm – 10.30pm; Friday 12pm – 10.30pm; Saturday 12pm – 7pm.
  3. Tickets for the festival are on sale via uk, and Tickets are also available for tutored tastings.
  4. The 2017 festival attracted 13,588 visitors to Manchester Central last January.
  5. There will be a trade/CAMRA members only preview evening between 5pm and 9pm on Wednesday 24th January. This will incorporate a press reception. Media organisations can be added to the invitation list by contacting
  6. Follow us for all the latest news: and @MancBeerFest.