What is the Manchester Pubs Matter Festival?

The pandemic has ruled out Manchester Beer & Cider Festival returning to the city in 2021. But for beer lovers in the city and beyond, the loss of the physical festival is the least of our worries.

Pubs up and down the country have been struggling to eek out any kind of existence since the first lockdown closed all their doors back in March 2020. And Greater Manchester’s pubs have been under lockdown or severe restrictions more than anywhere else in the country.

At MBCF we love beer and cider. But it was the pubs that let us discover the great ales and gorgeous ciders while socialising with friends and family. Pubs are a vital part of our social fabric and we want to say as loud as we can that PUBS MATTER.

So we’ve teamed up with five of Greater Manchester’s finest pubs to bring you the Manchester Pubs Matter Festival.

Which pubs?

The five pubs participating in the inaugural event are:

Each of the pubs are multi-award winning pubs, each with their own character and specialities.

How does it work?

The festival’s five sessions will each see one of the pubs open their virtual doors and host an exclusive online event (via Zoom). Each event will be accompanied by a box of twelve* beers or ciders.

These aren’t just five tasting events with different breweries – each session will offer something different that represents the character of their pub. Just like in real life, you’ll be welcomed by the pub staff but each of the pubs are also inviting special guests to join them.

Four of our partner pubs have curated a special box of beers in association with their parent breweries and selected retail partners. The Font’s event will offer a selection of fine ciders and perries.

Tickets for each event will include the box of twelve* beers or ciders and your access codes to the online event. The number of places available for each session is limited and once they’re gone, they’re gone.

*Smithfield Sessions includes 11 beers + a glass.

When is the festival?

The Manchester Pubs Matter Festival will run from Wednesday 17th to Saturday 20th February 2021.

The virtual pub sessions will be held each evening from 7pm (Wednesday – Friday). On Saturday The Font’s cider event will take place from 1pm on Saturday afternoon. The Smithfield Sessions are currently scheduled to start at 7pm but due to the packed schedule may be moved forward to 6pm.

The main part of each event is expected to last around 2 hours but, unlike their real life equivalents, the virtual pub will stay open until the last customer leaves (except for The Font which must end at 5.45pm).

What do I get?

For the four beer events, each box will contain twelve* beers in either bottle or can. The majority will be 440ml cans or 500ml bottles but there may be some 330ml cans or bottles depending on strength.

For The Font cider session, the pack will contain twelve fine ciders in a combination of 500ml bottles and 330ml cans,

In addition, each box of beer or cider will also include your exclusive invite to the virtual pub on for the event. Codes will also be e-mailed to you.

*Smithfield Sessions includes 11 beers + a glass.

How do I order?

To order visit our Event page.

Orders will be placed direct with each pub or their chosen partner brewery or retailer.

Beers will then be dispatched by the pub or their partner either by direct local delivery or via courier in time to be with you for the online event.

What does it cost?

Each session is individually priced to reflect the value of the beers and ciders included with prices between £39 and £48 per session.

Delivery will be charged according to the brewers’ standard rates. Free local delivery will be available to most customers in the Manchester area. Some partners offer free national courier delivery depending on value of your order.

For more details of what’s happpening visit the Event page or check out our Frequently Asked Questions.