Irish border no barrier to great beers

Manchester set to welcome ales from across the Emerald Isle

You can always rely on beer to solve the most difficult problems. And if the Prime Minister needs a hand with sorting the Irish border question, organisers of Manchester’s Beer and Cider Festival may have the answer.


After the runaway success of a bar dedicated to beers from the other side of the IrishSea last year, the North’s biggest beer festival has paired up with leading Irish brewer The White Hag and its very own confidence and supply agreement. And an increased number of breweries are heading to Manchester later this month to delight drinkers.

Beers curated from North and South of the border include cask, keykeg and keg examples.  Northern Ireland’s Boundary, Bullhouse, Farmageddon, Knockout and Mourne Mountain are planned to join Republic of Ireland brewers DOT Brew, Kinnegar, Metalman, Porterhouse, Rascals, Trouble Brewing and The White Hag. They will be exhibited on a dedicated Irish bar, one of twenty bars at the festival.

Returning to Manchester Central for the fourth year, the festival it 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.

Festival organiser Adrian Saunders said: “I’m delighted we can bring some of the very best breweries from across Ireland to Manchester to showcase their beers.  Last year’s Irish bar was a great hit with our visitors, selling out by the Saturday night. We’re pleased to have worked with The White Hag to help with delivery and increase the choice for 2019.”  

Bob Coggins from The White Hag added: “We’re delighted to be headlining the Irish bar at this year’s festival in Manchester, after first appearing on the scene here only a year ago. Cask beer is not big in Ireland at the moment. By having us over, CAMRA is actually doing a service to cask in Ireland as well as the UK. There are some amazing beers from our mates in Ireland, all of whom we consider to be the best breweries in the country. We will also have a nice surprise at the bar for any festival goers who fancy a trip to Ireland – so be sure to come and say hi at The White Hag & Friends Irish Craft Beer Bar.”

The Irish breweries to appear at the festival are:

  • Boundary – after apearing on the Little Ireland bar in Manchester last year, the Belfast brewer will showcase two of its pale beers.
  • Bullhouse – from County Down, this brewery is an award winner for its dark beers, and will have ‘Deez Nuts’, a pecan porter as well as two IPAs in cask.
  • DOT Brew – the Dublin brewer arrives at the festival for the first time. It will have five beers to enjoy including several strong stouts and a red ale matured in Irish whiskey casks available in both keg and cask form.
  • Farmageddon – beers from this Northern Ireland brewer proved a hit last year, and all but one of its six fruity ales to try in 2019 are cask-conditioned.
  • Kinnegar – the County Donegal farmhouse brewery has an outstanding core range. There will be five of its beers at the festival including ‘Scraggy Bay’, a well-balanced IPA with a hoppy kick.
  • Knockout – this Belfast brewer’s ales proved a big hit with last year’s festival goers. Expect something special for those seeking a gluten free beer.
  • Metalman – there’ll be a smoked chilli porter in keg among the offerings from the innovative Waterford microbrewery.
  • Mourne Mountain – Two session beers and an Imperial Oatmeal Stout should ensure the Warrenpoint cask brewery will be as popular with drinkers as it was in 2018.
  • Porterhouse – arriving in Manchester from Dublin for the first time, its three beers will include something special for those who enjoy coffee beers.
  • Rascals – only founded in 2014, the Dublin craft brewers have three beers including ‘Wunderbar’, a 6% IPA using German hops.
  • Trouble Brewing – debuting at the festival, this County Kildare brewery was founded in 2010 and offers a range of beers including a 3.6% session pale ale and a rich 5.7% stout.
  • The White Hag  – this County Sligo brewery is also debuting and has three cask beers to sample including ‘Fleadh’, a 6.8% red IPA named after the legendary Irish Music festival.

Manchester Beer and Cider Festival runs from Thursday 24th to Saturday 26th January 2019. General entry tickets are available from