Category: Beer Festival

Manchester Beer and Cider Festival 2019

Manchester Beer and Cider Festival 2019

It’s impossible to miss

Whatever the weather, the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival (MBCF) is the North’s biggest crawl. Safely protected from the winter, the Manchester Central hosts the January drinkers’ treat for the fourth year.

2019 will mark the 50th anniversary since the former rail station saw its last locomotive. And with 750 or so different drinks, there’s bound to be something to whet all whistles.

The festival is a great way to ‘Tryanuary’ – a drinkers’ response to the killjoys promoting Dry January. This campaign aims to inspire people to seek out and try new beers in what is often a slow month for the trade. And the festival beer and cider orderers never disappoint with a selection which will feature specially commissioned beers, collaborations and ales rarely, if ever, seen in Greater Manchester.

MBCF has a winning formula, evidenced by the record-breaking attendance of 15,558 in 2018. But organisers, mainly drawn from the nine Greater Manchester CAMRA branches, carefully examine trends to refresh the parts other festivals can’t reach.

Retained from the last festival is the popular 100 Club bar, featuring some of the historic names in UK brewing with at least a century of brewing experience – including local favourites J W Lees and Holts alongside Harveys of Sussex and Wiltshire’s Wadworth among others. The Little Ireland bar sold out last time and will be back with an extended and improved selection from both sides of the border – so, not so Little…

New for 2019 will be a bar featuring beers all served from the wood. The festival is working with the Society for the Preservation of Beer from the Wood to encourage breweries to provide interesting beers in a range of aged oak casks. Expect a strong representation from the North East and Yorkshire where several breweries including Osset, Elland and Wylam have consistently supplied beer in the wood, but maybe also a few surprises. And if you’d like to know more about the history of beers from the wood, esteemed beer writer and Good Beer Guide editor Roger Protz will be running a special tasting event on the Friday.

The huge main bars will be split into two, not three as in past years. But tickers and traditionalists will still be treated to a fantastic range of cask ales from across the UK. The line up of brewery bars looks formidable with a baker’s dozen of local and national favourites. Bollington returns alongside the perennially popular Hawkshead, Tiny Rebel, Runaway and Blackjack. And another big name, Thornbridge makes its debut at the Manchester festival.

Key keg was introduced by the festival in 2016, and the dedicated bar has grown gradually since. Many drinkers relish the chance to sample and compare the same beer in cask and keg. The cider and perry bar will have the largest selection in the North and will provide all five of your ‘five-a-day’. Fans of the foreign stuff can expect a superb range of beers from Belgium, Germany and the Czech Republic supplemented by a curated choice of beers from the rest of the world. And for those who like their ales in bottles – or would just like to take some home – the Real Ale in Bottle bar will have a UK-wide selection.

Organisers are grateful to the generosity of the many sponsors who support the festival, mainly drawn from the brewing industry.

The public sessions are from Thursday 24th to Saturday 26th January 2018 and advance tickets are on sale from the festival website. Card carrying CAMRA and SPBW members are also welcome admission-free to the preview evening from 5pm on Wednesday 23rd January. And if you’re a CAMRA member, have you considered volunteering at the festival? Such a mammoth event needs around 330 helpers and you’d be most welcome – details on the website,

David Rigby

Great British Beer Festival 2018

Great British Beer Festival 2018

CAMRA’s Great British Beer Festival Returns for 2018

Britain’s biggest beer festival will be returning this summer from the 7th-11th August to Olympia in London. A paradise for beer lovers, CAMRA’s Great British Beer Festival is an event not to be missed with hundreds of beers available to suit all tastes.


Imagine taking a trip around all the very best pubs, not only in Britain but across Europe and the United States. This year’s festival is a cornucopia of fantastic brews from around the world and will host over 900 real ales, craft beers, ciders and perries. We will also have a selection of popular wine and gin for you to sample as well!

Check out more information and how to book tickets on the GBBF Website

CMBCF2018 – Cask Beers

CMBCF2018 – Cask Beers

Brewery Beer ABV % Style
Anarchy Brew Co Boot Boys 5.0 Brown Ale
Bad Seed Kiwi 3.8 Pale Ale
Beatnikz Republic Spring Pale 3.6 Pale Ale
Black Edge Dark Mild 3.9 Mild
Black Edge Pike Pale 4.0 Golden Ale
Blackjack Rabbit Hunt 4.4 Pale Ale
Blackjack Texas Hold’em 4.7 Pale Ale
Brass Castle Bad Kitty 5.5 Vanilla Porter
Brass Castle Life’s a Beach 3.6 Special
Brass Castle Mob Rule 5.0 Special
Brightside Happy Days 3.8
Brightside Premium Bitter 4.8 Bitter
Castle Rock Brian Clough 4.2 Pale Ale
Castle Rock Helen Watts 4.2 Mild
Donkeystone Papa Donkey 6.4 Double APA
Dunham Massey Chocolate Cherry Mild 3.8 Mild
Dunham Massey Summer Meadow 4.3 Double APA
Electric Bear Werrrd! 4.4 Pale Ale
Elusive Brewery & House Brewery Bermuda Triangle Holiday Home 4.4 Pale Ale
Good chemistry Time Lapse 3.8 English Pale
Hawkshead Mosaic 4.0 Pale Ale
Lymm Chirotherium 5.5 Old English Ale
Lymm Heritage 4.5 Bitter
Mallinsons Oatmeal Stout 4.5 Stout
Mallinsons Refresher 39 3.9 Blonde Ale
Origami Stout 5.5 Stout
Pictish Ginger 3.9 Pale Ale
Pictish Summer Solstice 4.7 Blonde Ale
Pig and Porter Skylarking 4.0 Session IPA
Red Willow Thoughtless Aged Stout 9.4 Stout
Red Willow Stateless 3.9 Golden Ale
Salamander Pirate Porter 4.8 Porter
Salamander See Red 4.2 Red Ale
Serious Brewing America Brown 4.2 Brown Ale
Serious Brewing Moonlight Stout 4.5 Stout
Six O’Clock Dark Mild 5.4 Mild
Squawk Corvus 7.4 Stout
Squawk Pica 4.9 Oatmeal Pale
Stubborn Mule Chocolate Stout 5.8 Stout
Stubborn Mule Single Hop IPA 5.7 Pale Ale
Tapped Mojo 3.6 Pale Ale
Thornbridge Wild Swan 3.5
Turning Point Chaos Theory 5.0 Oatmeal Pale
Vibrant Forest Cambrian Root Salted Liquorice Stout 5.1 Stout
Vibrant Forest Salix 4.5 Pale Ale
Vocation Heart & Soul 4.4 Pale Ale
Wander Beyond English Hop 4.5 Pale Ale
Wander Beyond Great Rift Milk Stout 6.0 Stout
Welbeck Abbey Fiery Fox 4.8 Golden Ale