Beer lovers in Greater Manchester are in for a treat this summer, as a region-wide beer festival will pack an incredible 111 events into 10 days.
The third edition of Manchester Beer Week, sponsored by Co-op and JW Lees, runs from Friday June 29 to Sunday July 8 and includes everything from beer festivals and beer-focused meals to debates, walking tours and art exhibitions.
Highlights include The Pilcrow’s Summer Beer Thing, an outdoor beer festival at Sadler’s Yard, organised by the team behind Indy Man Beer Con. It runs over the opening weekend and promises a selection of more than 200 beers across three days (June 29 to July 1), as well as gin, prosecco and street food.
Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, will be in attendance at the festival’s opening day to take part in a panel discussion at Plant NOMA (Friday June 29, 4.15pm) that asks whether the craft brewing industry can do more to engage with the wider community.
In a similar vein, Manchester Beer Week will also act as the launch pad for a new industry-wide diversity manifesto, which is designed to make bars, pubs, tap rooms and festivals a more welcoming and inclusive space. It will be unveiled by respected industry figure Melissa Cole at Fairfield Social Club (Monday July 2, 7pm).
Manchester Beer Week organiser, Connor Murphy, said: “The festival continues to grow each year and we’ve been really impressed by the enthusiasm and creativity shown by participating venues and breweries. There are a huge variety of events taking place, designed to suit all tastes, and exploring beer’s relationship with art, food, history and social issues.”
Food will once again feature heavily this year. Highly-rated Stockport restaurant Where the Light Gets In is collaborating with Cloudwater Brew Co to create a carefully-curated food and beer menu on Friday July 6. Marble Brewery, meanwhile, is working with well-known chef David Gale and sommALEier Melissa Cole, to put on a beer dinner at Gale’s One88 restaurant in Whitefield on the same evening.
Didsbury restaurant Hispi is also offering a beer-paired, four-course menu for the duration of the festival. Meanwhile, eight one-off beers created in collaboration between independent restaurants and breweries will be launched at Levenshulme’s Station Hop on Saturday June 30.
On the final Saturday of the festival (July 7), a street party will be hosted on Temperance Street in the heart of Manchester’s brewing district. It will include bars featuring 15 different breweries, music and street food, but will also cater for families by providing child-friendly games and a small-batch soda bar.
For full details of all events, visit www.mcrbeerweek.co.uk/events
A unique beer has also been created for the festival. The official Manchester Beer Week ale has been crafted by a cross-pennine collaboration between JW Lees of Middleton, Manchester and Northern Monk of Holbeck, Leeds – the limited edition Summer Pale Ale will be stocked at more than 60 Co-op food stores across the region.
Simon Dryell, head of local sourcing at the Co-op, explained: “We are delighted to partner with Manchester Beer Week. Locally brewed ale is an exciting category, where we can see continued sustainable growth as craft ale followers look for something that tastes different, while retaining the passion, history and tradition that goes into brewing quality ales. As a community retailer, the Co-op is committed to investing in its local communities, providing what our members and customers want, when and where they need it, and exploring new ways to showcase, celebrate and support great quality locally produced food and drink.”