Manchester has a proud brewing heritage, and is home to a growing number of small beer producers. In honour of Beer Day Britain on June 15, here’s a look at seven great beers made right here in Greater Manchester.
Marble Beers – Dobber
One of most well-known names in Manchester’s brewing scene, Marble have been making their iconic range of beers since 1997. Originally set up in the back of their flagship pub The Marble Arch, they’ve moved just down the hill to a railway arch to allow them to expand their brewing capabilities. Dobber, a 5.9% India Pale Ale, is described as a grown-up version of their session beer Pint, and has a full-on flavours and a smooth aftertaste that will leave you wanting more.
Beer Nouveau – Satanic Mills
Beer Nouveau may only be small – in fact they’re one of the UK’s smallest commercial breweries – but their beers have big flavours. Many of their range pay homage to Manchester’s heritage (including brews named after the likes of Turing, Engels and Marx) and they don’t shy away from using unusual flavours. Satanic Mills, a 6% stout, has rich chocolate flavours with a slightly-sweet aftertaste – but is very smooth for its strength.
Chorlton Brewing Co – Dark Matter
Sour beers inspired by traditional Germanic brewing styles are the main focus at Chorlton Brewing Co (who are, despite the name, based in Ardwick). One of their first brews is their 6.8% Imperial Black Gose, Dark Matter. A style of wheat beer from north Germany, Gose beers are usually pale, sour, salty and weak but Chorlton’s take on it is dark, sour, salty and much stronger. Definitely something a bit different!
Indy-Man-Brew-House – Yes Way IPA
As the brewery from the team behind Indy Man Beer Con, Port Street Beer House and Common, Indy-Man-Brew-House certaintly have enough expertise to know what makes a good beer. Yes Way IPA, a collaboration with Welsh brewer The Celt Experience, is a 6.2% US-style IPA made with the addition of dry hops to give it a very hoppy aroma – very moreish.
Multiple breweries collaborating on beers is nothing new, but it’s rare for four to join together on a single brew. The team agreed to selected hops representing each brewery - so Holt’s (as the oldest brewery) selected the bittering hops, Marble and Blackjack added theirs at the end of the boil and Runaway chose the hops for the fermentation vessel. The resulting 5.5% IPA was launched at the recent Manchester Brewery Expo.
Outstanding Beers – White
One of a growing number of breweries based in Bury, Outstanding’s beers regularly appear on bars throughout the city. White is a wheat beer (so expect it to be cloudy) made using continental weizen yeast, with zesty flavours coming from the addition of cloves and coriander. If you’re never tried wheat beer before, this is a great way to initiate yourself to the style.
Phoenix Brewery – Wobbly Bob
Although they’ve been brewing since the 1980s, it was a move to the former Phoenix Brewery site in Heywood in 1991 that led to them taking on their current moniker. Many of their beers are relate to their adopted home (such as Monkey Town Mild, named after the town’s nickname which is thought to derive from the local pronunciation of nearby Heap Bridge as ‘Ape Bridge’). Wobbly Bob, a 6% amber-coloured strong ale, is said to be named after a three-legged cat that lived at the brewery.
Bonus – Boddington’s
Boddington’s has long been associated with Manchester, despite the fact that production has been shifted out of the city and the former brewery is now just a car park mainly used by patrons of the Arena. But thanks to a range of memorable advertising campaigns (including one made even after the owners shut the site) it’ll be forever linked with the city.
Are there any you think we've missed? Let us know in the comments.
See Time Out's guide to Manchester's best pubs.