While the craft beer revolution might be a recent phenomenon, Manchester’s love of great beers is a centuries old affair. Exactly how you view the good stuff probably depends on which prism you look through (and perhaps how much you’ve drunk). Through the ages, drinkers have been both castigated and encouraged in the city. Purtianical types once damned drink of all kinds as the curse of the working classes, but progressive groups such as the Quakers viewed an honest pint of ale or two as a good way to keep workers off lethally cheap gin.
These days the craft beer scene in Manchester and the UK as a whole is a vital, celebratory and innovative movement. No longer is beer seen as a poor relation to wine- and it is not only hipsters who have cottoned on to the fact that we live in a golden age for the good stuff. New world beers appear alongside old brews, while new ideas ferment and yesterday’s clapped out tap houses become chic bars.
Five Manchester Breweries & Craft Ales to Try
If beer brewing in England was once a stranglehold of giant breweries and often uniform products, today’s scene is hugely varied, independent and original, with new establishments springing up almost on a daily basis. Manchester microbreweries are a point in case; scattered all over the city, each has its own ethos and ideas on what makes a great beer. Here are five of the current crop, along with some of the best Manchester ales to try next time you’re in town:
SEVEN BROTHERS BREWERY
No shortage of variety or innovation for this enterprising, rising star of British brewing. A small but sumptuous range of beers includes a great IPA, EPA and a cracking porter. Find them at various craft markets and indie bars around Manchester.