Heading to Manchester

Most people who are in to decent beer in the UK will have heard of the Independent Manchester Beer Convention (or Indyman BeerCon for short, or even IMBC if you're feeling particularly lazy) (if not, have you been under a rock?!) but not everyone has had a chance to go. Until this year that is. Yes you lucky people attending the Friday day session will be graced with /annoyed by/indifferent to* my presence.

Running from the 8th-11th October, the festival (now in its 4th year) is going strong with several sessions selling out mere hours after going on release. Fear not as there are still three sessions available to attend at the moment (including the aforementioned with yours truly). The beer list for each day is yet to be pinned down, but going by the murmurings on Twitter and the list of brewers in attendance there will be more than enough to be going at.

Festival is held the atmospheric Victoria Baths
(Picture courtesy of Gary Brown)

One thing that I like about the festival is that a number of collaborative one-offs are brewed, I've managed to try a few of these elsewhere in the past; so if this years are of similar calibre we're in for an oral treat. To mix things up a bit, they pulled styles and names out of hat and arrived at the following:

Weird Beard/Lervig with IMBC: Gooseberry Pale
Northern Monk with IMBC: Quince IPA
Madhatter with IMBC: Seaweed Gose
Cromarty with IMBC: Bilberry Saison
Squawk with IMBC: Fig Stout
Hanging Bat with IMBC: Sloe Wit

The idea of a bilberry saison is doing it for me.

There are also a number of events-within-event with break-out tastings dueing all sessions (many still TBA). One which is likely to be popular is an exclusive meet the brewer and tasting of Mure with Pierre Tilquin, the newest gueuze blender in the Pajottenland (lambic region around Brussels in Belgium). I was fortunate enough to share a bottle of this on my recent trip and highly recommend you try to attend.

For me visiting the festival is more than just enjoying a few beers (which will of course be a large attraction) but also to experience the archetype event, the grand daddy of the new wave of beer festivals as an experience rather than just a giant pub. Venue, food and entertainment have all been carefully chosen to make the event in to something truly special. A small delegation from Northern Ireland attended last year and as a result set up the ABV fest, which went down stormingly in Belfast back in May. If an event can encourage people to stage something similar in the most barren of beer deserts it much be truly special indeed.

Tickets can be purchased here for the lowly sum of £8.88. Hope to see some of you at The Victoria Baths (or general environs) in a few weeks. Those of you not going are free to live vicariously through my tweetings or likely post-event run-down blog or future in person ravings.

Even outside of the festival there are a number of fringe events happening in Manchester and of course there's no shortage of bars available to be getting at...why not even head to Huddersfield to check out the new Magic Rock tap?Cloudwater already in my sites and of course all the usual haunts will be revisited but please let me know if there are other places I should be visiting in the Manchester environs.

NB I have received a free trade ticket for the session (though I would have paid anyway) and the flight+hostel cost the best part of £100; so not exactly a junket.

*Delete as appropriate

No comments:

Post a Comment