Do you want to try the best beers from Britain’s best breweries all in one place? Then you need to go to the Independent Manchester Beer Convention, or IndyMan for short.
Even overlooking’ the wonderful location in old Victorian baths in Manchester, this is a spectacular beer event, which takes place annually in October. It has rewritten the rules on what a British beer festival is—this is not a festival with dozens of sad-looking, dented casks lined up; it’s not a room filled with old men and Morris dancers which smells of farts and pies; it’s a beer event that focuses on greatness, on sampling many different beers, and being able to meet the people who make those beers, as it’s the brewers who are pouring them for you.
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There are interesting beer talks, good food, different spaces to explore in the wonderful venue; there are beers from Europe and the United States, as well as all the British brews, and it’s just one of the friendliest, most fun, and geekiest of festivals.
WHAT: Independent Manchester Beer Convention
HOW: IndyMan takes place annually in October
WHERE: Victoria Baths, Hathersage Road, Chorlton-on-Medlock, Manchester Ml3 OFE
LOCAL TIP: Manchester’s “Piccadilly Beer Mile”
In London there’s the “Bermondsey Beer Mile” (see post 78). In Manchester there’s the “Piccadilly Beer Mile,” a collection of brewers all to the east of Manchester’s Piccadilly station. There’s Cloudwater, Track, Chorlton, Alphabet, Beer Nouveau, Carbon Smith (and probably some others—breweries are opening quicker than I can keep up!), and on a weekend there’s often a few of them open, meaning you can bounce between different brewers and taste a really interesting range of beers: Chorlton’s hoppy Sours are excellent; Track make some superb hopped-up Pales, especially the Sonoma; and Beer Nouveau are interesting for how they’ve resurrected old beer recipes from the last century. If you’re in Manchester on a Saturday, then look up each of the breweries to see which is open.