Beer and Cider Festival returns to city

THE Manchester Beer and Cider Festival will return to the city centre next week for its fourth year.

The festival, which will take place at Manchester Central from January 19 to 21, will offer 750 different types of beers and ciders for visitors to discover, making it the biggest festival of its kind in the North of England.

In fact, this year will be bigger than ever before, with 30% more space, with more seating and a relaxed area for visitors to enjoy their drinks.

Manchester Beer and Cider Festival is organised by over 20 Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) volunteers each year, where they meet for weekly meetings to discuss the festival’s progress.

Last year was the first year at the venue in the city centre after previously taking place at the National Cycling Centre.

CAMRA volunteer David Rigby said: “Last year exceeded our expectations. We were very nervous about how we would get on at our new venue, but we welcomed over 14,000 visitors over the few days. Things went very well and this year we are eager to make it even better for everyone involved.

Beer Festival“This year we didn’t just want to be bigger, we wanted to be better. This year, as well as the drinks on offer, visitors will also be able to experience lots of different street food traders which will offer a whole range of cuisines.

“We are keen to make this a social event that breaks of the bleakness and gloom of January.”

Photo credit: Krzysztof Kaplon

As well as a wide selection of beers and ciders for people to enjoy, there will be a range of street food traders to enjoy too, including Pipers Crisps, The Pickled Porker, What’s Your Beef and The Crusty Pie Company.

There will also be a selection of other stalls for people to browse. David said: “There will be book stores all about beer and cider, glass work stalls, beer snacks and cheese, and even a guy who sells Viking drinking horns.”

“There will also be a stall selling chilli’s which have been grown in Salford. So hopefully, something for everyone.”

There will be beer specialists at the event also, who will be able to discuss beers with visitors and offer people a selection whilst they talk about them. Writer and journalist Roger Protz, who compiles CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide each year, will also make an appearance at the festival on the final day where the Great Manchester Beer Debate will take place.

The debate invites visitors along to a panel discussion with experts to discuss everything beer, cider and ale.