Manchester’s oldest family brewer is set to join forces with one of the city’s most celebrated modern breweries to create a groundbreaking new beer for Manchester Beer Week.
JW Lees and Cloudwater Brew Co have agreed to collaborate in creating the official beer for the city-wide festival, which takes place between June 10 and June 19 this year.
It represents a landmark moment for the Manchester beer scene, bridging the gap between the city’s brewing heritage and the rapidly growing craft beer movement. Consequently, the beer will aim to capture elements from both sides, combining a time-tested traditional approach with bold, modern flavours and techniques.
It will be the first beer brewed by JW Lees in partnership with another brewer in 15 years, following on from a collaboration with Brooklyn Brewery in 2001, which resulted in the creation of Brooklyn Best and the award-winning Manchester Star. Details of the recipe are yet to be determined but the beer will be brewed at JW Lees’ Greengate Brewery and made available in cask and keg at participating venues across Greater Manchester during the festival.
Michael Lees-Jones, Head Brewer at JW Lees, said: “We love the idea of bridging the gap between nearly two centuries of brewing heritage and the modern craft beer scene. We love the beers brewed by Cloudwater and we can’t wait to see how our ideas and methods come together for this exclusive beer.
“We’ve already thrown some ideas about over a couple of pints and the seeds have been sown for something very special.”
Cloudwater, meanwhile, have made a big splash on the UK beer scene since launching early last year, championing a unique approach focused on seasonality. This means the Ancoats-based outfit has shunned the traditional practice of developing a core range, instead creating different beers according to the time of year, in a bid to showcase seasonal ingredients at their very best and take inspiration from the change of lifestyle each season creates.
Paul Jones, Co-founder and Managing Director at Cloudwater, said: “We’re excited to work with JW Lees to brew a bold, modern beer, seeking to make the best of both British brewing heritage and our forward thinking, flavour-first attitude.”
Manchester Beer Week organiser Connor Murphy added: “Manchester is renowned for both its rich brewing history and for an exciting modern scene that has made it one of the best beer destinations in the country. So it’s incredibly exciting to bring two of the most respected breweries from each scene together to create something unique for Manchester Beer Week. The beer will be symbolic of Manchester’s journey and the spirit of collaboration that will be key to the industry’s continued growth in this city.”
Events for the inaugural Manchester Beer Week will start to be announced over the coming month, with details released via the event website http://www.mcrbeerweek.co.uk/.