However, while my life currently revolves around that first sip of a cold beer on a Friday night, Manchester hosts some of the best breweries in the North West. Save your Carlsberg for another weekend and try some of these pretty special home grown (and imported) hops.
Under a railway arch, as all good things should be, Beatnikz offer Beach Bum pale ale (Mosaic and Azacca hops) perfect for day dreaming about California with and designed to bring a bit of sunshine to any dreary day. Whether your taste is a light pale ale or an earthy stout, Beatnikz can cater.
Beatnikz Republic, 15 Red Bank, Manchester M4 4HF
Alphabet Brewing Co.
A small craft brewery that loves to be experimental with their hops, creating some interesting original beers that after reading this you probably won’t be able to get your hands on. They have a few ‘signatures’ as it were, including Juice Springsteen tropical IPA, Hoi Polloi pilsner and their Flat White stout meant for breakfast.
Alphabet Brewing Co,99 N Western St, Manchester M12 6JL
Cloudwater Brew Co.
This brewery prides itself on seasonal changes reflected in its beers produced (see Christmas Cake stout). In an effort to go along with the time of year, Cloudwater incorporates seasonal ingredients to make its beer the best and most eclectic it can be.
Cloudwater Brewing Co, 7-8, Piccadilly Trading Estate, Manchester M1 2NP
The Runaway Brewery
Fancy a brewery with both a tap room and tours and tasting sessions? Runaway brew beers by hand in the centre of Manchester that they describe as ‘internationally influenced but recognisably British’, with their core specifically Pale Ale, IPA, American Brown Ale and Smoked Porter.
The Runaway Brewery, Unit 4 Millgate, Dantzic Street, Manchester M4 4JW
Shindigger Brewing Co.
Run by two best mates who met right here in Manchester during their time at university, Shindigger has gone from strength to strength in recent years. They are inspired by American style beers which often have fun flavour additions like peach, tropical fruits and even iced coffee. We actually met with one of the directors Paul a few weeks back for the first of our Meet the Brewer series which can can check out here.
ShinDigger Brewing Co, 6 Cross Keys St, Manchester, M4 5ET
This brewery is founded on the unusual – well, using unusual malts for this country and its way of brewing them. It started as Britain’s smallest commercial brewery as well as the most environmentally friendly, so ticking all the boxes. Beer Nouveau have in the past experimented with ingredients like thyme or sage, so if herby hops is your thing, give them a try.
Beer Nouveau, 75 N Western St, Manchester M12
Another under a railway bridge (sensing a theme here), Blackjack Beers is a micro brewery in the Green Quarter with a casual bar and a DJ – so pretty damn cool. Boasting cask, keg and bottles of beer as well as a whole host of events, especially bank holiday brew tap takeovers.
Blackjack Beers, Irk St, Manchester M4 4JT
Track Brewing Co.
Beers that have been born and raised on a bike and Manchester. The brew tap is open from 6pm on Fridays and 11:30am on Saturdays for those that want to start their weekend particularly early.
Track Brewing Co. 5 Sheffield St, Manchester M1 2ND
Brewed in the heart of the ‘beer quarter’ and a stone’s throw away from Piccadilly station, as a place to house Beer Merchants taps, Unit 101 houses not only beer and a 300 strong seating area, but a meeting room and a space for artist Russell Meehan (it’s impressive work). The brewery has over 200 bottled craft beer for you to enjoy at your leisure.
Unit 101 N Western St, Manchester M12 6JL
Sample these family made beauties in the Ancoats or Salford Quays brewhouses, as well as at the brewery itself. The McAvoy brothers really do keep family at heart when putting everything into their beers. On this note, Seven Bro7hers watermelon beer is a must try.
Seven Brothers Beerhouse, The Ice Plant, 39 Blossom Street, Manchester M4 5AF
First Chop Brewing Arm
The last brewery under a railway arch that I will mention in this list, even if they are the best, but First Chop bring you modern British ale that literally is for anyone – vegan and gluten free!
First Chop Brewing Arm, Barton Hall Industrial Estate, Hardy St, Eccles, Manchester M30 7NB