Manchester Brew Expo 2015 – Day 2

This is the second of what I’m still hoping to be a 3-parter of my thoughts on the Manchester Brew Expo

Or #mcrbrewexpo

This is to cover Day 2 – Sunday 24th May 2015 – featuring the “Green Quarter” brewers.

Part 1 (Day 1) can be found here.

Having brushed the crumbs final few crumbs of toast out of my beard and comb through the last few bit of congealed butter I went to bed.

I didn’t go to sleep, a mixture of happiness of the day, excitement of what Day 2 would hold and too many coffee brewed stouts put paid to any more meaningful snooze time.

Ah, Sunday travel into and out of the centre of Manchester, what a nonsense.  A bus ride that took me one and a half hours and still I had to walk a further 20 minutes to get to my starting point…

BlackJack Brewery

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I’d forgotten my original glass, but had remember my badge and my tickets for Day two’s events at least, even if I didn’t have time for breakfast.  Just signed in and got right back on Blackjack’s 3.8% The Pokies.

At 12.00pm it was time to go and visit what I would regard as, Manchester’s Marquee brewer…

Marble Brewery

Located at Unit 41 on Williamson Street, across the way from BlackJack…

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Yes, it is a brewery and the tour was conducted with enthusiasm and knowledge by some guy whose name I have forgotten.

At this point it is also worth pointing out that bedded down at BlackJack is also yet another brewery Six O’Clock Beer Co. and while not ‘part’ of the proceedings, they [he, Ian(?)] is an ever-present fixture at the brew tap as are his excellent beers.

Free pint of Marble beer was redeemable at The Marble Arch but more on that later…

Back across the road and over to the Glassworks part of the Blackjack operation for…

Brewshack Brewers

Here a small army of home brewers; namely Jon, Ollie and Gideon aided those parting with £5 to try 8 bottles of beer of their own concoctions…

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Bar one that didn’t sit well with me, they were all very good beers, the standouts for me were the 7.1% Earl Grey American IPA and especially the 4.5% Dark Ruby Mild, mild is still not dead as a brew style and hopefully can get a new lease of life with all the up-and-coming younger brew-set.

Suffice to say the 8 part-shared bottles still on an empty stomach was really beginning to take its toll and it was only 3pm and I then had to go down and across the road into Unit 4 on Millgate, off Dantzic Street to visit…

The Runaway Brewery

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After weeks of different Grub and Shebeen events being held at the brewery the exterior seemed a little, well, sparse and serious, a place where mature brewing took place, you’ve had your fun kids, now let the adults work…

Inside was the chilled atmosphere previously experience at Cloudwater, as head brewer Mark conducted his tour with the usual panache and charm that makes him the thoroughly nice chap he is (and it was his birthday too)…

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Take your pick from Runaway’s beers, they are all very good.  But I managed to wrangle a taste of the collaboration with Joseph Holt’s (is that the correct use of the apostrophe?) that was the 5.5% Green Quarter IPA and bloody hell it was a hop bomb.

For more about this brewing collaboration check out the Beer Battered blog, by Connor Murphy for a far more professional and detailed write-up.

A Manchester Bee Pole?
A Manchester Bee Pole?

Food is desperately needed…last nights toast exploits were just not up to fending off all the beer…

Friday had also been spent at Blackjack now monthly brew tap, they have music and they have a different, generally local food vendor for each of the 3 days the tap is open. The food is curated arranged by @GrubMCR and Friday’s selection was pies from Pie Eyed of which I had the suitably filling beef brisket pie, with peas and mash. (3 times I said pie in that sentence, do not mistake me for a Wiganer).

Saturday, Day 1 of #mcrbrewexpo, Sirocco Tapas take over, from them I had a chorizo sandwich (complete with 5% Blackjack Stout)

Sunday saw my breakfast/brunch/lunch consist of a wonderful jerk pulled pork wrap from Flavours Found which was gone before I got my camera out.

Whilst eating the wrap I did note that all the BrewShack people were now ensconced at the BlackJack entrance, on deck chairs, with the previously mentioned C. Murphy, studiously reading and also chuckling over the notes made at the previous tasting.

5pm rolled around and after I had earlier, triumphantly managed to secure tickets to the next £5 tasting sessions it was time to meet, not in his brewery/garage, but back at the Glassworks…

Five Oh Brew Co

Brewer Jamie likes Godflesh, Jamie was once featured in a piece about beer in the Guardian (which I shouldn’t link to to spare his blushes) and the resultant exposure gave rise to the names of a few of Jamie’s beers one of which was brewed for when Godflesh toured the newest (at the time) album.  That beer was New Dark Ages and was one of five bottle we got to sample, the others being; Curious Orange, Chocolate Rye, Stout Szechuan and Stout Bretted Saison.

All over 5%, all very good despite the brewer’s very honest opinions of what there was apparently too much and too little of.  It mattered not, it was a great hour spent in the company of good people and a very genial and laconic host.

After all of this there was still a final drink to of Marble to be redeemed

And so it was that much like on Friday the 23rd of May, some 48 hours later I headed up the very steep hill, passed the world’s largest ‘No Parking’ sign and into the Marble Arch pub to be confronted by this:

WP_20150524_015 WP_20150524_016 WP_20150524_017Mr Wilson’s Second Liners had taken over the front room – you really had to be there, not to take away from the Marble 5.9% Dobber I’d got, but this was an atmosphere I’d not know in any pub for sometime.

Granted it isn’t everyday you get 90/00/10’s dance music played by a New Orleans style street band but the buzz about the place was so infectious that even Rob of BlackJack was caught with a mysterious look on his face…

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To be fair to him, the absolute joy was in his eyes…and his killer dance moves.  In fact everyone was busting a move, singing, pogoing and getting mucky footprints on the seating…

Then the band made their way out of the pub, suddenly a conga line made its way out of the pub.  It didn’t go back to BlackJack, but I did.

Whiling away a few more hours, picking out just how many more of the other Greater Manchester Brewers were in attendance and had been throughout the weekend.

Manchester really is full of great brewers.

Thanks for reading.

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