Manchester Brewery Expo 2017 (Manchester Beer Week)

So the last Manchester Brewery Expo was in 2015 and you can read my thoughts on it over these 3 parts.

Brewery Expo 2015 – Part 1

Brewery Expo 2015 – Part 2

Brewery Expo 2015 – Part 3

2015 was held over 2 days and whereas technically so was this year’s event, only the Saturday saw all the breweries open.

Also changed was that a Tote bag was not the prize on offer but a t-shirt, plus the fact that 2017 was the nice relaxed event that 2015 became (and actually ended up being) because this year was not controlled by a raging egomaniac.

Rather than regale you with what its like to drink in 11 different breweries this piece is just going to be about the differences between 2015 and 2017.

Irk Valley Breweries

Green Quarter, Red Bank, call this place what you like its the one where the arches the breweries are housed in are service by Victoria Station.

Blackjack Beers

The easiest place to start is that in the storied past of a whole 2 years ago there was only 1 brewery tap open and that was Blackjack.  They are still going strong, strong even; after the evolution of good, non-portable toilets at their tap they have also launched a token system which improves the experience two-fold; less queuing to get a beer and those staff who volunteer to work the bar don’t have to suffer that bloody temperamental cash till.  I think Six O’Clock Beer Co. still cuckoos here too.

It is also worth noting that Blackjack also took control of the Smithfield Hotel in central Manchester and Jack in the Box in Altrincham prior to that.  Bush outside brewery still progressing nicely.

 

Runaway Brewery

Runaway are about to launch a weekly tap themselves, this to complement the new mezzanine they’ve installed at the brewery which is a nice extension, even if it does mean queuing on stairs for beer.

Beatnikz Republic

The first of the new breweries in Manchester city centre (well on this list) and also with a regular Friday/Saturday brewery tap.  Nice toilet signs.

 

Marble Brewery

They don’t have a tap and they weren’t open this year as part of the expo but they don’t need to be.  They themselves have expanded since 2015, with a new outlet called 57 Thomas Street in the quickly becoming irrelevant Northern Quarter as well as an expansion into canning their beers and launching a whole host of new brews, which someone once suggested made Marble the premier lager producers of Manchester.

Piccadilly Breweries

This stretches from Piccadilly Station to Ardwick (seldom visited by trains, better shrubbery than Blackjack) and if you survive crossing the Mancunian Way, you’ll probably cop it from the nut jobs that speed down either side, despite the chalked pleas of the locals.

Track Brewing Co.

Semi-regular brew tap which is always very popular.  Everyone loves Sonoma.

Alphabet Brewing Co

Weekly brew tap, this brewery seemed to steal a march with regards canning their beers.  The regular occurrence of the tap also forced them to install extra toilets and the loudest but best hand drier.

Dan’s Brewery

A complete lack of social media presence doesn’t detract from the newest brewery on the block, with a pedigree shared between the aforementioned Marble and the heavily worshipped Huddersfield outfit that is Magic Rock.

Carbon Smith Brewing

Just starting in 2015, not open in 2017 but still around in some capacity, which may also see yet another brewery appear in central Manchester too.

Beer Nouveau

Replacing Privateer, this brewery lead the charge of a regular weekly brew tap, also expanded into the other half of the arch and is launching their own Heritage Beers Barrel funding thing, which in itself has exceed expectation has also expanded its funding limit.  Origami cuckoos from here too.

Chorlton Brewing Co.

Expanded capacity, now canning generally exclusively and still not confirmed if they are going with Tesco or not…well that is what everyone wanted to know.

Manchester Brewing Co

Another addition since 2015, with semi regular brew taps.  Has a ping-pong table.

Squawk Brewing Co.

Only opened again for the first time since 2015 (that is what I’m telling myself anyway), they work closely, almost symbiotically with Track to host brew taps throughout the year.  Did not serve Tagine on this day and toilet not as spectacular as it once was but these are minor quibbles.  Is looking to get a new fermenter.

Add to this that those breweries that did start out as one man outfits have now also expanded their staffing and it is showing to me at least, a human who did think that there were too many breweries and that some were bound to fold quickly, has not come to pass.

Yet.

In the centre of Manchester.

Breweries are dropping in the metropolitan county of Greater Manchester but that is another story.

 

General Election 2017 – The Nihilism Of It All

Back on the 18th of April 2017, when Theresa May called for a General Election to be held in the UK on the 8th of June it made perfect sense in her dull, little brain.

Theresa May is absolutely fucking useless.  For me; being an ardent supporter of privacy and the rights to free speech, free thought and an unregulated internet, her time as Home Secretary we dark, dark days and her assent to Prime Minister just as alarming.  She is the ultimate Orwellian nightmare, a person who true to form will use the current terrorist atrocities of London, Manchester and London again to further curtail civil liberties.

This trait is not the sole preserve of May and the Tories though, they are merely continuing policy brought in and extended by that arch-cunt called Tony Blair, who as an aside, despite announcing a grand return to politics has been so terribly quiet recently; mainly because terrorism can partly be laid at his feet but mainly because of the seemingly Lazarus-like rise of Jeremy Corbyn.

Jezza has risen though, not the Labour party.  And this is in spite of every single media organisation in the UK from the “left-wing” BBC to the “right-wing” Daily Mail running nothing but negativity about the man.  Hmm, it’s almost as if the media has some kind of vested interest in maintaining some kind of normalcy in party politics.

The Labour party are a shambolic bunch; racist Abbott is front and centre next to elitist Thornberry.  The Blairites that remain in the party are now having to hold their tongue as the polls suggest the election might actually be close.

Ha, the chance would be a fine thing.

Blairites are spineless creatures, they are indeed Tory-lite but oh how Labour voters both old and new wished for a return for the “glory days” of 1997-onwards, which say this whole debasement of political debate begin.

We are the political class; we will talk at you, not to you. We know what it best, we are your nannies, you are sick and we command you to be well.  It is a terrible joke that some still think the Tories are “small state” for what they may withdraw from on a social

The only good things to come out of this entire campaign is that this will hopefully be one final nail in the (il)Liberal (un)Democrats ethically sourced coffin.  A party of a wets farts, who  wish us to forget they enabled Cameron to become PM while dwelling on this myth that they somehow controlled or watered down the worst excess of the Tories.

Greens & UKIP –  all the acknowledgement they are worth, much like that little tyrannical harridan north of the border.

There is something wonderful about watching this election unfold on Twitter.

You’d think that the Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump in the US would temper hope.  Indeed I suppose a win for Macron in France and a loss for Wilders in the Netherlands gave this impression that “good and the decent” people still existed in the real world.

 

All the while talking heads on Twitter will sing with glee about the millions more people who have registered to vote, many of the them young.  They forget that; they might have already been registered, they’ve just re-registered, they won’t all vote against the Conservatives and more importantly because of the first past the post system in the UK, unless they are in key areas in will make fuck all difference.

The next line of attack is to get the young to convince “the old” to vote for Labour, for these youngster’s futures.  You know, because months of blaming old people for the Brexit vote and hoping that because they are old, they’ll die sooner and then a second referendum will mean we’ll stay in the EU.  But history isn’t cool, hypocrisy is where it’s at.

Theresa May could have kept this election about Brexit and she would have walked it, but she doesn’t care about that and has fucked it royally, just like she will with the negotiations with the decrepit and monolithic EU, even though it should be the easiest thing to do.

Truth is, people what something different, something that isn’t mainstream and this is why there is a Corbyn surge.

Trump won because he wasn’t Hillary and wasn’t a politician.  Brexit won because it wasn’t mainstream, it was a chance of something different.  Macron in France, to some extent, was at least offering an end to the status quo (despite being mainstream).

May becoming PM with an increased majority would be a disaster but there is just something about drinking the salty tears of those on twitter that is so appealing in seeing this happen

People want real change and this will not happen and there is something glorious in watching every, regular person (myself included) get fucked over by what will occur on June 8th.

Dance to the tension of a world on edge and then get some cans in to watch the end of the world.

 

Thanks for reading.

A Look Back In Anger. And Every Other Fucking Direction

The Terrorists will not change us…

Except when it comes to delaying our election process, delaying democracy.

Except when it comes to the state wanting even greater powers to actually hack into its citizens private communications.

Except when it comes to freedom of speech because apparently 80,000 people want The Sun banned in Manchester because they are brain-dead twats living in an irony-free zone.

Except I don’t full know how to express myself in words, so here are some emojis.

Except I want people to lose their jobs if they make a joke or say something possibly defamatory.

Except now I’ve got a tattoo – solidarity brothers and sisters.

Except when it comes to being able to actual discuss just what the fuck is going on in the world.

Standard Response

Following the events at the Manchester Arena on the 22nd of Many 2017 there followed the usual, typically predictable response to a terrorist attack.

The #PrayFor and #NotAll hashtags fly like winged monkeys, the avatars changed to accommodate the latest geographical victim, well one that is in the West at least, you’d never have a static avatar if you had to commemorate everyone blown to bits in the Middle East.

The UK press wait a day or so and then dwell upon the attacker(s) because for some reason it feels that the public need to know their name(s), their background, their history because that doesn’t detract from the victims at all.

We also have to preach the mantra that terrorists don’t represent Islam but merely a warped view of it and it has nothing to do with religion.

That last point is bollocks, always has been, always will be…

Give it a week and then the police will release a report about an increase in “hate crime” – quite what being blown up, run over, shot or stabbed is if it isn’t hate is beside the point in this most Orwellian-like crime, but if you’ve been called a nasty name that too is a crime apparently on a par with loss of life and needs as much media focus.*

Above all it is pushed by all and sundry that we should “carry on” and that was should not let “hate beat love.”

Hate

Hate is OK.  Hate is a valid human emotion.

This past fortnight has all been about love, or people’s versions of what love is, not even Foreigner knew what it was and needed it showing to them but either way its was all about love.

One big, homogeneous, nondescript, identity-less Love.

The avatar changes, the bee tattoos, the candle-lit vigils do nothing but focus on the individual and their suffering, which is nothing, it is absolutely fuck-all to those that were actually killed, their next of kin and those who actually could have been victims.

What, so you didn’t “love Manchester” before you changed your avatar and you will stop loving it when you change it?

Your bee tattoo and graffiti, possibly a nice symbol of solidarity is really just look-at-me narcissism, less about love and more a constant reminder of carnage.

You only have love? You have no hate, because hate is all terrorists have and you are better than terrorists?

Not killing people makes you better than a terrorist, not having any other emotions makes you an unthinking drone.

And this is the problem.  I don’t hate you for changing your avatar or getting a tattoo or painting a picture, or singing a song or lighting a candle.   Grief, if that honestly what it is as opposed to relief, is something personal that we all deal with in our own way.

What I do hate, apart from delusional, murdering fucksticks is the rest of the response; that we carry on as normal and yet we still modify our behaviour, our language, our ability to ask questions or offer up answers and even opinions.

In the Kübler-Ross model there are five stages to dealing with grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.

There seems to be a collective brain-fart at work that we avoided the 2nd stage and just focus on the 3rd and 5th.  The world of social media seems to turn into Rimmer after he has had his first meeting with the Polymorph in Red Dwarf.

You neither have to bargain with terrorists, because you can’t and you certainly don’t have to accept it, regardless of what Mayors of London say.

I have love and it doesn’t need mood slime to help flourish, but I certainly have hate too.  The hate won’t keep me any more safe that those apparently without it but it is my response to events, along with continuing to question and to use the same language.

Hate is OK.  Hate is a valid human emotion. It is all about how you channel it.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

 

*Hyperbole but it does seems as much gravitas is placed on “hate crime” statistics than any other crime.  Crime is hate, all crime is a hate crime.