Manchester Beer and Cider Festival 2018

The Manchester Beer and Cider Festival at Manchester Central is a great way to banish the January blues. Organised by the nine Greater Manchester branches of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), there's the promise of rare treats alongside old favourites in the former rail station. With 750 or so different drinks, there's something to whet all whistles.

The selection features specially commissioned beers, collaborations and ales rarely, if ever, seen in Greater Manchester. But as you'd expect of the cask capital of Britain, the very best of the lively Manchester brewery scene will be strongly represented too.

The choice for drinkers will be spread across three huge bars serving real ale alongside a dedicated bar featuring family brewers from the UK alongside an Irish invasion from both sides of the border. Around 20 beers from ten Irish breweries will feature. A dozen brewers will be setting up their own bars inside the festival to showcase their products, and a Keykeg bar will serve real ale in a modern environment.

Cider and perry lovers have their own bar, and fans of foreign styles can expect a superb range of beers from Belgium, Germany and the Czech Republic supplemented by a curated choice of beers from the rest of the world. And for those who like their ales in bottles – or would just like to take home some – the Real Ale in Bottle bar will have a UK-wide selection.

Alongside the ales, there'll be street food traders from the city and beyond, providing the important sustenance to visitors. With probably the largest amount of seating at any beer festival, CAMRA's attention to quality and a friendly Manchester welcome guaranteed, this is a great choice to start 2018!

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