Greater Manchester Beer Awards 2017
The winner of the inaugural Greater Manchester Beer Awards have now been revealed.
More than 1,100 of you voted for your favourites in eight different categories, recognising breweries, pubs, bars, retailers and restaurants that have contributed to the city's rich beer scene.
Shortlist: Cloudwater Brew Co (Manchester), Marble Brewery (Manchester), Thirst Class Ale (Stockport), Track Brewing Co (Manchester).
Runner-up: Marble Brewery
Winner: Cloudwater Brew Co
Cloudwater was a clear winner in the public vote, recognising their consistently strong output throughout 2017 and their continued growth as a globally-recognised brewery. Marble finished in second place, providing more recognition for the efforts of talented head brewer James Kemp.
Shortlist: The Magnet Freehouse (Stockport), The Marble Arch (Manchester), The Smithfield Tavern (Manchester).
Runner-up: The Marble Arch
Winner: The Magnet Freehouse
Stockport pub The Magnet Freehouse claimed the prized award for best pub, reflecting its reputation as one of the region's best cask ale venues. Its ever-changing range of 14 casks is now supplemented by a growing keg range, blending the best of the local scene with treats from across the country.
Shortlist: The Brink (Manchester), Café Beermoth (Manchester), Heaton Hops (Heaton Chapel).
Runner-up: Café Beermoth
Winner: Heaton Hops
This was a hotly-contested category, with just 18 votes separating the top two candidates. Heaton Hops' victory is a credit to Greater Manchester's growing micropub scene, with a series of small - but perfectly-formed - neighbourhood bars popping up across the region. Heaton Hops combines an exciting beer range with a warm welcome.
Best New Pub/Bar
Shortlist: Bock Biere Cafe (Manchester), The Mounting Stone (Bramhall), Petersgate Tap (Stockport), The Pilcrow (Manchester), Reasons to be Cheerful (Burnage).
Runner-up: The Pilcrow
Winner: Reasons to be Cheerful
Following on from Heaton Hops' victory in the Best Bar category, Reasons to be Cheerful is another neighbourhood bar enriching Manchester's beer scene out in the suburbs. Based in Burnage, it has been a welcome addition to an area previously short on good beer options
Best Beer Selection
Shortlist: Café Beermoth (Manchester), The Brink (Manchester), Port Street Beer House (Manchester), The Pilcrow (Manchester), The Smithfield Tavern (Manchester).
Runner-up: Port Street Beer House
Winner: Café Beermoth
This award was designed to recognise a commitment to sourcing and serving the best in beer and Café Beermoth fits the bill perfectly. Their range is consistently strong and varied, carefully chosen by people who clearly know their beer and care about the condition in which it is served to customers. Not only is their draught range impressive but they also have an outstanding bottle selection.
Best Restaurant Beer Selection
Shortlist: Bundobust (Manchester), Volta (Didsbury), Hispi (Didsbury).
This category was designed to shine a light on those venues that match a superb food offering with an impressive beer selection and Bundobust came out as the clear winner. Its arrival in Manchester came as a breath of fresh air, combining stunning Indian street food with a beer range that makes a point to celebrate the best of the city but also showcases talented brewers from around the world. It can only be hoped that venues like those on the shortlist encourage more restaurants in Manchester to see beer as more than an afterthought.
Best Independent Beer Retailer
Shortlist: Beermoth (Manchester), Bottle (Heaton Moor), The Epicurean (Didsbury).
Winner: The Epicurean
This was an incredibly close three-way battle between a trio of excellent retailers. Each combines an impressive beer range with knowledgeable and helpful staff but The Epicruean eventually edged out Beermoth to take victory for the suburbs.
Best Brewery Tap
Shortlist: Blackjack Brewtap (Manchester), Cloudwater Barrel Store (Manchester), Track Brewtap (Manchester).
Runner-up: Cloudwater Barrel Store
Winner: Blackjack Brewtap
The brewery tap is still a relatively new phenomenon in Manchester and it is encouraging to see more breweries continue to open on a regular basis. Only a handful of votes separated first and second in this category with Manchester's original permanent brewery tap, The Blackjack Brewtap, taking the crown.