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Commercially-viable homebrew competition

Homebrewers from across Greater Manchester are being invited to take part in a competition to see who can brew the best, commercially-viable beer.

The winner will get the chance to brew their beer commercially at Beer Nouveau and put it up for sale at the upcoming Left Bank Beer Festival.

The competition, organised by the Manchester Homebrewers Group and Beer Nouveau, will challenge the brewers to not only create a beer that tastes great but one that would also works to the same ingredient constraints faced by the professionals.

Entrants will be provided with a sheet to provide details of their ingredients, which will allow judges to work out the cost of producing the beer commercially. Drinkers at the MCR Homebrew Expo on Sunday June 19 will also be given the chance to rate each beer. The winner will be determined by combining the results from the two methods of judging.

How limited are the ingredients? There are only 24 hops available on the spot market at the moment, and brewers will be limited to using these for the competition. They are:

  • Atlas
  • Bramling Cross
  • Bravo
  • Cascade
  • Columbus
  • Crystal
  • Dana
  • Dr Rudi
  • Eureka
  • First Gold
  • Mittlefruh
  • Hekules
  • Lubelski
  • Magnum
  • Minstrel
  • Mount Hood
  • Northern Brewer
  • Pacific Gem
  • Pioneer
  • Progress
  • Sladek
  • Sovereign
  • Target
  • Whitbred Goldings Variety (WGV)

If you would like to take part in the competition, contact mancshomebrew@gmail.com for full details on how to enter.

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Brewing experiment set to explore the power of yeast

 Yeast at work inside the fermenter

Yeast at work inside the fermenter

May 11, 2016 - Four breweries are taking part in a unique experiment for Manchester Beer Week to demonstrate the power of yeast in the brewing process.

The event, which is being organised in collaboration with yeast producer Lallemand, will see each of the four participants brew exactly the same base beer but fermented with a different yeast strain.

It is intended to demonstrate to beer lovers, both young and old, just how crucial yeast is to the flavour profile of their favourite beers. The massive explosion in popularity of the India Pale Ale (IPA) has resulted in hops being seen as the superstars of modern brewing, while yeast has become an unsung hero.

Each brewery will use the same malts and hops as the others, and will even follow the same brewing process, only altering the yeast used. Torrside Brewery will use a classic ale yeast, Runaway Brewery will use a saison yeast, Thirst Class will use a German wheat beer strain, while Tickety Brew will use their own house yeast, which is Belgian in origin.

Rob Percival, technical sales manager for Lallemand and a certified beer sommellier, said: “A lot of the more trendy hops used by modern brewers will dominate the flavour profiles of many beers, especially given the quantities used, and yeast is too often overlooked, except in a few obvious continental styles.

“It’s a shame because, in my opinion, the flavour contribution made by the yeast is the most fundamental to the final beer. I would love to see more respect paid to yeast and more brewers take greater care over the yeasts they use and the conditions in which they ferment. This event will help to bring yeast back to the fore and help drinkers to understand exactly what difference different strains make to the beer they drink.”

“Manchester Beer Week gives brewers the chance to try things they wouldn’t usually have the time or opportunity to do, and we’re really excited to see the outcomes of this experiment,” added Manchester Beer Week organiser Connor Murphy.

The four beers will be showcased during an event at Brewdog Manchester on Wednesday, June 15 at 7.30pm. Tickets will be priced at £7.50 and will include a third of each of the beers brewed. Visit the event page to get yours.

All four brewers will be on hand during the event to talk about their respective beers and the different yeast strains used.

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Historical beers to be revived as part of Manchester Beer Week

 Historical beers to be revived for Manchester Beer Week

Historical beers to be revived for Manchester Beer Week

Long-forgotten beers from Manchester’s past are set to be given a new lease of life as part of Manchester’s first city-wide beer festival.

Four of the city’s modern microbreweries have agreed to revive extinct styles as part of an event designed to celebrate the city’s rich brewing heritage.

Three of the recipes have been plucked from the history books of Manchester’s oldest surviving family brewer, JW Lees, and adapted to account for modern tastes and techniques with the help of beer historian Ron Pattinson.

Blackjack Brewery will recreate Lees’ 1951 C Ale, a style of dark, strong ale that was specific to Manchester, Squawk Brewing Co is creating an interpretation of Lees’ 1952 Stout, while Beer Nouveau is looking back as far back as 1903 to brew Lees XXX strong ale.

Meanwhile, Stalybridge-based Tickety Brew will revive an Invalid Stout from the town’s now-extinct brewery, Heginbotham’s, which was once owned and operated by Robinson’s.

Manchester Beer Week organiser Connor Murphy said: “Although there has been a lot of talk about the recent beer boom in Manchester, it is also important to remember the city’s rich brewing heritage.

“This city has long been seen as one of the leading lights in British brewing and it is exciting to be given a rare opportunity to sample the styles that were used to delight the drinking public as far back as 1903.

“It represents an intriguing challenge for the brewers involved, as they will need to adapt these historical styles to suit modern techniques, ingredients and equipment, while staying as true to the original beers as possible.”

The four beers will be launched during an event at The Smithfield Tavern on Monday, June 13. This will include a talk from beer historian Ron Pattinson at 7.30pm, providing background behind the beers and insight into Manchester’s brewing history.

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Manchester Beer Week chooses Forever Manchester as charity partner

Manchester Beer Week has joined forces with Forever Manchester to raise money for a series of good causes during the city-wide beer festival.

The community foundation, which supports a wide range of grassroots projects across Greater Manchester, has been nominated as Manchester Beer Week's chosen charity.

Both organisations will work together to host events and initiatives designed to raise awareness and money for community projects, including the launch of a very special beer.

This year's Manchester Beer Week coincides with Forever Manchester Week, which runs from June 10 to June 17 and aims to inspire Mancunians to take part in eight days of creative fundraising activity. So keep an eye out for joint events that combine good beer with good causes.

"The partnership with Forever Manchester made complete sense to us," said Manchester Beer Week organiser Connor Murphy. "Not only does a strange twist of fate mean Forever Manchester Week coincides with Manchester Beer Week, but both organisations are focused on championing Manchester and raising awareness about the city's fantastic people.

"We're really excited to work with them to bring a charitable aspect to the Beer Week and give drinkers the chance to dig deep to support valuable community projects that benefit a wide range of people across Greater Manchester's 10 boroughs."

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