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Community retailer, Co-op, has teamed up with its neighbours, Blackjack Brewery, to create an unusual new beer especially for Manchester’s only city-wide beer festival.

The ‘breakfast’ pale ale, using all British hops and leftover fruit from the production of Co-op’s own brand yoghurts by Yeo Valley, will be brewed with oats and lactose, to create a twist on the British morning favourite, porridge.

As the official beer of Manchester Beer Week, for which Co-op is the headline sponsor, this new brew will be available in cask and keg at participating venues during the festival, which runs from June 23 to July 2. Bottles will also be exclusively available in 39 Co-op stores across the North West from June.

“We felt it was important to produce a beer that is both accessible and exciting, as Co-op has provided us with an excellent opportunity to showcase Manchester’s independent brewing scene in its stores,” said Connor Murphy, Manchester Beer Week organiser.

“Blackjack seemed the perfect choice to create our official beer. Not only is the brewery situated a stone’s throw across Angel Meadow from Co-op’s support centre, but it has also built a strong reputation for combining innovation with accessibility. This breakfast pale ale will be easy drinking but full of character and is the perfect way to start any day at our festival at less than 4% ABV.”

 Richard Dennett, Senior Buyer for beer and cider at Co-op said: “We are absolutely delighted to have teamed up with a local brewery to create this special ale for Manchester Week. 2016 was a big year for Co-op as we invested in building our local sourcing strategy for beer and pioneered regional ranging in convenience and this is another example of our continued support.

“There are so many great producers in Manchester and we are proud to support an event which showcases them all and celebrates the great beer of the city.”

Established in 2012, Blackjack has since established itself as one of the most respected independent brewers in Manchester, producing a huge range of styles that capture both the city’s brewing heritage and an experimental, modern approach.

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