Main sponsors

The Co-op

The Co-op, one of the world's largest consumer co-operatives with interests across food, funerals, insurance, online electrical and legal services, has a clear purpose of championing a better way of doing business for you and your communities.

The Co-op's history traces back to 1844, and today it is owned by around 4.6 Million active members in the UK. Delivering benefits for Members and their communities, last year (2017), significant Co-op member rewards of £74M were generated – its members received £61M in personal rewards, with £20M shared amongst more than 8,000 community groups and good causes who contribute to improving local life and make a difference in their communities.

The Co-op operates over 2,500 food stores and 1,000 funeral homes, with more than 63,000 colleagues and an annual revenue of £9.5bn. For more information about the benefits of Co-op Membership:

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JW Lees

JW Lees has had a major impact on the Manchester beer scene. Founded in 1828, it is the region's oldest remaining family brewery and a sixth-generation family business employing over 1,300 people. Over the last two centuries JW Lees has brewed a variety of high-quality cask ales, smooths and lagers, while operating a huge range of popular pubs across the North West.

Cousins William Lees-Jones, Managing Director, and Michael Lees-Jones, Head Brewer, are not only passionate about the beer they brew but also brewing in Manchester. Both are immensely proud of Manchester and believe a blend of tradition and innovation make it Britain's best brewing city.

This passion extends to the pub trade. JW Lees operates 150 pubs, traditional inns and hotels, covering everything from high-volume vertical drinking to country dining and three-rosette restaurants. The mix of the JW Lees estate mirrors the diversity of pubs and restaurants across Greater Manchester and they understand the importance of recognising that beers, pubs and restaurants come in many different shapes and sizes and although individual tastes differ, it is worth celebrating them all.

Visit the JW Lees website.

Key partners

Marble Brewery

Brewing up a storm since 1997. The Marble Brewery is a microbrewery based in the heart of Manchester, UK. Specialising in modern classics, innovative cask beer, and revitalising historic British styles, Marble focuses on putting quality first whilst defying trends. At the helm is Head Brewer, Joseph Ince, who took over from James Kemp earlier this year after arriving from Magic Rock.

The brewery was originally housed in the rear of The Marble Arch Inn, and comprised of a four-and-a-half-barrel plant which was found between a rear store room and the pub cellars. Installed by Brendan Dobbin, former proprietor of the West Coast Brewing Company, the copper and hot liquor tank were situated behind glass observation windows, where curious drinkers could view their beer being created. The fermenters and conditioning tanks were housed in the cellars below. 

Due to increased production, the brewery expanded in 2009 to twelve-barrel capacity, seeing production up sticks and move to a railway arch a short distance away. The Marble Arch Inn is now the flagship pub and taproom for the brewery. It is still the best place to enjoy Marble beers at their freshest along with its sibling outlets, 57 Thomas Street, a keg-focused bar in Manchester's Northern Quarter, and The Marble Beerhouse, situated in the south Manchester suburb of Chorlton-Cum-Hardy.

Visit the Marble Brewery website.



Lallemand was founded at the end of the 19th century, specialising in the development, production, and marketing of yeasts and bacteria.

Lallemand’s presence in the brewing industry dates from the early 1970s when the company started producing dried pure culture brewing yeasts for beer kit manufacturers in Canada. In subsequent years, this activity was expanded to the production of other specific ale and lager beer yeasts for different clients across the globe and today is an important supplier to the UK brewing industry.

Danstar, Lalvin, and Lallemand premium brewing yeast is manufactured from pure brewing yeast strains using the most advanced techniques available, resulting in a range of products of unmatched purity, performance and ease of use.

Visit the Lallemand website.



Kegstar rent kegs and casks to help free up producers' time and money otherwise spent tracking, maintaining and collecting.

Using app enabled technology (free to download from your app store) each of their kegs and casks are scanned with a smart device through the supply chain, creating valuable data along the way.

All the producer needs to do is fill, deliver, scan and repeat. Clever casks, great beers, happy drinkers!

Visit the Kegstar website.