The new Marble Brewery taproom, Salford

One of Manchester’s most iconic breweries has a new home – and it’s not within the city of Manchester. Marble, established more than 20 years ago in the back room of the Marble Arch pub on Rochdale Road have moved their brewery from a railway arch down the hill from the pub over to neighbouring city Salford and, with a new bigger home comes the opportunity for a taproom within the brewery.

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Heritage and hops: craft beer in Riga, Latvia

The Latvian capital Riga has been somewhere on my wishlist for a couple of years.  I was enamored with the images of its beautiful Old Town online and really wanted to see it for myself. Finally, we managed to get a chance to book a short trip there and it was one of those rare occasions where beer wasn’t a deciding factor in our visit.

Riga view

However, Riga surprised me. The beer was, on the whole, fantastic and so full of the country’s heritage that I feel it’s a place that needs to be more on the beer lovers’ radar (unlike neighbours Lithuania and Estonia, the country doesn’t have its own Untappd badge, for example). In a short space of time, I tried multiple beers that were like nothing I’d ever tasted and featuring unique and distinctly Latvian ingredients.

Here’s a look at some of the places we visited, and I hope that, as beer has become so much more global, that more people will get the chance to try Latvian beer – especially from the fantastic Labietis brewery – in the future.

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Christmas and New Year Manchester bar opening times

With many of Manchester’s craft beer bars and pubs changing their opening hours for the Christmas and New Year period, here’s a little run though of the festive opening times of some of the venues in the city centre.

See the list by day or by venue – and if you want some advice on where to drink, see my guide to Manchester’s best craft beer bars and pubs.

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Beer in Japan: Tokyo

Japan: known for its bustling cities, stunning scenery, excellent food, efficient trains and wonderful culture but is it a place for good beer?

It’s been somewhere I’d wanted to visit for a long time and after plenty of saving up we were finally able to afford to do so in October 2018. It exceeded all of my expectations and it truly felt like the trip of a lifetime. Sampling beer and experiencing the bar scene were on my list of things to do, but, unlike other places I’ve travelled to, not the main driver for the visit. However, while researching for our trip we did come across a variety of bars we were keen to check out.

This is the first in a series of blog posts about some of the places we visited in Japan – this one focused on the capital, Tokyo. With only limited time in the city, this is nowhere near a comprehensive guide, but we did manage to visit a fair few interesting places and here’s a run down of them.

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A warm weekend in Bamberg, Germany

Bamberg was one of those places I’d fancied visiting for a while – with a historic old town and numerous breweries what’s not to love? – so for Ross’ birthday I booked us a weekend away.

However, my flight booking skills weren’t the best and we ended up arriving Friday night and leaving Sunday morning. As we didn’t end up with that much time in the town, we were determined to make the most of it.

And despite having less than 48 hours in Bamberg, we managed to clock up visits to quite a few of the beer gardens and pubs so here’s a little look at the ones we spent time in.

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Unit 9 – Cloudwater’s new tap room

Cloudwater’s long-awaited new taproom, Unit 9 has finally opened its doors. While Cloudwater’s Barrel Store looked like it was born out of necessity, Unit 9 has been lovingly crafted and is a welcome addition to Manchester’s thriving beer scene.

Full disclosure: on my first visit, it was a pre-opening event with free beer but I have since returned and bought my own bevs.

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