Manchester is home to a growing number of breweries, and more and more are choosing to open their doors to allow punters to drink beer right from the source. If I find myself in Manchester city centre on a Saturday, I generally end up in a brewery. As a regular brew tap visitor, I thought I’d pull together a small guide to what you can expect from each Manchester brewery tap, their locations and their opening hours.
A newbie to Manchester, Paul moved up from London attracted by (among other things) the more affordable rent prices the city offers compared with the capital. Formerly a gypsy/cuckoo brewing outfit, the move up north has given Beatnikz Republic a permanent base and allowed them to open a tap room as well. It’s an L-shaped venue with a small bar which has beer, some soft drinks and some snacks available. Card payments are accepted with a beer costing about £3 for a 2/3.
Where is it? Unit 15 Red Bank Court, Green Quarter, Manchester, M4 4HF
When is it open? Every weekend – Friday 4-10pm and Saturday 12-10pm.
Blackjack are the pioneers of Manchester’s brewery tap culture and their events are always unmissable with a vibrant atmosphere. Seating is available both inside the brewery and in the large yard, and there are also street food traders at each event and a DJ. As well as their own beers, Blackjack also offer guest beers on keg and cask from some of their UK’s best breweries and there’s also wine, spirits and soft drinks available.
Where is it? 36 Gould Street, Green Quarter, Manchester, M4 4RN
When is it open? Every month in the summer.
The first home of Grub Food Fair, Runaway will now be opening up their doors every week to showcase their range direct from the brewery. They mainly focus on a range of core beers although they also do seasonal specials which are always worth sampling. Runaway have also kept up their links with Grub – they’ve created a house beer for their new site at Mayfield Depot.
Where is it? Unit 4 Millgate, Dantzic Street, Green Quarter, Manchester, M4 4JW
When is it open? Each Saturday 12-8pm (from July 1)
Alphabet Brewing Co
The last home of the Grub Food Fair ahead of their move over to Mayfield Depot, Alphabet Brewery have continued to open up on a Saturday even after the street food events organisers have decided to move on. It’s owned by the team who run Kosmonaut and Ply in the Northern Quarter and they serve their core range as well as a couple of specials at the brew tap. Soft drinks and wine are also available and card payments are also accepted.
Where is it? 99 North Western Street, M12 6JL
When is it open? Each Saturday 12-10pm.
Located on North Western Street, Beer Nouveau offers cask and keg beer as well as bottles and, occasionally, beers from the the wood. The space is cosy with a fireplace and sofas set up, and a range of special events take place including pop-up bars from other breweries and food events with the Real Junk Food Project. For non-beer drinkers, cider and mead from The Lancashire Mead Company are available, and card payments are accepted.
Where is it? 75 North Western Street, M12 6DY.
When is it open? Every Friday 4-10:30pm and every Saturday 12-10:30pm.
Sour beer brewery Chorlton is a fairly compact brewery chock-full of interesting barrels and concoctions to check out. Owner Mike enjoys experimenting with creations including beer smoothies and is happy to talk you through his brews and is particularly knowledgeable about the science of brewing. Chorlton have also recently started hosting regular vegan food events too – to go with their vegan beer.
Where is it? 69 North Western Street, M12 6DX.
When is it open? For special events – anything is publicised on their Twitter.
Now known across the globe, Cloudwater are one of Manchester’s most popular breweries and one of the best places to try their brews is at their brew tap. Cloudwater had previously opened the doors at the actual brewery but in recent months have relocated the brew tap to their nearby barrel store. It’s not a huge space and at busy times a one-in, one-out policy is in operation, so it’s best to get there earlier rather than later – particularly if there’s a new release. A wide range of their draught beers are on sale, as well as cans and bottles, water is plentiful and some snacks are on offer too, including bread from local bakery Pollen.
Where is it? 13 Sheffield Street, M1 2ND.
When is it open? Every Friday 4-9pm, every Saturday 12-8pm and every Sunday 12-5pm.
Manchester Brewing Co
Manchester Brewing Co is one of the city’s nearer breweries and is another Manchester brewery owned by a Paul! The space is well-designed with plenty of seating and there is also ping pong and table football are available. Beer wise, they were doing cans but now are focusing more on draught beer and have a wide range of their brews available to try. Although they were opening weekly, they know focus more on hosting private events and opening for special occasions.
Where is it? 66 North Western Street, M12 6DX.
When is it open? Usually only for special occasions and events, any events will be publicised on their Twitter.
Squawk Brewing Co
I have to admit, I’ve never actually been to Squawk’s brew tap. They open very very rarely, and for a while did focus on hosting joint brew taps with Track. However, they will be open for the Manchester Brewery Expo so go and check them out
Where is it? Tonge Street, M12 6LY.
When is it open? Very rarely – they last opened two years ago and will be open on June 24 for Manchester Beer Week.
Track Brewing Co
A popular brew tap located close to Piccadilly Station, Track’s brew tap is a lively spot which always has live DJs and often street food traders. There’s cask and keg beer available and there are also some non-beer options. There’s also sometimes a table tennis table set up – sometimes for TT or sometimes for beer pong. Track have previously hosted joint brew taps with Squawk but more recently have struck out on their own.
Where is it? 5 Sheffield Street, M1 2ND.
When is it open? Usually quarterly, any events will be publicised on their Twitter.