The Grove and Magic Rock Tap, Huddersfield

Living in Manchester means that I’m not only spoiled in terms of places to drink good beer in the city itself, but also the excellent transport links providing easy access to many other cities and towns.

With a free day, we decided to hop on the train and take a trip to Huddersfield for a visit to the Magic Rock Tap. It’s not my first trip to Magic Rock Tap as I visited last year for the Rainbow Project launch but it was my first experience visiting on a ‘normal’ day as opposed to a special event.

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Ten events not to miss at Manchester Beer Week

I’ve been thinking about it for so long that it’s hard to believe Manchester Beer Week is now mere days away! It was the launch of the official beer last week – a collaboration between Cloudwater and JW Lees named MCR Fold – and the full guide to what’s taking place during the festivities was also on hand during the event. There’s a wide programme of events with something for all, and here’s my take on the ten beer events not to miss.

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A return visit to Copenhagen

Almost two years since my last visit, I recently made a return trip to Copenhagen. We’d got tickets for Copenhagen Beer Celebration and also decided to stay a few extra days before it to return to some old favourites and check out the new places that had sprung up since our last visit to the Danish capital. Here’s a little guide to the craft beer bars we went to during our five days in Copenhagen.

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History, brewpubs and collaboration: a trio of pubs in North Wales

Despite growing up in Merseyside, living in Manchester and spending as much time as possible travelling and exploring, there’s one area very close to home where I’ve not spent too much time: Wales.  Apart from a few trips as a child (and a hen do in Chester that involved visiting a spa in Deeside), Wales is very much undiscovered territory to me so when we were looking for a place for a weekend away, it seemed like the natural choice.

We stayed in rural Snowdonia – probably the most rural place I’ve ever stayed – but on the way there and back we made a few stop offs.

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Historic ales to be revived for Manchester Beer Week

Four breweries in Greater Manchester are to recreate a collection of beers, some dating back more than 100 years, for Manchester Beer Week.

Three recipes have been taken from the archives of JW Lees and adapted for modern techniques and tastes, while a fourth beer will be revived from a now closed down brewery in Stalybridge.

Blackjack are to recreate Lees’ 1951 C Ale, a Manchester-specific style of dark, strong ale; Squawk Brewing are making their own version of Lees’ 1952 Stout while Beer Nouveau are heading even further back in time to make Lees’ XXX strong ale, which dates back to 1903.

Meanwhile, Stalybridge’s Ticketybrew will be bringing back an Invalid Stout from Heginbotham’s, a brewery which was formerly owned and operated by Robinsons.

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

“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 beers will be launched at The Smithfield on Monday June 13 at an event which will include a talk from beer historian Ron Pattinson.

See more events from Manchester Beer Week on the Manchester beer events calendar.


Looking for more information on Manchester? See my guide to the best things to do in Manchester on my travel blog.

Craft beer in Barcelona

Barcelona has a reputation as a very cool, cultured and trendy city and it’s also in the midst of a beer revolution. Although Estrella and the like dominate, there are now a growing number of smaller breweries popping up in the city and craft beer bars opening their doors.

We recently spent a weekend exploring the city and here’s a little look at some of the bars and breweries we visited in Barcelona.

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