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Independent Manchester Beer Convention, 2012

Posted on 09. Oct, 2012 by in Beer Festivals

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Independent Manchester Beer Convention, 2012

The inaugural Independent Manchester Beer Convention was held over the first weekend of October, 2012 and even before the doors opened to thirsty beer fans, many were asking if this would be Manchester’s best beer festival or even one of the best in the UK.

Held at the stunning, and very unique Victoria Baths in south Manchester, the IMBC featured some of the finest craft breweries from the north west, London along with a couple of foreign breweries thrown in for good measure.

Organised by Jonny Heyes and the team behind the excellent, and award-winning, Northern Quarter bar, Port Street Beer House, they aimed to address the problem with many beers festivals, “Warm, flat, boring beer, no atmosphere, rubbish venues, terrible customer service [and] crap food”.

And they certainly achieved all of those aims, and more. How many beer festivals line up the best keg and cask beers that some of the best breweries in the UK (and beyond) have to offer and then get the brewers themselves to serve you the beer from inside an old swimming pool?!

Unlike the majority of beer festivals held in the UK, a large number of beers were dispensed from keg rather than cask. Cask was still present and there was roughly a 50/50 split. There is a lot of debate in the beer world at the moment in regards to keg beer but I think it’s great seeing it included. I’m simply a fan of good quality beer and won’t shun it if its dispensed from a keg rather than a cask.

Breweries at the festival included Brewdog, Thornbridge, Ilkley, Red Willow, Hardknott, Kernel, Tempest, Magic Rock, Camden Town, Lovibonds, Gadds, Hawkshead, Mallinsons, Marble, Sierra Nevada and Cantillon.

The quality beer was paired with equally good quality food. Rather than stalls serving lukewarm chips and burgers and soggy pasties, award-winning food was provided by Michelin-starred Aumbry, the Great North Pie Company, Dirty Dogs, Fire and Salt BBQ, Sindhoor South Indian and North Tea Power.

Overall, the festival was a huge success so be sure to look out for the Indy-Man-Beer-Con 2013.

Park Inn by Radisson

Accommodation during the festival was kindly donated by Radisson Park Inn Manchester.

More Photos of the Independent Manchester Beer Convention

Venue Location

Independent Manchester Beer Convention

Victoria Baths

Hathersage Road



M13 0FE

(Twitter: @awv)

Beer Taster, Pub Attendee, Photo Taker

Robert Gale likes beer, pubs and beer festivals. He also likes to take photos of beer, pubs and beer festivals. Most weekends of the year you can find him travelling around the UK (and sometimes beyond) photographing and reviewing good quality pubs and beer festivals. He also has a day job in the form of a web developer for Ozum.

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One Response to “Independent Manchester Beer Convention, 2012”

  1. Phil 9 October 2012 at 10:13 pm #

    It’d be nice if you could get through the write-up without slagging off other festivals! I’ve never been to a festival of any size and had “warm, flat, boring beer” or “luke-warm burgers”, etc. If that was the IMBC’s target to beat, it wasn’t aiming very high.

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