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15th November 2011

Beerfest: our top tipples

The lowdown on this year’s Beerfest

Article written by Rhian Hawkins

For those who haven’t noticed the stupidly large banner hanging over our Union, the Manchester RAG Beerfest is back from 18th – 20th November, promising to be better than ever. Entertainment includes DJs, bands, comedy acts, a casino room and much more. Not forgetting the beer – over 40 real ales, 20 bottled beers, a range of different ciders and an assortment of over 20 flavoured vodkas. Whether you are just beginning to explore the world of beer or your palate is well accustomed to all things ale, the RAG Beerfest has something to offer everyone.

The RAG Beerfest will be invading the top floor of the Students’ Union and will be open from 2pm till 2am on Friday and Saturday, and 2pm till 12am on Sunday. Tickets cost just £4 and include an exclusive Beerfest glass. They can be purchased in advance from the UMSU Box Office and the Student Activities Office in the Students’ Union. All of the event’s profits will be given to the Manchester Community Fund, which distributes the money amongst local North West charities. Come along to one of Manchester’s most renowned events, help the local community and enjoy all that Beerfest has to offer!

We’ve picked a handful of our favourite ales to show you just why you can’t miss out on this year’s renowned beer festival.


Made especially for the sweet-toothed, this stout-like ale creates a chocolatey hint by combining caramel and roasted malt flavours. Its sweetness is balanced perfectly with a bitterness that means several pints of it can be drunk. The beer is locally produced by the Marble Brewery in Chorlton which is well known for only using organic and vegetarian ingredients in their cask ales.

Old Tom

At a staggering 8.5 percent, the Award Winning Robinson’s Old Tom Ale is the strongest beer offered at the RAG Beerfest. It is a dark, rich ale with roasted nut and chocolate flavours that will ensure you are kept warm despite the cold Manchester weather. It has a deep port finish and a peppery kick that makes it irresistible in the winter months.


An ale named especially for the RAG Beerfest, this pale tart beer is for its rich rounded body, smooth bitterness and subtle tang of malt. It has a long, dry and slightly acidic finish with a fruity underscore and is one of the lighter ales offered at the festival.

Bear Ass

This is a dark copper, malty bitter with a beige head and delicious fruity flavours. The ale is produced locally by the Beartown brewery in Cheshire and has proved popular with younger drinkers, making it the perfect RAG festival beer.

Proper Job IPA

If you are looking for a refreshing fruity ale, this IPA is the perfect choice. It is a golden bitter brewed using Cornish spring water that explodes with citrus grapefruit flavours. It was voted “Champion Ale” at the 2011 Quality Drinks Awards and is sure to be a hit at Beerfest.






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