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26th October 2014

Independent Manchester Beer Convention

James Jackman takes a trip to Victoria Baths and discovers some new and exciting beers

Have you ever been to the land of beer? Sadly this land is fictional, however the Independent Manchester Beer Convention (IMBC) acted as an embassy for four days last week. Taking place in the Victoria Baths over 9th-12th October, the IMBC brought together the most progressive breweries to show off their wares in the most impressive of surroundings.

Using the full space of the Victoria Baths, along with part of the car park outside, breweries clamoured to get your attention with their newest ranges. Any flavour of beer, you could probably find it. Want music and strobe lights? Just head to the Turkish Baths. Thought of a bizarre name for a beer? They’ve already got a stranger one. You could forget about traditional alcohol content as well, with certain stouts and ales reaching the lofty heights of 11 per cent. These weren’t beers you’d find in Sainsbury’s, these were boundary-breaking thirds, ready to blow the cobwebs from your tastebuds and dull your other senses.

My favourite beer, I hear you ask? Well that would have to be the “Earl Phantom”, a ‘lemon iced tea sour’ beer, served up by Beavertown Brewery. Upon first taste you were greeted by a jolt of lemon zest, immediately followed up by the soothing taste of a cup of Earl Grey, all finished off with your body desperate for more. Either that or “Rapture” from Magic Rock, an incredibly hoppy red beer, with an intensely colourful flavour, it was another which really made you stop and appreciate what you were tasting. With drinks being served in the traditional one-third of a pint glasses, it was easy to try a wide range before you were ready to collapse down onto the bean bags in front of the music stage.

You’d be forgiven for this event passing you by, with ticket prices of £10, along with no advertising at the student body, you had to be looking out for it. However, increasing ale awareness means that this will soon be an event on any beer drinkers calendar.

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