The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) will be launching its first education space at the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival (MBCF) next week as it looks to expand its educational offering to members.

The stand will host a range of informal activities throughout the festival, including a cask and keg tasting with Beatnikz Republic Brewing Co, where visitors can sample its infamous Kentucky Stout.

Festival-goers can also learn about the brewing process and essential beer ingredients like hops and malts, which have been donated by the British Hop Growers Association (BHA), the Maltsters’ Association of Great Britain (MAGB), and Charles Faram Hop Merchants.

Dr Julian South, executive director of MAGB, will be on hand to answer questions about the role of malts in brewing, as will CAMRA’s campaigns team, to discuss the Save Our Pubs campaign.

The stand will be the first in a series as CAMRA fulfils its commitment “to play a leading role in the provision of information, education and training to all those with an interest in beer, cider and perry of any type”.

Information and education manager, Alex Metcalfe, said: “We are very fortunate to have received incredible support from the festival team to run our first pilot learning space at MBCF. Huge thanks go to everyone who pulled out the stops to make the learning space possible.

“We’ve got a range of informal and hands-on activities planned that will genuinely appeal to the seasoned pub goer and novice alike. It’s the first of several pilots running through 2019 and 2020 at CAMRA festivals and through the CAMRA branch network.

“The learning space at MBCF also reflects ongoing collaboration between CAMRA and fellow organisations seeking to provide learning opportunities about beer, cider and perry.”

The beer festival is the biggest in the North. After a preview for the trade, media and CAMRA members on the Wednesday, it opens to the public from Thursday, January 24, until the Saturday.

Staged in Manchester Central, it will feature beers from more than 200 breweries, as well as a remarkable selection of foreign beers and ciders. Organisers have also announced a new bar this year called ‘Beers from the Wood’, which will celebrate beers being served from wooden casks.

Education space itinerary

Wednesday, January 23: trade and members’ day
The listening post
An opportunity for brewers, the trade and CAMRA members to let information and education manager, Alex Metcalfe, know what CAMRA’s priorities should be regarding education, information and training.

Thursday, January 24
Cask and keg tasting with a brewer
This educational session will give you guidance from an industry professional on the key differences between cask and keg beer. This session will run from approximately noon until 6pm on a first come, first served basis.

Friday, January 25
Save Our Pubs Campaign awareness
The CAMRA campaigns team will be visiting Manchester to promote and raise awareness of the Save Our Pubs campaign. They will be on-hand to provide guidance and support for members interested in taking part.

Saturday, January 26
Informal session, plus CAMRA Books
CAMRA’s trading manager will be on hand to spread information about the Good Beer Guide app, upcoming book releases and more.

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