Cloudwater has revealed more detais about its Friends & Family & Beer festival, which will take place at Upper Campfield Market, Manchester, on March 1 and 2.

Cloudwater has invited six breweries that either boast major historical significance, or have contributed to the more recent evolution of beer, in Manchester and beyond.

Among these trailblazers is Manchester’s oldest brewery, JW Lees, which was founded in 1828 by retired cotton manufacturer John Lees and remains family owned today. The brewery is probably best known for its traditional English barley wine, Harvest Ale, and a rare wooden cask of this beer will be available at the festival.

JW Lees is joined by fellow Greater Manchester breweries Marble and Pictish, both of which have played prominent roles in the more recent development of the city’s beer scene. Founded in 1997, Marble was born in the back of the famous Marble Arch Inn and is widely recognised as one of the early innovators in British ‘craft’ beer, creating classics such as Pint, Lagonda and Earl Grey IPA. Pictish’s reputation is more locally-focused, but the Rochdale-based brewery has developed a strong reputation for creating ever-reliable cask ales that fuse British tradition with flavours more readily associated with modern US craft beer.

Creators of classic beers

Harvey’s Brewery, from Lewes, in Sussex, has left an indelible mark on British brewing and has been a family-owned business since being set up by John Harvey in 1790. Beers like its house bitter, Sussex Best, the rich and complex Prince of Denmark, and the unique Imperial Extra Double Stout have become classics, brewed by time-honoured methods.

The final two trailblazers are Fyne Ales and Rooster’s, both of which have acted as an important bridge between traditional cask ale and the modern craft beer scene.

Founded in 1993, Rooster’s was one of the first breweries in this country to regularly showcase bold-flavoured American hops in a series of ground-breaking, hop-forward pale ales, and that grounding continues to shine in its stunningly consistent beers. Situated on stunning farmland in Argyll, western Scotland, Fyne is lauded for its full-flavoured yet balanced cask ales, but has recently launched its Origins series — wild beers that draw inspiration from the surrounding countryside.

The trailblazers join another 58 breweries from the UK, Europe and North America, including many of those considered to be leaders in the global field and a number of which are making their first UK festival appearance.

Find our more about the festival, which will raise funds for charities including Mustard Tree and Coffee4Craig, here

Friends Family Beer

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