IMBC 18 dates

Victoria Baths, Manchester

Thursday 4th – Sunday 7th October 2018

Details soon. Tickets announced in good time…but not yet.

Thank youuu


…And that was IMBC 17. We’ve just about brushed the IMBC cobwebs out of our hair. Each year it takes a little time to adjust to life outside of Victoria Baths. This year is no exception. We’re about back to operating at full battery so figured it was a good time to recap with a few thank yous to the people that made IMBC 17 what it was.

First up, we’d like to thank THE BEER. It’s the thing that brings us all together and some outstanding beer was brought to Victoria Baths this year. We hope that you enjoyed the offering across the long weekend – there were so many highlights, and we are believe the beer list was the strongest to date.

And what would beer be without THE BREWERS? The breweries that joined us at IMBC 17 elevated proceedings above and beyond. One of the most important things about IMBC, for us, is having the brewers on hand to chat beer – thanks to everyone from the breweries that came to Indy Man from far and near.

But what would beer be without THE DRINKERS? A massive thank you to EVERYBODY that came along to Victoria Baths. It’d just be a series of empty swimming pools full of beers without you…it would be eerie. We hope you enjoyed your time at the festival. Please do let us know if you have any feedback – we are always looking to improve, each year we hopefully get wiser as how to make things better, and it would be great to hear if you have any suggestions. You can email us with feedback HERE.

Photograph by Jody Hartley

VOLUNTEERS! You are my lifeblood. Thank you to everybody that volunteered at IMBC 17. Your hard work is very much appreciated by the festival organisers, the breweries, and festival goers. We hope it was an enjoyable experience and that you got the most out of it.

STEVE HOCKETT! AKA Wonder Room Studio! Thank you for doing such a great job on designing what we looked like this year – we loved the poster, we loved the merchandise. Hope you’ll have us again next year. In the meantime, everyone get Steve to do them stuff! He draws good! Whilst we’re on a visual tip, thank you Pascal Nichols for designing the Thirsty Games trophy this year!

Photograph by Jody Hartley

PATRICK CAVANAGH! Do you hear me! Massive thanks to Patrick for designing the app for IMBC single handed. It is our very first app and Patrick went above and beyond to make sure it was geared towards the wants and needs of IMBC goers – so we hope you enjoyed it. Patrick was a pleasure to work with and made our job, of updating beer lists, a lot easier (and more fun!) than it has been in the past.

COLLABORATORS! Thank you all the breweries that we collaborated with on beers for IMBC 17 ~ Fourpure, Dry & Bitter, Six Degrees North, Brew By Numbers, Track, and Partizan. Some tasty drops were yielded.

FRINGE PLAYERS! Thank you to all the bars across Manchester that put on great events during IMBC. If you’d like to get involved with the IMBC fringe next year just drop us a message!

Photograph by Jody Hartley

IMBC 17 was kindly supported by our SPONSORS. This year the room sponsors really made their spaces their own and they were a pleasure to work with – seriously, I didn’t have to tell them to tidy their rooms once. Eternal thanks! A quick word on each…

FOURPURERoom 1 – You literally brought a box of tricks to IMBC in the shape of your custom built bar! Now you’re done with it, can I put it in my garden with a never-ending tap of Juicebox attached? A thousand thank yous for bringing so much colour to the first pool.

Photograph by Jody Hartley

CLOUDWATERRoom 2 – For their second year as sponsor of the middle baths at IMBC (there’s a pool under the floor, believe) Cloudwater did a great job. Outside of the beer, Cloudwater’s grime megamix soundtrack was a highlight on Saturday evening. Thank you for bringing your friends Forest & Main to the festival too – so much fond feedback on their beer across the board!

SIRENRoom 3 – our collective tongues were a-wagging when we first clapped eyes on Siren’s insane beer list for IMBC 17. They pulled out ALL the stops to make party room (Room 3) their very own for the duration – never a dull moment. Awesome show, great job!

Photograph by Jody Hartley

BUXTONGreen Room – Wowee zowee. We could never have anticipated in the early years of IMBC that the Green Room would one day become an ice cream parlour. And not just any ice cream parlour…a BEER ice cream parlour. Buxton blew us away this year, and YOU by all accounts. Flawless victory.

LERVIGTurkish Baths – When I first stepped inside Lervig’s Turkish Baths I actually gasped. They transformed the space with their artwork and then continued the sensory assault with an immaculate beer list. It was a delight to house Lervig for their first year as IMBC sponsor – consistently one of the most exciting breweries out there.

Photograph by Jody Hartley

BEAVERTOWNPineapple Room – Team Beaver assumed their ultimate form once more this IMBC with a sprawling beer list full of rarities and new favourites. As always they made their chosen space their very own with Beavertown artwork galore, and disco feels-a-many. Beavertown proved their reach when they opened the floodgates to accepting pineapples in exchange for mystery B-town gifts…you might say they received a few.

NORTHERN MONK – Food Village –  custodians of our outdoor arena, Northern Monk, ruled with an iron fist (bump) at IMBC 17.  It was Patrons Project overload in their tent as they wheeled out hit after hit from the Northern Monk stable. This Leeds lot are no stranger at hosting a party (HELLO Dark City, we are excited) so it was great to have them in the mix as room sponsor again this year.

WILD BEERFood Village – lastly, but not leastly, those cheese wheel wielding wild beer enthusiasts, WILD BEER, transformed their food village tent into a chesterfield-rich enclave of sophistication. A civilised escape from the madding crowds…until you realised that when the lights went down, this crowd got pretty madding too. Thank you Wild Beer for bringing the party, and the oh so many loved beers to IMBC 17.

I could go on.

So I will.

Thank you to those SPONSORS that supported IMBC 17 across the festival. Namely…

Photograph by Jody Hartley

BEER MERCHANTS – IMBC Glass Sponsors – you did a tip-top job of carrying beer throughout IMBC 17…both in glass form, and in your Beer Merchants on site bottle shop. Much appreciated!

SIMPLY HOPS – Official Brewer Mother and T-Shirt Supporter – thank you for looking after the talent (brewers) with your top secret brewers lounge, and for making us look snazzy with our IMBC t-shirts.

KEGSTAR – Official Keg Partner – I have a dream that one day all breweries will use Kegstar’s eco-friendly and super efficient service, and you know what, a good many are doing it. Thank you Kegstar for the support.

LALLEMAND – Thirsty Games supporter – Yeast unit Lallemand continued to support The Thirsty Games, our competition to find the best up and coming breweries, at IMBC 17 for the second year. We are really pleased to work with Lallemand and to experience their passion for great beer firsthand!

Photograph by Jody Hartley

BEER ADVENTURES – Beer Mat supporter – It was a pleasure to work with Beer Adventures as they launched their beer city guide app, we wish them the best of luck in the future – and hope you use the Beer Adventures app to guide you on your beer-y way.

TELCOM – App and Wifi Supporter – the connection was strong with this one at IMBC 17. They boosted the signal at Victoria Baths so much that I thought my phone was plugged directly into the main vein. You can help me check my twitter anytime, Telcom!

Photograph by Jody Hartley

And a rip-roaring thanks goes to…

VICTORIA BATHS. It’s such a joy holding an event in such a brilliant building that is run by excellent people. Thank you once more for accommodating IMBC in such a facilitating fashion, big love Martin and co. You do a fine, fine job.

Photograph by Jody Hartley

Lastly, THANK YOU to all the food vendors (Blawd, Karkli, Holy Crab, Pollen, In Truffle We Trust, Honest Crust, Nasi Lemak, Al Pastor Paul, Patty Smith’s, Dim Sum Su, Chaat Cart, Great North Pie), non-beer pourers (Idle Hands, Square Root, Hogan’s Cider, Three Rivers Gin, water), DJs (Pica~Sounds, SMS, Swing Ting, Dance Lady Dance, Jeff O’Toole, Aficionado), musical acts (Wizard King, Elle Mary and the Bad Men, Secret Admirer, Wedding, Super Mario), speakers and tasting-leaders (too many to list but you know who you are!), and entertainers. IMBC is always so much more than a beer festival to us, and you all helped to complete the party. Big thank yous to everyone that worked with us on IMBC and helped us to deliver the festival this year. Special thanks to Will from Cave Direct who is a great forklift truck driver, FACT.

To anyone we forgot to thank, we’re sorry! This thing got a bit long…and no wonder. Lot of thankings to dish out, eternally grateful to all!

See you next year!

Photograph by Jody Hartley

Meet Burning Soul / Thirsty Games 2017 Winners

Ahoy! The second annual Thirsty Games competition was a smash this year. Thirsty Games finalists Affinity, Burning Soul, and Little Earth Project poured beers side by side on The Thirsty Games bar throughout IMBC 17. Burning Soul lifted the Thirsty Games trophy (made by Manchester artist Pascal Nichols) on Sunday evening after winning the public vote. We caught up with Burning Soul to congratulate them on their victory and to see what they’re up to now.

As part of The Thirsty Games prize, Burning Soul are the first name on the brewery team sheet for IMBC 18. You’ll find them in Victoria Baths at IMBC 18 at every session. Thirsty Games sponsors Lallemand have also gifted Burning Soul £500 prize money as well as kindly supporting The Thirsty Games and new breweries throughout 2017.Let’s see what Burning Soul are saying…

Firstly, congratulations on winning The Thirsty Games! How was your experience at IMBC 17?

Cheers man, yeah we had an absolute blast. Everyone has always told us how awesome Indy Man is, we always planned to go but always tried getting tickets too late. To go for the first time taking our beer along was epic and it did not disappoint! From the general vibe, to everyone is there to have a great time, the setting is such a great building, to the ridiculously high standard of beer made us feel very honoured to be pouring there.

Photograph by Jody Hartley

You lifted the Thirsty Games trophy at 5pm on Sunday – was there an immediate reaction once news spread?
It was a great moment with people at Indy Man who we’d met over the weekend and the social media went a bit crazy with people congratulating us, we were buzzing.

You guys brought three of your beers along – can you talk us through them? Was there a standout beer that punters reacted especially favourably towards?

So we brought along…

Belgian IPA which is a personal favourite of ours. It’s brewed with Summit, Chinook and Citra then fermented cool with a Belgian yeast. It just works really well with the citrus hops giving it a real depth of flavour.

Citra Amarillo Sour which is a new one we have been trying lately from our pilot kit and it finished fermenting just in time and was tasting great so we brought it along to see what people thought. It’s clean smooth sour with a hit of citrus from the dry hop. Really happy with how it went down at the fest and we have just started brewing up a batch on our full kit yesterday excited to see how it comes out.
And last but not least a lightly Barrel Aged Coconut Porter, this was the most stand out beer people were really enjoying, including Logan Plant who came over to check out the Thirsty Games. This is the first beer we have put in a barrel but it’s definitely not the last. Its only been in the barrel for 1 month. We were originally going to bring our normal version but after having a taste we knew we had to sneak a little out early just for Indy man and were glad we did. It’s a dark rich chocolatey porter enhanced with toasted coconut then the Jack Daniels Barrel added lush smooth vanilla notes.
How did you find feedback in general? Did it seem like there was a lot of interaction from festival goers with the Thirsty Games bar?

Yeah the interaction was great, lots of people would come up intrigued so we would tell them what its all about get them to taste all the beers and buy their favourite.

Photograph by Jody Hartley

You were up against stiff competition in the shape of Affinity and Little Earth Project – did you enjoy pouring alongside those two? The standard was excellent this year
These guys are the reason we had such a great time. We couldn’t have asked to spend 4 days with a more lovelier bunch of people and their beers were great. Even though we were technically in competition it never felt like it. We were just a group of people, who love beer, hanging out at Indy man, having a great time. All of us singing along to queen at the end of Friday is one great memory in particular.

What were you beer highlights from IMBC 17?
It has to be getting to meet Logan and getting to talk beer with him. He was telling us about when he started out and how he went about things. He was really digging the coconut porter and was generally interested asking about the process for getting the coconut flavour into the beer. We got his vote which made our day.

What kind of kit are you working with at your brewery?
We have a 4bbl brew house that’s completely self built (after a lot of auction hunting, some quick lessons in metal work and ordering a lot of piece’s of stainless steel off the internet).
When we got the keys to our premises it was particularly terrifying as we suddenly had overheads and nothing but a pile of parts and tanks (that was a long way from being able to brew beer) After 3 months hard work it actually worked which was the biggest sigh of relief. We have since had some upgrades in the form of 2 new shiny conditioning tanks. We also often have our 100l pilot kit running, testing out new recipes that we put on in our taproom to see what our customers make of them.

If anyone is on a Burning Soul pilgrimage, where should visitors to Birmingham head?
Our brewery tap is located by the Jewellery Quarter area of Birmingham City Centre, we’re based at 51 Mott St B19 3HE. You can actually get a tram from New Street Station to St. Paul’s for £1 which is 3 mins round the corner from us. We’re open Fridays 4-8 and Saturdays 1-8. We have 8 rotating taps plus take out bottles.

We sell our beer to many local pubs and bars including the Wolf, 1000 Trades, Wellington, Post Office Vaults, Clink, Cotteridge Wines, Wildcat Tap, Cherry Reds.

What’s next for Burning Soul?

We just want to keep perfecting our beers. Now that we’re starting to really understand our kit and how to get the best out of it, we can start scaling up a lot more of our small batch recipes and getting them outside of our taproom. We’re all about experimenting, that’s what makes brewing exciting so we hope to have a lot of new beers out in the next year.

Where can people pick your beers up?

At the moment mostly in bars in and around Birmingham. We have just started selling on Eebria trade so we should start getting kegs further afield . We have done some bottle runs  which can be found in local bottle shops such as Cotteridge Wines, Connellys Wines and Clink (although limited stock at the moment). We were chatting to the canning guys We Can at Indy Man so this is an option we’d definitely like to explore so watch this space!

Thanks Burning Soul!

Follow Burning Soul: twitter, instagram, facebook

Thirsty Games 2017 winners BURNING SOUL!

Meet Beer Adventures / IMBC 17

We caught up with Jonny Quirk of Beer Adventures to find out what’s happening in the exciting world of Beer Adventures, our beer mat sponsor for IMBC 17. Feast on this…

Hello Jonny! Can you tell us a little about what Beer Adventures is?

Beer Adventures is a brand new iOS and Android app which lets you take ‘app guided’ beer tours in loads of cities around the world. You can use one phone to get around town with a friend/partner or use multiple phones at the same time to compete with friends to be the best local beer expert on the day.

We spend loads of time curating tours all over the globe, researching the very best bars and brewtaps and aim to highlight places that are not the most obvious and easy to find. For instance you could use Beer Adventures in Singapore right now and be sipping some damn fine craft beer in a matter of minutes, before being lead to a number of great brewpubs and bars that are off the radar.

We’ve launched in 25 cities and will be adding new countries, cities and routes every week – including pairing beer with food, culture and sightseeing so that you get a genuine experience of the city you’re hanging out in. We design the tours to pass as many landmarks as possible so as you get to see the city too. You could be walking from bar to brewtap and may just pass by the Empire State Building or Rome Colosseum en route!

Our app also tests your beer and local city knowledge through pop-up questions, has great info on each venue you’re taken to so you know how it fits into the city and it’s history, plus we also offer a number of discounts and special offers in some of the bars we use.

Overall we’ve deliberately created something that is easy to use, is available whenever you need it and makes discovering and exploring a new city beer scene as fun as possible.

Why should people be interested in the Beer Adventures app?

The global beer industry is so exciting right now and like food, it’s the perfect thing to travel for. We’ve all been on organised walking tours that are expensive and take a big chunk out of your day, whereas our app pretty much provides you with the same service and you can use it whenever and wherever you want.

We’re something to be used close to home when wanting to take a day out somewhere new (for instance travelling from Manchester to Liverpool or Leeds for a day trip) or when travelling the world and needing to tap into the authentic beer scene wherever you are.

Once you’ve signed up to our app, you can choose any city in the world for free on us so as you can give it a spin and see what it’s like, then further cities cost less than the price of a decent pint. Once you own a city it’s yours, plus any new tours we create for that city will be yours for free then too.

We’re also running a special competition to the end of Indy Man weekend with everyone who downloads and signs up to our app (plus likes our Beer Adventures App Facebook page) given the chance to win a £100 voucher from our friends at Hoptimism so here’s hoping there’s some good signal at Victoria Baths this year! (Ed: There is. Telcom done boosted our wifi!)

Who will you be making a beeline for at IMBC 17?

After still riding the high of BeaverX I’ll be found no doubt with either a sour or stout in hand. If the truth be known I try not to go with too many expectations of ‘must-drinks’ to beer festivals anymore. I just really want to enjoy a bit of everything that’s new and discover something a bit different whilst catching up with friends. Saying that there is definitely a chance I’ll be seen near Lervig, Burning Sky, Dugges, Buxton and Cloudwater’s beer! I’m also looking forward to some of Nasi Lemak’s Malaysian street food, which should go pretty well with some darker ales.

What else have Beer Adventures got in the pipeline this year?

Well we have some really exciting city launches happening in October and November with Scandinavia and South America coming online, plus new behind the scenes partner tours with famous breweries in various cities across the UK and Europe.

We’re also going to be working with a lot of UK beer weeks next year to put on some special events so we’re hard at work planning these already.

Overall we want to live up to our name and not just create average, well known city routes for people. We’ll be putting in the deep research to build tours like our new ‘Epic NYC’ one where you hit 10 beer places in one day and need to whizz around the city however you want (plane, train, automobile???) – we’ll keep shining a light on the underground and offbeat places that beer fans need to get to!

Lastly, have you got any recommendations of where visitors to Manchester should head pre-IMBC and post-IMBC?

I’m a massive fan of casual places that require minimal effort to head to at the moment. So GRUB by Piccadilly is great as there’s awesome beer and food every weekend. Cloudwater Barrel store is also high on my go-to list and Bundobust and COMMON are always solid for beer and food.

If anyone has a bit of extra time when visiting the city (or takes a wrong turn out of Victoria Baths…) then I’d always recommend hitting the suburbs for a few. Heaton Chapel train station has Heaton Hops and Bottle within about 10 minutes walk of each other and they’re always a good choice with some of the best beers in Greater Manchester on-tap.

If you are looking for inspiration around Indy Man then we have 3 tours on the Manchester section of our Beer Adventures app all ready to go for free – there’s also an IMBC festival special tour that’ll take you to 6 great places in town so I welcome everyone to give it a spin and see what you think – you can download it HERE.

Thanks Jonny!

Check out Beer Adventures’ IMBC 17 tour on Facebook HERE and follow them via the following mediums…

Beer Adventures Instagram
Beer Adventures Twitter

Beer Adventures Facebook 

IMBC 17 / 28th September – 1st October 2017 / Victoria Baths, Manchester
Tickets still available for Thursday and Sunday sessions!



What beers are on and when?

Keep it locked to our IMBC app. Available via the App Store and Google Play for live beer updates during IMBC 17. Each brewery bar will have a beer board so you can scan what’s on with your eyes if you’d prefer to keep your head up. Paper beer lists are available on request but we’d advise that they quickly go out of date as they are printed at the start of each sessions and there are a lot of changes throughout each session. For the most accurate line-up at your session, use our new app. Search “IMBC” in your device’s app store.

Thursday’s starting beer line-up will be available on the app from Wednesday 27th September 2017. The beer list will then be updated live from that point.

How much are beer tokens?

All beers at IMBC 17 are one token each. Beers at IMBC are served in 1/3 pint measures. The price of the beer token is based upon an average of the beer ordering. 11 token bundles are available at £25 (£2.27 per beer). Single beer tokens are available at £2.50 each.

How do I buy food?

Food tokens will be available. The tokens are £1 each. Food is available outside in the Food Village or from snack vendors in Room 1. Snack vendors will accept food tokens / beer tokens in some cases, please see their pricing during the festival.

What happens when I arrive?

Your ticket will be scanned from your mobile device – or printout – you will then be given a glass and a programme on entry and you can make your way to the token desks. One is located inside in Room 2. The other is located outside, by the food village.

I’m interested in attending a tasting. What do I do?

Please consult our talks and tastings schedule prior and enquire at the token desk on arrival to book your place. We recommend doing this sooner rather than later at each session as places are limited. ALSO, we have a number of spontaneous pop-up tasting sessions at bars at each session so keep an ear out and an eye on twitter for updates. There will be a horn sounding and a picket sign directing you where to go.

What if I don’t like beer?

You’ll live! We are dealing with a strong arm in non-beers at this year’s IMBC. Hogan’s Cider will be running a cider bar. Manchester gin distillery Three Rivers will be running a gin bar. London craft soda makers Square Root will be running a soft drink and cocktail bar. And last, but not least, Idle Hands will cover all your hot drinks needs with their specialist coffees. Score!

What’s happening? I’m confused

Don’t be. Please explore the wonder of Victoria Baths and get your bearings. Consult the map in the programme you were given on entry or look at our app for specifics. If you need any assistance please look out for somebody in an IMBC t-shirt.

Other Half cans? Tell me more!

Two different Other Half cans will be available at the festival in a VERY limited quality. We have 18 cans of Other Half per session. These are limited to one can of each beer per customer. Other Half cans are strictly for drink-in purposes only. Cans are priced at four beer tokens each. If you miss out on cans please don’t be sad, Other Half are pouring kegs at every session.

What will I drink if I’m gluten intolerant?

This year, for the first time at IMBC, we will have a GLUTEN FREE beer bar hosted by First Chop, Manchester brewery whose beers are all gluten free. There will also be cider, gin, and cocktails available at the festival.

I’m hungry?

Yes, me too. There will be vegetarian and vegan options across the board, as well as meat forward fare. Find snack vendors in Room 1 on our “snack shelf” and hot food stuffs outside in our Food Village. Full food line-up HERE.

My glass is dirty, I’m sad?

Each bar at IMBC 17 is equipped with a water tap so hand over your glass and we’ll rinse it.

I wish I could take a particular beer home. Can I?

Yes you can. Or rather, Yes WE CAN. We Can, our mobile canning friends, will be there to can ANY beer from the festival. You can can any beer for the price of 2 x beer tokens. We Can will be located at the back of the Room 2.

As well as that option you will also have a bottle shop on site, courtesy of the excellent BEER MERCHANTS so you can take away some high grade options to keep the party going.

Can kids and dogs come?

Children are very welcome to attend IMBC before 7pm on any given session accompanied by a guardian. Dog-wise, guide dogs are welcome but the rest of our canine friends have to stay at home. Victoria Baths is an old building with lots of nooks and crannies. It will also most likely be a busy, noisy environment and we don’t want any dogs to get trodden on or scared. Same goes for kids so keep ’em close!

When is last orders?

Last orders are called 10 minutes before the end of each session and we stop pouring at the end time of each session.

Will there be merch?

Yes. There will be essential IMBC 17 merch items as well as a smattering of merch available from breweries on a case by case basis. IMBC apparel, poster prints, and more.

Beer Merchants will be taking care of your takeout needs alongside We Can…if you consider beers “merch”, which I do. Beer Merchants and our merchandise desk will take cash or card. You can pay two beer tokens to have ANY beer at the festival canned with We Can, simply go to whichever bar and they will put it in a can and THEN proceed the back of Room 2 where We Can will seal your beer.

Where do I go once I’ve left Victoria Baths?

The city is teeming with events over IMBC weekend. Check out our IMBC 17 fringe for highlights across Manchester or search #IMBC17Fringe on twitter.

Meet Buxton / IMBC 17

We stole a few precious moments with Denis Johnstone, Brewery Manager at Buxton, to chat IMBC 17 and Buxton’s exciting plans. Buxton Brewery are the sponsors of the Green Room at IMBC this year and you can expect a ravishing haul across all sessions.

Hi Denis, we are really excited to have Buxton bossing their own room at IMBC this year. Can you tell us a little about what you folks have lined up for the Green Room?

Hi Dave! Yeah we’re super excited to be hosting the Green Room this year! We’re bringing a really wide range of our beers and re-brewed some classics especially for IMBC including Wyoming Sheep Ranch DIPA and Battle Horse Black DIPA – both will be kegged a day or two before the festival! We’re also bringing two slushie machines and a heap of the Buxton x Omnipollo Original Ice Cream Beers and are planning to do some fun toppings.

I heard rumblings that there are exciting plans afoot at your brewery for the beer punter. Tours? Taproom? Can you elaborate or are you sworn to secrecy?

Yes totally sworn to secrecy haha! Yes our “Speakeasy Tasting Room” at the brewery is almost ready and we should have it opened very soon.

Buxton Tap House is a real destination for any beer aficionado. I’d imagine your soft serve machines get quite the reaction from the uninitiated at the Tap House. Do the ice cream beers blow a lot of minds on a daily basis?

They certainly do! But a few minds also regularly get blown by Axe Edge! The soft serve machines are a fantastic talking point and really get people excited about our Ice Cream beers. Apart from us and Omnipollo’s Hatt (Stockholm) there aren’t many bars that offer the ice cream beers with soft serve on an almost permanent basis!

What are your top Manchester tips for visitors to the city over IMBC weekend?

The Smithfield is always awesome but I’m pretty sure history will repeat itself and I’ll end up at Port Street most nights again this year! Especially with the Burning Sky takeover! For food has to be Bundobust.

Finally. What’s your desert island Buxton beer of choice? Cold stored, naturally.


Thanks Denis! 

IMBC 17 App

Welcome to 2017, we now have an IMBC app!

It’s coming to Android VERY shortly but meanwhile, Apple customers, you’re in luck. The IMBC app is now LIVE and ready to download on the App Store. Search “IMBC” to locate it or find it HERE.

You’ll need the app for the online beer list for IMBC. Expect that to drop Wednesday 27th September 2017. The beer list will be updated LIVE as beers go off and on throughout IMBC 17. Wowee.

You’ll also be able to sign up for notifications to specific breweries so you are alerted when their beers change.

Other handy features include a link through to Untappd, a map so you can get around and find breweries, and the full run down of our IMBC 17 Fringe line-up.

Big thanks to Patrick Cavanagh for designing the app and to Steve Hockett for adding the illustrative touches.

Shout out to our app and connectivity supporter Telcom too!

Meet Siren / IMBC 17

Siren Craft Brew are the sponsors of Room 3 at Victoria Baths for IMBC this year. They’re also one of the most innovative UK breweries putting out some of the best beers consistently. We caught up with Andy Nowlan to chat all things Siren and to find out what they’ve been cooking up recently and a little of what to expect at IMBC 17…WARNING: This post will make you thirsty. 

What’s going on at the minute? What are you excited about that people can seek out right now? 

It’s an amazing time for specials and collaborations right now, with loads of our brewing friends and heroes coming over to the UK for festival season. The one to look out for right now is ‘I Love You Honey Bunny’ – it’s a collaboration with Other Half that has fit in to our (unofficially dubbed) ‘Fruit Pulp Fiction’ series – except this time, in place of fruit, we’ve gone with 200kg of pure blossom honey.  We’re describing it as a honey smoothie IPA. We’ve also just brought two old favourites back – ‘Ten Finger Discount’ and ‘Middle Finger Discount’. Vintage single hop IPAs that won’t hang around for long!

Tell us a little about your recent Project Barista. Those beers sound ideal for a first beer for the morning crowd at IMBC. 

We’ve always been obsessed with the interaction of coffee and beer, in fact we used coffee in one of our four original beers back in 2013 ‘Broken Dream’, that has since become a year-round favourite. Project Barista was about celebrating that concept but also pushing it a bit further, and in styles that you wouldn’t necessarily expect. We worked with three different independent coffee roasters for further input and inspiration, and trialled various techniques for imparting the coffee notes. Then we invited everyone down to the brewery for a launch party with expert talks, tastings and  even a Turkish coffee brew inspired by the beer, that was in turn inspired by the traditional coffee! With a load more amazing beer on tap, of course. You can get the full background here:

Oh, and the good news is we’ve held a keg of each Project Barista beer back for IMBC, so they certainly could be some good early-doors choices!

You’re bringing the Rainbow Project bar to IMBC 17 – thank you kindly, we can’t wait – a lot of our followers will be familiar with the Rainbow Project but in case not, could you shed a little light on what the Rainbow Project is? 

The Rainbow Project began in 2013 and was initially the brainchild of Ryan Witter-Merithew (then Head Brewer at Siren). The basic premise is that two breweries will be randomly paired up, then randomly assigned a colour of the rainbow to inspire a beer. It’s always been celebration of collaborative and innovative brewing, and has become a key fixture in the annual beer calendar. Each year the project has grown, starting out as a UK based thing, before heading to Europe for collaborations in 2014 (Evil Twin Naparbier, Omnipollo, Lervig, Mikeller, Toccalmatto and De Molen), the USA in 2015 (Cigar City, Arizona Wilderness, Prairie, Crooked Stave, Surly, Dogfish Head and Firestone Walker), then New Zealand last year (Parrotdog, Liberty, Fork Brewing, Yeastie Boys, 8 Wired, Garage Project and Panhead). This year we’re back in the US, with an all-star lineup that has paired up some amazing breweries. The Rainbow Project is a chance for breweries to get really creative and has produced some absolute gems over the years, such as Buxton/Omnipollo’s Yellow Belly. It throws up some amazing pairings of breweries.

For the first time this year, we’re launching the rainbow project at some of the best beer festivals in the UK, rather than keeping it confined to brewery parties. There will also be 2,000 mixed cases of the collaborations this year, more than ever before. We can’t wait to bring it along to Indyman!

Last year at IMBC 16 you brought out the big guns. One of only two casks at the festival in the shape of V.I.P.A (Siren x IMBC collab), Maiden 2015, BA Caribbean Chocolate Cake, Eisbock Caribbean Chocolate Cake (!!!), Smoken Dream. Can you tease us with any rarities lined up for IMBC 17? 

For those that tried V.I.P.A. (IMBC 2016 collaboration Vimto-inspired Belgian IPA), you’ll be interested to know that we’re bringing along Cheeky V.I.P.A. this year! Yep, it’s been aged in Port barrels. We’re raiding the barrel store so expect some beers on tap that we haven’t poured before, along with some you probably thought were gone forever (Barrel Aged Shattered Dream!!).  We’ll also have some single barrel Maidens, to give a bit of the experience that we get when forming Maiden blends. Along with a load of new collaborations, old favourites and one-offs. We’ve got a hell of a lineup planned!

Siren are the sponsors of Room 3 at IMBC 17. It’s the opposite end of Victoria Baths from where you were last year in the Pineapple Room. Room 3 is where the bands and DJs perform at IMBC AKA the party room, what will Siren be bringing to the party? 

We had a great time in the Pineapple Room last year, but wanted to get right back in the mix!  We’re working on a beer list that we hope will have something for everyone, all weekend long. We’re looking forward to creating some atmospheric vibes worthy of our mysterious Sirens, and then half of our team will be travelling up from Berkshire to join in the fun too!

You’re seasoned IMBC professionals at this point, have you got any tips for the ultimate IMBC experience? 

IMBC is amazing in its versatility, it’s really what you make of it. From a personal point of view, my advice would be to take your time and enjoy everything on offer rather than rushing around to catch specific beers. There’s so much amazing choice. Maybe try to fit in two different sessions to make the most of it. Also – if you’re not from Manchester then enjoy the city! Whether it be the IMBC fringe (I’ll be heading straight to Magic Rock @ Common), the pubs (Marble Arch, Smithfield, Port Street…) or the food (I can’t visit Manchester and not eat at Bundobust).

What’s on the horizon for Siren? 

We’re finally about to open a tap room, having removed our old space a couple of years ago. With that will come brewery tours and more events. It’s something we’ve been desperate to do for a long time so it will be great to get more people out to our home in the sticks! We took on some new space at the start of the year that will allow us to keep more barrels, but more importantly, access them a lot more easily for regular tastings, QC and (hopefully) releases. So that’s exciting. We also put in a new brewhouse early this year which has been great, but presented it’s own teething problems. It will be great to hit the ground running next year with new kit, loads of experience and a full team to make the most of it. There’s plenty more to come from us!

Thanks Andy! Drooling.

IMBC 17 tickets are still available for Thursday 28th September and Sunday 1st October sessions. Pick up your tickets HERE. Full brewery list HERE