Safety & Inclusion at IMBC

IMBC has a zero tolerance approach to any type of harassment, bullying or assault based on gender, race, ethnicity, religion, age, sexual orientation, disability, body size and physical appearance. The festival was created to bring like minded people together to celebrate what we all love in a safe environment and we continue to uphold this and work to improve.

We will exclude anyone who discriminates against anyone at the festival on any grounds. We operate on a one strike and you’re out approach. 

We will not serve products with sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist or any other discriminatory branding.

If you experience any form of harassment or abuse, or see anything that makes you uncomfortable, please report it to a member of the Summer Beer Thing team or security. We will take you somewhere quiet and you can give us as much information as you are comfortable sharing, and we will take steps to ensure that the individual(s) involved are dealt with. We will keep you informed with our steps and make sure you’re happy with these. Any reports made to us are treated in confidence, but if we need to involve anyone else, we will check with you first to ensure you’re happy with this. It is vital for us to make sure you are in control of the situation throughout.

If you have any questions or concerns, or would like to know more about our safety and inclusion policies, please feel free to email Becca at

IMBC 2022 tickets now on sale

Tickets for IMBC 2022 are now on sale.

Let’s keep this short, as any extra time reading this message is time wasted. Indy Man Beer Con tickets are now on general sale for every session. If pre-sale is anything to go by, they’re going to be gone quicktime. Click the link below to purchase, or forever hold your peace.

Tickets for this year’s event are priced at:

Thursday Evening (5.30pm – 10.30pm) £14.50
Friday Morning (11am – 4pm) £14.50
Friday Evening (6pm – 10.30pm) £19.00
Saturday Morning (11am – 4pm) £19.00
Saturday Evening (6pm – 10.30pm) £19.00
Sunday (1pm – 6pm) £14.50
Full Fat (every session, every day) £75
prices exclusive of fees

News on token prices, breweries, and all other details, will be announced shortly.

IMBC 2022 tickets on sale 9am Thurs 14th April, with pre-sale 6pm Wed 13th

Good times are almost here again. IMBC returns, Thursday 29th September to Sunday 2nd October, 2022 at our home of Victoria Baths.

Tickets will be on general sale on this website from 9am, Thursday 14th April, and they’re expected to sell fast (this is the first Indy Man in three years, we’re absolutely desperate for it).

We’ll also be running exclusive pre-sale events at Port Street Beer House and The Beagle from 6pm on Wednesday 13th April, meaning you can guarantee your slot in the baths before anyone else, and sleep safe and sound that evening knowing you’ve get everything wrapped up.

To celebrate, Port Street Beer House will be getting some Nell’s Pizza delivered for the first intrepid souls to venture and pick up their QR code that will grant exclusive access tickets for Indy Man, while down in Chorlton they’ll be pouring tasters from a yet-to-be-revealed bottle from the cellar to those who are there from 6pm. Extremely limited supply, first come, first served.

QR codes will be available until 9pm, and will only be available at the event itself. A phone, or laptop, will be required to gain access, and please note there will be no physical ticket sales at the events themselves.

Need to be reminded that tickets are going on sale? Sign up to our mailing list below to get an alert at 10am with a link straight through to buy tickets.

Tickets for IMBC sessions this year are priced at:

Thursday Evening (5.30pm – 10.30pm) £14.50
Friday Morning (11am – 4pm) £14.50
Friday Evening (6pm – 10.30pm) £19.00
Saturday Morning (11am – 4pm) £19.00
Saturday Evening (6pm – 10.30pm) £19.00
Sunday (1pm – 6pm) £14.50
Full Fat (every session, every day) £75
prices exclusive of fees

News on token prices, breweries, and all other details, will be announced shortly.

IMBC Mailing List

To receive up-to-date information about IMBC developments, including the latest ticket info, subscribe to our mailing list for occasional email updates!

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Indy Man Beer Con 2021 announcement

It is with great sadness that today we announce that for another year there won’t be an edition of Indy Man Beer Con. This is a decision we have not come to lightly, and one we have made only having explored every other possible option while retaining the festival’s home as Victoria Baths. 

We have taken a lot of time to try and work out how we could run the event in a safe and sensible way which would also deliver on the atmosphere, feeling, and buzz of IMBC. When we think of festivals past, we imagine busy and bustling rooms, chats with friends in the nooks and crannies of the space, standing shoulder to shoulder and chatting to strangers whilst deciding which DIPA to drink. It is highly likely that some of that would’ve been lacking in a 2021 version of Indy Man, but our discussions made clear how different it would actually be.

Victoria Baths is what gives IMBC a lot of its character – the narrow corridors, the pools, the maze of little rooms that hold bars: sadly, means lots of enclosed areas and pinch points, which is far from ideal in the current climate. The only sensible way to make the event work in a way that everyone attending would feel safe would’ve been to reduce capacity. Our most optimistic estimate would’ve seen attendance reduced by 33% – this, in turn, would also decrease the number of breweries attending, the range of beers available, and the amount of other interesting things we’d have been able to offer (food traders, music, talks, tastings). In addition, there is also no guarantee on what travel restrictions will be in place over the coming months: international breweries have always played a massive role in shaping the festival, but it would’ve been enormously difficult to make any plans for our favourite brewers from overseas to make the journey.

Even if we accepted those limitations, this reduction in capacity would put the event in a situation in which making a loss would almost be inevitable (unless we hugely inflated prices, which would come with its own issues for a limited version of the event). This was a risk for the future of the festival we were very hesitant to take. Any discussions we may have had about running a much-reduced version of IMBC were immediately cut short when it became clear that we would also be unable to insure the event against cancellation if regulations were to change. Going ahead would’ve meant gambling our entire business, with every chance that we could be told the day or week before opening that IMBC wouldn’t be able to go ahead (as has happened several times in our industry over the past 18 months), and with no way of ever recovering. 

Our core business is in hospitality, running venues across Manchester: the last year has given us a pretty tough time, and it is obviously heartbreaking for everyone to miss out on Indy Man Beer Con again this year. However, we felt we needed to consider the wellbeing of our customers, the sanity of our team, the financial stability of the IMBC, and the integrity of an event we have lavished so much love on over the last 9 years. 

There are some positives: all being well, we’ll be back in 2022, better than ever before, and our sister festival Summer Beer Thing also has some exciting news to share in the coming days, which we can’t wait for you to hear. Thanks so much for your support over the years, and we can’t wait to welcome you back to Victoria Baths in the not-too-distant future.

indy man beer con

Ventile Q&A | Thirsty Games

We caught up with Thirsty Games 2019 winner, Ventile Brew Co, to see how life is treating them after last year’s IMBC victory. I mean, there’s not really been much going on has there. Doi. Entries for The Thirsty Games 2020 are still open. If you’re eligible, you should most certainly apply HERE. The Thirsty Games is IMBC’s competition to find the best new small breweries in the UK. Let’s speak to Dave from Ventile to find out his experience of last year…

Hello Dave. Congratulations on winning The Thirsty Games 2019! How was your experience pouring at the festival?

Thanks very much. It’s the classic cliche I’m afraid but it really was a dream come true to be pouring at IMBC. I’ve been a punter at the festival for 6-7 years so it was great to experience the other side of the festival so to speak. To be stood in a room pouring my beers with the likes of Creature Comforts, Burning Sky and Garage was mind blowing and something that’ll stay with me forever. It was also great to take part in the competition alongside Cellar Boys and Vault City who I had a great time with over the weekend.

How was the response – both from the public and industry – to you winning the competition?

Really good. It was great to have fellow brewers coming up afterwards congratulating me and the response from the general public post festival was great.
indy man beer con
Was there a particular beer that you brought to IMBC 19 that you feel helped bring the trophy home?

It’s hard to say really. My mindset was always, this may be the only chance I get to showcase my beers at this level so why not put out a full spread. I was really happy with Stairway To The Best Party, which was a coconut, cacao & coffee imperial stout. It was insane getting people coming up to the Thirsty Games stand who’d marked it as a beer to try at the festival asking when it was pouring.

You won The Thirsty Games 2019 under the ÖL Brewery moniker – very much a one man brewing operation. You’ve now set up your own brewery with Ventile Brew Co. Can you tell us a little bit about this new direction?

Winning the competition definitely was the confidence boost I needed to push on to set up for myself. I feel brewing at ÖL awarded me the time to find my identity so to speak and to really hone my craft but apart from at the festival, my beers never left the bar where the kit was setup. So Ventile was the natural next step for me. Bigger kit, bigger space and hopefully a wider audience for the beer itself.

What is your current brewing setup and what are your plans for the future?

My new setup is a 3bbl kit with three fermenters in a 1500sq ft space located in an old cotton mill, South Manchester.
The long term plan is to have a taproom onsite with a permanent food offering that’ll compliment the taproom experience so to speak, obviously when safe to do so.

Like many brewers, you come from a culinary background. How does your kitchen experience influence your approach to Ventile?

I always saw kitchens as a place to experiment after working in a high end restaurant when I first started in the hospitality sector and I think that stuck with me. I also think when working with food you’re always looking to find balance within a dish using different ingredients, and I think that’s very much the same when developing a recipe for a beer, so there’s definitely a similar mindset that’s transferable between food and beer.

indy man beer con

Ventile are the first Manchester brewery to win The Thirsty Games. As places open back up into new normality, what are your food and drink tips for visitors to the city?

Good question.

Coffee: Siop Shop, Pollen Bakery
Food : Tokyo Ramen, Bundobust, Nell’s, Arndale Food Market, Listo Burrito, Mughli
Bevs: PSBH, Station Hop, The Magnet, Beermoth, Nordie, Heaton Hops.

Which new breweries are catching your attention in 2020?

Not sure how new all of these are but these are newish to me.
New Barns, Glasshouse, Boxcar, Dig Brew co, Overtone, Wilderness.

Lastly, it’s an exciting – and I’m sure a scary – time to be starting a new business in the Covid-19 landscape. The thirst of the nation doesn’t appear to have diminished over the past months. How can thirsty punters pick up Ventile beers? And what should drinkers look forward to from Ventile in the coming months?

To start with we’ll be just selling kegs via direct wholesale so hopefully you’ll start to see our beers at bars in and and around Manchester soon enough. We want to get beer into cans as soon as we can so then you’ll be able to order off our website ( for delivery nationwide. We’ll also be offering free delivery within certain postcodes close to the brewery via our electric cargo bike.

Beer-wise Ventile will have a strong core range of four of five beers that’ll be around most of the time and then to experiment around that with a mixed fermentation and barrel ageing program.


indy man beer con

Enter The Thirsty Games 2020


The Thirsty Games is IMBC’s competition to find the best small and upcoming breweries operating in the UK today. This year will be the fifth year of The Thirsty Games.

From nationwide submissions we will pick the best three entrants to present as The Thirsty Games 2020 finalists. A public vote, alongside an industry panel, will decide the winner of The Thirsty Games 2020.

In previous years, The Thirsty Games bar has been a focal point of the physical festival at Victoria Baths. This year, with IMBC 2020 not happening in its usual guise due to COVID-19, public voting will assume a new normal form. In the next months we will look to provide you with options to sample The Thirsty Games finalists. Stay tuned for updates.

The winner of The Thirsty Games 2020 will receive prizes from Thirsty Games supporters Lallemand, Yakima Chief Hops, and Simpsons Malt. Basically all the ingredients you need to make great beer, from three of the greatest suppliers around. The winner will also become a featured brewery at IMBC 2021. A prize fund and further incentives will also be bestowed upon the crowned brewery.

Previous Thirsty Games winners are ÖL Brewery (now Ventile Brew Co, 2019), Liquid Light (2018), Burning Soul (2017), and Fivecloud Brew Co (2016). Thirsty Games alumni includes Donzoko, Yonder, Little Earth Project, Affinity Brew Co, Wilde Child,  Maregade,  Cellar Boys, and Vault City.


Use this FORM if the below criteria applies. 


The entrants should be 10bbl single brew length or under in size, or a brewery operating on a cuckoo basis in the UK.

The entrants should have been producing beer for less than 24 months.

The entrants should have their beer on general sale and be duty paid.


We want to sample your A-game beers. Send us your most interesting and creative samples.

Send a minimum of two cans / bottles per beer entered. Please send no more than three different beers.



All samples must reach Port Street Beer House, 39-41 Port Street, Manchester M1 2EQ by 1st September 2020.

The chosen three Thirsty Games finalists will be announced shortly afterwards.

Thank you and good luck!


IMBC 2020 Cancelled

We are sad to announce that IMBC will not be taking place at our beloved Victoria Baths this year.

This cancellation, for the most part, has been necessary because it would be almost impossible to manage social distancing within the baths. We would have to enforce a one-way system, which would dramatically reduce the amount of people allowed in the baths at a certain time and it would make accessing each of the rooms really difficult. It would also place an immense burden on our volunteers and partners. This would impact the spirit of the festival greatly and it just wouldn’t be the IMBC experience you know and expect.

We are still determined to deliver a line-up of sweet activity over the IMBC weekend and we are certainly not going to let it go by without raising a glass to our craft beer community that has been hit particularly hard by this pandemic. We are committed to using the IMBC brand to help uplift and support the industry that we are part of. Stay tuned for updates.

The way that the beer community has mobilised and adapted to ever-changing new normal obstacles over the past months has been inspirational. Please continue to support independent breweries, bottle shops, and pubs where you can. Your patronage will be vital to them in the coming months. Stay safe and enjoy good beer responsibly.