Volunteer at IMBC 19


Be a huge part of this year’s Independent Manchester Beer Convention when you give your time as a volunteer in exchange for beer and other rewards. You could be pouring beer or helping out operationally with the running of the festival via a number of roles.

In exchange for your time and effort as a volunteer, you will be given…

Beer tokens!
Ticket to a session of your choice!

Free meal!
IMBC T-shirt!
A good time! 

Full information and application HERE to register your interest in volunteering at IMBC 19.

3rd-6th October 2019
Victoria Baths, Manchester


The Thirsty Games 2019


The Thirsty Games is IMBC’s competition to find the best small and upcoming breweries operating in the UK today.

From nationwide submissions we will pick the best three entrants to make up the Thirsty Games contenders at IMBC 19 (3rd – 6th October 2019, Victoria Baths). Each chosen brewery will pour their beers at every session of IMBC 19. You, the beerholder, will then vote on your favourite brewery across the length of the festival alongside our guest panel and the brewery with the most favour will be crowned the winner of The Thirsty Games 2019.

This is the fourth year of The Thirsty Games. Previous Thirsty Games winners are Liquid Light (2018), Burning Soul (2017), and Fivecloud Brew Co (2016).


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.

The beer you send should feature at least one beer that you would pour at IMBC 19.



All samples must reach Port Street Beer House, 39-41 Port St, Manchester M1 2EQ by 12th August 2018.

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


The victorious brewery of The Thirsty Games 2018 will win…

A featured brewery pitch at IMBC 20 pouring their beers at each and every session rubbing shoulders with some of the best breweries in the world.

Plus more prizes to be announced.

IMBC 19 Tickets on sale Tuesday 4th June 2019

Tickets go on general sale Tuesday 4th June 2019 at 8pm

We’re back with four-day celebration of beers from here, there and everywhere at Victoria Baths, Manchester, Thursday 3rd – Sunday 6th October 2019.

Pick up your tickets HERE.

For your exclusive chance to pick up LIMITED PRE-SALE TICKETS head to Port Street Beer House or The Beagle on Tuesday 4th June at 6pm to pick up EARLY BIRD TICKETS two hours before their general release at 8pm.

Both Port Street Beer House and The Beagle will be launching TWO IMBC 19 COLLABORATION BEERS with WYLAM as well hosting IMBC 19 brewery sponsors on their taps.

IMBC 19 artwork by Kate Prior.


Independent Manchester Beer Convention 2019
3rd – 6th October 2019
Victoria Baths, Manchester


Thursday 3rd October: 17.30-22.30 | £10 + booking fee

Friday 4th October Day Session: 11.00-16.00 | £10 + booking fee

Friday 4th October Evening Session: 17.30-22.30 | £15 + booking fee

Saturday 5th October Day Session: 11.00-16.00 | £15 + booking fee

Saturday 5th October Evening Session: 17.30-22.30 | £15 + booking fee

Sunday 6th October: 13.00-18.00 | £10 + booking fee

Tickets on general sale at 8pm Tuesday 4th June 2019 via indymanbeercon.co.uk/tickets

IMBC 18 Photos

Well, that was fun. Here’s some photographs from Conrad Ohnuki!

IMBC 18 Thanks


It has been two weeks since we opened the doors on IMBC 2018 and we just wanted to reach out to you to say a HUGE thank you for coming along and helping to make it one of the best yet. Seeing your pictures across social media and your faces whilst you enjoy and talk about incredible beers from across the globe make all the hard-work worth it. Beer, as ever, was the real hero but we would also like to extend big thanks to the brewers thereof, our wonderful volunteers, Victoria Baths and the wonderful team there, IMBC food vendors, festival supporters and sponsors, everyone who helped out in the production, and again – YOU! We’d just be an empty Swimming Baths full of loads of beer without you. It’d be weird.

The dates for IMBC 2019 are set; Thursday 3rd October – Sunday 6th October 2019.
The venue remains the same; Victoria Baths, our one true love.

More details about our ticket on sale date will follow in May 2019 so keep an eye on our social mediums and sign up to our newsletter for further information.

We would like to individually thank our IMBC 18 sponsors for helping to make this year such a good festival. The room sponsors did a great job of making Victoria Baths their own – Burning Sky, Buxton, Cloudwater, Lervig, Beer Merchants, Stone Brewing, Verdant, Wild Beer and Wylam. We hope you’ll agree that their spaces were a joy to visit.

We’d also like to thank our IMBC 18 supporters. This year’s glass was perhaps one of our finest vessels yet and was brought to you with the help of Magic Rock and Beer Merchants.

Simply Hops took care of the brewers at IMBC 18 as brewery supporter, official keg supporters Kegstar performed stainless steel keg heroics as usual, and The Brewer’s Eye spread the good word of their forthcoming app aimed at beer lovers and brewers alike – follow The Brewer’s Eye for updates on when you can get your hands on the app.

Telcom boosted the WiFi at Victoria Baths and enabled us all to tweet and ‘gram faster, thank you! Our friends iZettle supported contactless payments across IMBC 18 and have a few words for you,

“Wow, that was epic! iZettle are extremely proud to have been involved with Indyman 2018. It was fantastic to meet so many thriving independent businesses and witness the support that you guys have for them.

Whats next for iZettle in Manchester?

November 2018 will see iZettle bring “Social Media For The Independents” to your City. A free event to swot up on social, meet influencers and have a drink on us! The event has limited spaces, be sure to register for your tickets HERE

Perhaps the unsung hero at IMBC’18 was the return of the IMBC pencil – a big thank you to Simpson’s Malt for making that one possible! Lallemand once again backed The Thirsty Games for the third year since its very inception – supporting the best small UK breweries. Awesome Merch made our swag dreams come true by printing all of this year’s IMBC 18 merchandise – please do use them for all your print (and beyond) needs!

Festival supporters Beer Adventures keep things rocking with their interactive city beer guide app – have a look to see how you can get involved with their progress HERE. Last but not least, KeyKeg were a great help as Keg Management Supporter with the recycling of their kegs that you guys helped empty!

Phew, thirsty for next year now. Until 2019 stay safe, keep experimenting by trying plenty of different and new beers and keep supporting the independent. We’d love to hear any feedback about this year’s event. Please do drop us a line with any thoughts – you can email us HERE

Thank YOU,

Food Village | IMBC 18

THE FOOD VILLAGE powered by iZettle

Indy Man Beer Con has chosen iZettle to be the exclusive payment provider for IndyMan 2018, this means you will have the option to pay using contactless at all token booths and across our Food Village. Less time in the queue and more time enjoying beer!

iZettle is a one-stop shop for independent businesses, helping you to sell more, work smarter and grow your business.

If you are curious to know more, please visit the iZettle website.

Located outside between the Lervig x Beer Merchants and Wild Beer tents

Tried food once, it wasn’t for me. I mean, it’s just a bunch of people stood around eating stuff. Where’s the fun in that?


We love food *almost* as much as the next guy. Here are your sustenance options at IMBC 18. Would pair well with all the beers…


Name a better sourdough wood fired pizza…I’ll wait. An absolute must-have at IMBC. Honest Crust can be found bossing it daily at Altrincham Market and Mackie Mayor.


Name a better vegan Berlin style döner kebab…I’ll wait. Pleased as punch to welcome Döner Summer to Victoria Baths for their IMBC debut. Head their way for a great seitan and salad offering.


Name a better pie…I’ll wait. Suddenly Seeking Susan! These pies are good! You know the drill…pastry casing, hot inner, gravy optional, mash encouraged. Wilmslow’s best, Great North Pie return to IMBC once more and reader, my wooden fork is primed.


Name a better hot dog…I’ll wait. The sausage-centric Diamond Dogs return to IMBC to dish up the latest in handheld edible technology. Frankfurter in a bun? Life has only just begun!


Name a better local Chinese and Cantonese street food vendor…I’ll wait. Dim Sum Su return to bao chikka wow wow effect at IMBC 18. Salt and pepper fries everywhere. Always.


Name a better Keema Fries enabler…I’ll wait. Indian street food hits from the kitchen of Vaso. Head this way for a picante treat that’s nice to eat.


Name a rarer outing than Cottonopolis‘ mobile burger grill at IMBC 18…I’ll wait. Northern Quarter bar Cottonopolis, famed for their hi-grade sushi and Asian-inspired dishes are YOUR burger go-tos at Victoria Baths and lo, are we excited.


Name a more niche-ly named burrito and taco vendor…I’ll wait. A portmanteau of Al Pastor Pork and Manchester DJ Pasta Paul, Al Pastor Paul return to IMBC 18 to cover all your things-in-tortilla needs.


Name a more emphatic Middle Eastern and Mediterranean inspired spread…I’ll wait. The Ottomen cometh to IMBC with the best in falafel-forward fare and pita perfect meze situations. If you want me I’ll be thinking about those long green chillies…gimme!

Room 1, Victoria Baths


Name a more iconic seafood duo…I’ll wait. Lou and Hannah Holy Crab return to IMBC with oysters on ice (Bloody Mary hot sauce, yessir!) and the legend of crab balls. If you know you know. If you don’t, find out!


Name a better concept than the scotch egg…I’ll wait. Beehive bring their special brand of pies and freshly fried scotch eggs to IMBC. They’ve got a breakfast scotch egg thats got beans in the walls…BEANS IN THE WALLS. Go visit them for soft boiled gains and crimped pastry realness.


Name a better doughnut and coffee power couple…I’ll wait. Blawd and Idle Hands is where you’ll find all the plain clothed undercover policemen hanging out and munching on pillowy soft doughnuts and expertly extracted java. The finest exports from two of the brightest young things on the Manchester cafe scene, Idle Hands and Siop Shop.


Name a better bag of Pitta Chips…I’ll wait. Soffle’s Pitta Chips bring the opposite of pain to Victoria Baths with their perfectly formed chips of pitta. Would pair well with you guessed it! (Beer).



Ones to Watch | IMBC 18

Soon we shall be depositing the full beer list for IMBC 18 – both in written form and in actual physical BEER FORM at Victoria Baths. In the meantime, we asked IMBC 18 beer pickers James, Matt and Scott to pick THREE beers each that they’re particularly looking forward to at this year’s festival. Feast on…

Matt Gorecki, IMBC

The Veil x Cloudwater – Chubbles III The Promised Land

Chubbles is pretty much what this style aught to be, BIG and complex and hoppy as hell and juicy as nobodies business. So many NEIPAs are very one dimensional and are kinda getting boring but I expect great things from this as the previous iterations have been tip-top. 

The Kernel – Bramling Cross Wet Hop Table Beer

I love Bramling Cross and seeing a UK based green hop beer on the list is a great sign as they’re still pretty rare in the UK and rly aught to be less rare, Kernel are an all time favourite of course and are kinda the go to brewery to find out where stuff is heading and what the best use of particular hops is. Always killer beers and always super chill/anti hype. Their tasting on Sunday shouldn’t be missed!

Buxton – Keller Bier OR Jester King Snorkel

Whuut – Buxton have forged forwards recently with a raft of new beers alongside the established bangers and ice cream omni-pillow crowd pleasers, seeing a new kellerbier on the list kinda gets my attention bc I’ve had a fun time this year rediscovering lager and you know Buxton are gonna smash it right??? Soft murky keller bier yes pls. Oh and OK I’m breaking the rules but Snorkel was a stand out beer when we last had Jester King over (Ed: IMBC 2016) – smoked sea salt and oyster mushroom?? VERY IndyMan as some would say…

James Moffat, IMBC

Pomona Island – Second Toughest In The Infants

Pomona Island have been making some of the best beer in Manchester (they’re technically from Salford but shhh) this year. They’ve been a mainstay on the taps at Port Street since starting up and have simply been getting better and better. This is a light, simple Table Beer thats been heavily hopped with Simcoe, Mosaic and Chinook, it’s the perfect way to start a session at IMBC. Probably the best named beer on this years list too.

Verdant – Don’t Fear The Ferryman (Bourbon Barrel Aged)

I was lucky enough to try this straight from the barrel when we went down to brew Armbands (Ed: IMBC x Verdant 2018 collaboration) earlier this year. It’s absolutely spot on! A big old imperial stout thats picked up loads of vanilla and tobacco notes from the barrel. Verdant are obviously more known for their hoppy beers but this is proof that they can turn their hands to anything.

Wylam – The Shape

Wylam head to Haddonfield. I had to pick this beer, it’s named after one of the best film antagonists of all time. I’m hoping Wylam are planning on playing a load of John Carpenter soundtracks while it’s pouring. Anyway, the beer, The Shape is a DDH IPA with Idaho 7, Centennial Cryo and Chinook BBC, pouring for the first time at IMBC alongside their new DIPA Freak Magnet. Both will be excellent, get one, queue up again while drinking it and go straight in for the other.

Scott Kenneth Jackson, IMBC

Jester King – Fēn Táo

When Jester King first came to Indy Man back in 2016, the whole team was struck, not just by how great their beers were, but also by how genuinely lovely these guys are! We’re all super looking forward to having them back this year, and to drinking some more of their top-level sour beers. For me, though, it’s all about this guy. Fēn Táo is a barrel-aged wild ale which has been refermented with three different varieties of Hill Country peaches, which were taken straight from the orchard, macerated by hand and added straight into the base beer (Das Überkind) in an effort to embrace as much of the terroir of the fruit as possible. I’m so excited about this beer that, when the doors open on Thursday, you’ll find me at Jester King’s bar, first in line, glass in hand, “One third of Fēn Táo, please.”

Squawk – Barrel-Aged Series

Squawk are absolutely killing it at the minute. The cask champions of Manchester, everything they do, regardless of the container, is absolutely brilliant! One such beer is Corvus, which is not only the best stout I’ve had in a long time, but also a strong contender for one of my top 5 beers of 2018. With that accolade under their belt, and my expectations through the roof, I’m particularly keen to see what the brewery’s recent foray into barrel-ageing has produced. At Indy Man, you’ll find a Bourbon Barrel-Aged Chocolate Milk Stout and a Red Wine Belgian Dubbel, each dropping at different points during Squawk’s four-day occupation of Room 3. Mark these beers on your app, turn on your push notifications and get ready to throw some shapes in the Party Room as you sink third after third of these (semi) reasonably percentaged BA bad boys.

Other Half – Double Sunset Imperial Stout

And speaking of “reasonably percentaged” it wouldn’t be a list of SKJ recommendations without at least one stupidly strong, potentially festival-ending imp stout. On this list, that slot is occupied by Double Sunset, a mysterious (and completely un-Googleable) offering from New York dank masters, Other Half. Anyone who attended last year’s Indy Man will remember the hype around these guys – people queuing around the block of their Brooklyn-based brewery, just for the chance to walk away with a tinny of double-dry-hopped, dank, juicy goodness. So why Double Sunset? Why not one of their already established and much-loved double or triple IPAs? Well, I’m not going to lie, the fact this this beer has zero Internet presence is part of it – at this point it’s appearance on Untappd is rarer than than a Kanye follow-back. The main reason, though, is that I already know Other Half can do big, flavoursome IPAs. We all know that. They’re great. Instead, let’s see what these guys can do with this equally big, equally flavoursome style. Something amazing, I’ll bet.

IMBC 18 
4th – 7th October 2018, Victoria Baths, Manchester
TICKETS for Thursday 4th and Sunday 7th sessions are available HERE.




Wild Beer Q&A | IMBC 18

Wild Beer Co will be holding down one of our Food Village tents for the third year running as room sponsor at IMBC 18. They always bring a great spread. We asked Giles from Wild a few questions…

Hello Wild! How does it feel to be returning to your spiritual tent home as sponsors of IMBC 18? Your setup out there has gone from strength to strength these past two years. Can you let us know what drinkers can expect this year? Will there be cheese?

We launched our first ever beer at IndyMan, so it has a special place to us, encouraging us that we were doing the right thing. Cheese is in our DNA as we are based on a dairy farm producing some of the best cheddar in the world…Cheese and tunes will definitely be back this year.

Your “Barrel Library” at Wild Beer is a thing to behold! Can you tell people who haven’t visited your brewery about the extent of that setup? As an outsider it is dizzying but there is obvious order to the cataloguing.
We have over 600 barrels in a temperature controlled cellar ageing beers back to 2014…which is quite a growth from the original 2 we started the brewery with.

James looks after our barrels and has been developing his coopering skills over the last 3 years to ensure that the beer remains contained in its wooden house. The barrels have been joined by 4 wooden foeders which are used to ferment and mature our beers with those little gremlins that sour and develop the levels of complexity you would expect from Wild Beer Co.

We have a very special plum-driven collaboration in the works with you for IMBC 18 that punters will be able to taste for the first time at the festival. Can you tell us a little bit about it? 

We would love to tell you more, however this is a beer you need to come and taste for the first time at the festival (Ed: please sir) 

You guys are no stranger to beer festivals. You recently held your Cheese and Beer Festival and Tales From The Wood, and you’ve attended some of the best festivals in the world. What makes a good festival experience for Wild?

Friends, great beer and cheese.

How important is the location of your brewery to what you guys do and the Wild way of life?

Being in the middle of Somerset is wonderful, challenging, quiet and very different to the hubbub of modern life.

It gives us the time to contemplate, create and wait for the flavours that will develop in our beers.

What are you guys most excited about at Wild at the moment? Are there any upcoming beers we should look out for?

Foeder fermented beers. We have worked with some fantastic breweries including Loverbier, Alesong and Lindheim over the last 18months with those beers coming towards their release dates over the coming months.

Lastly, where should IMBC goers head when in the city when they’re not at Victoria Baths?

Manchester is blessed with many great bars. We always love a visit to Port Street and will make a visit to Cottonopolis for some great food.