And well, that was the Independent Manchester Beer Convention 2015. Thank you to everybody involved. Photographs by Jody Hartley
Wowee! What a whirlwind of an extended weekend as per at IMBC. By all accounts, you all enjoyed your time at Victoria Baths. We, the organisers, certainly enjoyed the festivities. We might say this every year, but we are fairly certain that this year’s Indy Man Beer Con was the best one yet. We hope you agree! Let the thankings begin…
Firstly, we’d like to thank YOU – the avid beer drinker and intrepid taste bud explorer for coming to IMBC and getting fully involved. You all helped to contribute to the fantastic atmosphere and we hope to see all of your faces again.
A big thank you to all of our sponsors. Cloudwater, Vertical, Beavertown, Hawkshead, Camden Town, Brewdog, and Northern Monk. Each of the aforementioned made their spaces their own and each bar was certainly a destination at the festival. Big thanks also to our sponsors Simply Hops, enablers of many a hop forward beer at IMBC, and Uber, who got many of you home in one piece.
So many thank you’s to our food and snack vendors this year. Outside was truly a masterclass in handheld eating offerings: Bundobust, Almost Famous, Fish &, Great North Pie, Diamond Dogs, and Honest Crust all made each session’s sustenance selection the happiest of headaches. Not to be outdone, our indoor snack vendors laid on the greatest beer pairings we’ve seen yet. These included delights from Karkli, We Eat, and Epicerie Ludo – as well as sweet treats from the formidable Idle Hands.
Speaking of which, we must thank Idle Hands for keeping us caffeinated throughout Indy Man Beer Con, serving up some of the best coffee that Manchester has seen and gladly offering up a change of gear at IMBC. Likewise, we rain gratitude down upon London’s award winning soft drink makers, Square Root Soda, for their superb seasonal softs and cocktail wizardry at this year’s festival.
A thousand thank you’s to our volunteers, as usual your kindly efforts made the festival possible and ensured that everything ran smoothly. Thank you for your hard work during the setup at Victoria Baths, your endeavours throughout, and the pack down after the lights had faded. We couldn’t have done it without you!
The wonderful We Can performed canning heroics throughout IMBC. Enabling, for the first time at a beer festival, you the punter to take any beer home in a CAN. They were amazing and the machine canned beers in about five seconds. It was a great success for all involved and we hope to have We Can on the case next time around!
On the visual side of things, we must throw our arms up in the air and thank the design gods for Steve Hockett. Steve has been our man since day dot of IMBC and this year was no exception. We love his snorkelling Indy Man and we were as pumped as we’ve ever been with this year’s IMBC glass, truly a design classic in the making.
Thanks infernal also to our website builders, Oh Digital, for enabling our first foray into the world of digital beer lists.Massive thanks to Noisebox, MSL, and Hollowsphere for making the baths look and sound incredible. On an aural note, we are forever thankful to all our DJs that played over the course of IMBC. Special thanks also to the live acts that threw down on Sunday. There was never a dull moment in Room 3.
Lastly, Indy Man Beer Con wouldn’t be Indy Man Beer Con without the superb surroundings of Victoria Baths. We thank the building, the history, and the hard work of the Victoria Baths staff for housing us once more. The setting is definitely a major part of what makes this festival special, having such inspirational surroundings fuels IMBC & makes each session a real event. Thank you Martin, Chris, and the team for continuing to house us, we miss you already.
See you next year!
The moment you’ve all been waiting for. Here is the brewery list for IMBC 15. More day-to-day info to follow SOON.
1. NZ Collective:
8 Wired (New Zealand)
Renaissance (New Zealand)
Three Boys (New Zealand)
Tuatara (New Zealand)
Yeastie Boys (New Zealand)
2. Against The Grain (USA)
3. Firestone Walker (USA)
4. Galway Bay (Ireland)
5. Jopen (Netherlands)
6. Mikkeller (Denmark)
7. Põjhala (Estonia)
8. Lervig (Norway)
9. Tilquin (Belgium)
10. Nómada (Spain)
11. Cloudwater (Manchester)
12. Northern Monk (Leeds)
13. Hawkshead (Staveley)
14. Camden (London)
15. Beavertown (London)
16. Brewdog (Aberdeen)
17. Ad Hop (Liverpool)
18. Almasty (Newcastle)
19. Alpha State (London)
20. Alphabet (Manchester)
21. Atom (Hull)
22. Black Iris (Nottingham)
23. Blackjack (Manchester)
24. Brew By Numbers (London)
25. Burning Sky (Firle, Sussex)
26. Buxton (Buxton)
27. The Celt Experience (Caerphilly)
28. Chorlton Brewing Co. (Manchester)
29. Cromarty (Cromarty)
30. Elgoods (Cambridgeshire)
31. Five Oh Brew Co (Manchester)
32. Hammerton (London)
33. Hanging Bat Brew Co (Edinburgh)
34. The Kernel (London)
35. Kirkstall (Leeds)
36. Left Handed Giant (Bristol)
37. Mad Hatter (Liverpool)
38. Magic Rock (Huddersfield)
39. Moor (Bristol)
40. Orbit (London)
41. Partizan (London)
42. Quantum (Stockport)
43. Redchurch (London)
44. Runaway (Manchester)
45. Siren (Berkshire)
46. Squawk (Manchester)
47. Thornbridge (Bakewell)
48. Track (Manchester)
49. Vocation (Hebden Bridge)
50. Weird Beard (London)
51. Wild Beer (Somerset)
52. Zapato & The Beak (Leeds)
53. Wiper & True (Bristol)
54. Wylam Brewery (Wylam)
The following beers were paired by pulling out of 3 hats, 1 contained fruits (roughly), 1 contained styles and the final contained breweries. You’ll never believe what happened next.
In a first for IMBC, We Can will be providing cans for takeaway. Grab an empty can, take it to the tap of your choice to get it filled, take it back and We Can seal will seal it – the beer will last around 5 days. We Can will also be selling the above collaboration beers, these will last up to 6 months. Takeouts just got verified!
The following would pair excellently with…you guessed it. A hand-picked selection of our favourite modern food offerers.
Leeds’ foremost quality hot dog merchants.
Early appearance from Almost Famous’ (MCR) freewheeling, burger slinging Wondertruck.
Wood-fired sourdough pizza pies from the North West.
Fish & Chips with a twist. Seafood anglers, head here.
Indian street food from much-loved Leeds go-to. A rare mobile outing.
Great North Pie
Artisan pie masters from Macclesfield. Crust springs eternal.
Chorlton deli brings all of the cheese & all of the meat.
Modern classic Indian bar snacks. Karkli have been collaborating with IMBC brewers to bring you new flavours.
Highly creative beer snack supremos. They’ve killed it at IMBC in the past & they’ll kill it again.