Manchester’s brewing industry has experienced a remarkable boom in recent years.

More than 80 breweries now operate across the Greater Manchester area, with the bulk of them popping up within the past 10 years.

There are 15 in the city centre alone and this situation has given rise to another unusual phenomenon – the emergence of the brewery tap.

Drinking in a brewery might not seem particularly glamorous but the brewtaps have managed to change that perception, becoming some of the coolest places in the city to drink beer.

It’s a chance to enjoy beer fresh from the source, speak to the people who made it and escape the trapping of packed bars. Many offer street food and music to sweeten the deal.

You’ll be given the ideal opportunity to explore these exciting new drinking establishments on Saturday June 24 when Manchester Beer Week hosts the biggest brewery open day the city has ever seen.

Eleven breweries will open their doors to the public throughout the day, putting on a series of events that include tastings, tours, art exhibitions and even a debate on sexism in the beer industry. More information can be found here.

To get you in the mood, we’ve picked out five of the city’s best brewery taps.

Blackjack Brewtap

Blackjack can possibly lay claim to originating this trend in Manchester. This was one of the first regular brewery taps in the city, starting in 2014, and has since cemented its reputation as one of the best. It typically takes place on the last weekend of each month and offers a great selection of Blackjack beer, alongside specials from guest breweries, street food and DJs. But it’s the atmosphere that makes the Blackjack Brewtap – one of the most welcoming, convivial places to drink in Manchester.

Cloudwater Barrel Store

Cloudwater’s permanent tap room, which opens every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, is quite different to the other venues on this list. For starters, it’s not situated within the brewery but in a different unit a stone’s throw away. The feel is more subterranean drinking den than Mancunian industrial unit – the lights are dimmed, the music is soft and the room is lined with weathered wooden barrels, each with their own story but now full of ageing Cloudwater beer. It’s the place to go for a civilised drink.

Track Brewtap

This is the party tap, the place you go to let loose and shuffle those dancing feet late into the evening. Track’s monthly brewtap captures the energy and excitement of a good club better than any of its counterparts, thanks to the combination of superb music and even better beer. A number of excellent DJs have played here, including the Piccadilly Records crew, helping drinkers to embrace the party atmosphere as day turns to night.

Beer Nouveau

Manchester’s first weekly brewery tap feels like your local – that old pub on the corner that’s a bit rough round the edges but makes you feel right at home. Brewery owner Steve can usually be found behind the bar, ready to tell you about his unique approach to making beer. Beer Nouveau specialise in heritage beers, brewed to age-old recipes and stored in wooden barrels, from which they are served. These ‘beers from the wood’ are unlike anything else being brewed in Manchester currently.

Alphabet Brew Tap and Food Yard

Once hosts of the GRUB Food Fair, Alphabet have maintained momentum since their former tenants moved out. This is the place to go for the perfect combination of beer and food. Every Saturday, their yard is filled with a variety of street food traders, while the bar serves up a full range of Alphabet beer alongside cider from Hogan’s. The bench seating and long tables help create a communal atmosphere, with the sound of happy chatter constantly filling the air.




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