Manchester’s Brew Taps: A New Beer Mile?

I recently heard talk about a beer mile and I ain’t talkin’ Bermondsey. No, it’s up north in Manchester, known locally as the Piccadilly beer mile. Like Bermondsey, Manchester’s beer mile comprises a string of small breweries operating out of railway arches, in this case on the approach to Manchester Piccadilly station, hence the name…

It’s probably fair to say that Greater Manchester is the UK’s hottest craft beer destination outside London. The region’s 80+ breweries, of which around 35 are in Manchester, have been increasingly evident at the CAMRA festivals Mr & Mrs Fueled by Beer have worked down here in the south. In some instances entire bars dedicated to Manchester beers have been featured and they have been invariably superb.

The Piccadilly beer mile is not as coordinated as its London counterpart. Only a few brew taps have committed to fixed opening hours on each weekend, others only occasionally, and others not at all; and they all shun the cold, dark winter months. The brew taps of the Piccadilly Beer Mile are…


Manchester’s brew taps aren’t confined to the Piccadilly mile; another critical mass suitable for crawling is coming together in the Green Quarter and Ancoats districts, areas of post-industrial regeneration. And they are a close enough walking distance from the Piccadilly mile that the best of both groups can be combined into a single crawl. Beatnikz Republic, Blackjack and Runaway are railway arch brew taps while the Marble and SEVEN BRO7HERS venues are the respective breweries’ flagship pubs. Six O’Clock Beer are cuckoo brewers using their own tiny kit inside Blackjack’s space while ShinDigger are a gypsy brewing collective whose innovative homebrew recipes are developed on their own pilot kit in Ancoats then scaled up at larger commercial breweries using spare capacity.


As mentioned earlier in this post, only a handful of the brew taps open every weekend, and then typically only between March and September. The rest only open occasionally or not at all. The map below is colour-coded to show the brew taps that open each weekend (green); those that open occasionally (yellow); and those who usually do not open at all (red). It’s a good idea to check the Twitter feeds of every brew tap you plan to visit beforehand – you never know. The walking route starts in the Green Quarter at Beatnikz Republic; the Piccadilly mile starts at Cloudwater and incorporates GRUB Food Fair at Mayfield, a street food opportunity not unlike the Maltby Street market at Bermondsey. The connector route between SEVEN BRO7HERS and Cloudwater is a roughly 15 minute walk following the Rochdale canal towpath for some of its length.

Mr & Mrs Fueled by Beer will be visiting Manchester in the not too distant future, hopefully with time to check all this out before it’s over for 2017.

To be continued…


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