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Out with the Lager, in with the Cask Ales!

Published on January 7th 2005.


With the night's closing in, there's nothing like a smooth ale to warm the cockles, well, maybe a brandy or three, but it certainly provides a decent alternative to drinking the usual Stella and Heineken's found in your local chain pub.
The Cask Ale was out on display in all its glory yesterday afternoon as the Independent Family Brewers of Britain (IFBB) got together to launch Cask Ale Week 2004. The IFBB is made up of 32 family owned and run breweries in the UK who between them account for 50% of the UK's draught beer production.
The Ape and Apple on John Dalton Street played host to six different breweries, with each provided samples of individual ales.
With breweries JW Lees, Hydes Brewery, Holts, Jennings, Robinsons and Thwaites all providing samples, a liquid lunch for Manchester's ale drinks, starved of local ales in recent times, went down a storm.
Between them., these six breweries operate 1,352 pubs, employ over 3,200 people and ahave a joint turnover in excess of £316 million, oh, and they produce 1,004 million pints.
Not shy of sampling a tipple, Manchester Confidential's favourites included JW Lees' GB Mild (noted as "a warm and reassuring, dark and sweet ale" by our own Andrew Mullett), Hydes' Jekyll's Gold (noted as "a smooth and slick option").
As the ales flowed down, we also tested out the remaining beers on show, namely: Joseph Holt Bitter, Jennings Cumberland Ale, Thwaites Lancaster Bomber and Robinsons Unicorn Best Bitter, all of which were abley backed up a bevvy of beauties in the form of the hot food provided by the Ape and Apple.
It may seem like troublesome times for the ale or bitter industries, with the news that the Boddingtons Brewery in Manchester and the Bass Brewery in Belfast are to close. But as the IFBB put it yesterday, they are now "flying the flag for cask ales" and it's hoped that Cask Ale Week will show the industry to be alive and kicking.
Stephen Goodyear, Chairman of the IFBB PR Committee, comments, "Cask beer typifies the rich heritage of this country and research carried out has shown that the public wishes to protect and nourish this."
Only time will tell, maybe ales remain the favoured tipple of an older generation, but staggering back to our office, up the hill and round the corner, Manchester Confidential raised a glass to the week ahead and urges our readers to give ale a chance!
Tim Gough

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Anonymous

Depends on the arse.

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Anonymous

As usual mancon make no reference at all to the Irish Festival again .

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Anonymous

Double whammy of good markets too - Levenshulme have a food and drink only market on Saturday and…

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There are no excuses for arse-kissing.

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