Home > Beer > Hardy Boys and Girls: Chorlton Beer Festival, Manchester

Hardy Boys and Girls: Chorlton Beer Festival, Manchester

I do like beer festivals.  CAMRA are subject to a lot of criticism (some of which is justified) and stereotyping (some of which is hard to disprove), but the organisation and volunteering behind local beer festivals is a testament to a common interest that these people are willing to sacrifice their time pursuing and promoting.

So, in Chorlton-Cum-Hardy at the weekend, I went to a beer festival in a churchyard and tried a lot of nice beers, the best of which (to my mind, and of those that happened to be still on in the four hours I was there) was Moor Illusion, a nice hoppy porter/black IPA (Who knows?  It smelled great and tasted really good).

I sat outside on garden furniture; chatted with my brother and his girlfriend; listened to some live light jazz; witnessed a dramatic moment when a plastic gazebo was destroyed by the wind; ate a roast pork sandwich; saw two friendly vicars; used a chemical toilet of only moderate eurgh-ness; and was surrounded by people who were having a good time.

Chorlton-Cum-Hardy seems very Nigel Slater: jute bags; yummy mummies; designer cupcakes; and yoga.  I live in a not-dissimilar (but not quite as marvellous) area of Leeds.  Days like this, and the Chapel Allerton festival in Leeds (not strictly a beer festival, but usually served by a Roosters stall) help us think that we live in villages even though we don’t: we live in cities and arguably, in both cases cited, unrepresentative middle class enclaves inside those cities.

We actually live in a massively complex  overlapping Venn diagram comprised of electronically-connected diasporas of shared social and economic interests, rather than simply geographically proximite communities.  As such mutual interests go (knitting; yoga; accountancy; battle reenacting; comics; medicine; death metal; crown green bowls; dogging), beer is a good one for me, and I’m very grateful for the volunteers that allow us to enjoy and share such an interest, in the sunshine with friends, on days like this. Because we all need to feel like we belong, and a good beer or four helps that process immensely.

  1. July 11, 2011 at 12:10 am

    You sum up Chorlton very well 😉

  2. July 11, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    I was also at Chorlton this weekend. Although the beer was not right at the cutting edge of what is going on at the moment it was still quality. Had a great pint of Dunham Massey Stout my best beer of the day. (just a note on Dunham Massey – they are a great brewery, superb beers done consistently well).

    You also sum up Chorlton really well in this post. ‘Yummy mummies and designer cupcakes’ brilliant.

    Good post

    • July 13, 2011 at 11:06 pm

      Thanks, I’ll do more to check our Dunham Massey. My friend is getting married near there and getting some beer from them for the wedding. I’ve not really searched them out before, to be honest.

  3. July 15, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    Best place to check out Dunham is at their brewery tap – Costello’s Bar in Altrincham – two minutes from the interchange.
    6 Dunham Beers at all times.

  4. July 15, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    >Although the beer was not right at the cutting edge of what is going on at the moment it was still quality

    Thanks. Although Chorlton doesn’t really aim to be an afficianado’s paradise, be interested to know what you consider “cutting edge”. Can feedback for next year’s beer order…

    • July 15, 2011 at 8:28 pm

      I liked the list. You could do worse than getting some Summer Wine in next year. They appear to be from Holmfirth in That Yorkshire, but James is a secret Lancastrian. Well, Lancashire not Lancaster. Lancashirian? Was never sure on that one.

      • July 16, 2011 at 2:18 am

        Summer Wine were actually on the provisional list of breweries to be ordered from. Ultimately they didn’t make it – don’t know whether that was due to lack of space on our part or inability / unwillingness to supply on their part.

        After a shaky start, they seem to have really sorted their beers out – recent offerings have been excellent. There are (or at least were) a few in the cellar of Wetherspoon’s Waterhouse in Manchester last time was in there.

  5. July 20, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    Appologies for the late reply.

    to add to my comment – Although the beer was not right at the cutting edge of what is going on at the moment it was still quality.

    I think you had some good stuff. Hardknott and kirkstall stood out for me. Other breweries I think are great are magic rock and as mentioned above – summer wine. Darkstar and Buxton are also creating some great beer at the moment.

    Hope that is of interest.

  1. July 11, 2011 at 2:12 pm

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