Thirsty? Sometimes, only the cooling caress of the freshest pint or tinny will do, which is exactly what our guide to Manchester craft breweries and taprooms has in store. From classic citrusy IPAs to pours laced with bubblegum or a peanut butter, salted caramel and coffee combo, our local beer-makers certainly don't do their hops by halves.
A favourite Manchester craft brewery is Cloudwater, which you'll find tucked away in the industrial estates behind Piccadilly station. The beers at the taproom here are kept below 5 degrees from tank to glass, ensuring top quality and the freshest taste once you bring the hoppy or malt-driven nectar to your lips. Try their coriander seed citrus sour or chuckleberry pale ale for moreish twists on classics.
Manchester Microbrewery Tour
Giving you behind-the-scenes access to not just one, but three breweries in Manchester, this Microbrewery Tour is an absolute treat for lovers of a good pint. Enjoy guided sipping at each stop, as well as the chance to see all those industry secrets in action. Better yet, these guys have a Manchester Beer Tasting Tour on offer too, which kicks off at the famous Beatnikz Republic Bar.
Track Brewing Co
Track Brewing Co is a Manchester brewery and taproom that's certainly winning awards for its looks, thanks to industrial chic coupled with foliage scattered around the space. Another Piccadilly Trading Estate pick, this destination's drinks go up to a whopping 14.5% alcohol on their salted pretzel and dark chocolate imperial stout, while other flavours include peanut butter, salted caramel and coffee.
Shindigger Brewing Co
Shindigger Brewing Co might not have their own taproom just yet, but you can find them at places like Band On The Wall, or throwing regular DJ-led sessions throughout the spring and summer. Think leg-shaking 'til late alongside local artists, all while glugging their easy-drinking beer range - that's 'fruity bois', pilsners, West Coast IPAs and bubblegum German-style weiss.
Blackjack Brewing Co
Blackjack Brewing Co have a fascination with the classic beer styles of the UK's pubs, from nutty and malty brown ale to British heritage amber IPAs. But, don't be fooled; there's modern pours too, including hazy pales packed with gooseberry notes. Want to give these a whirl? Venture over to their market bar in Mackie Mayor or settle down at the Northern Quarter's Smithfield Tavern.
A Manchester breweries list wouldn't be complete without Seven Bro7hers, whose influence on the city's beer scene means they have brewhouses in Ancoats, MediaCity, the airport and Middlewood Locks. Their Salford brewery and taproom is open for business too, including for tours, tastings or just a quick drink of the good stuff. We're particularly fond of the passionfruit and honeycomb pales here.
Alphabet Brewing Company
After a brewery near Manchester Piccadilly? Alphabet Brewing Company (cleverly, 'ABC' for short) is another found just shy of the station, fronting ten of the freshest lines in its taproom, alongside fridges of cans to drink in or takeaway. Brewery tours? Tasting packages? Seasonal decor? This place has it all, and will even let you order take-out right to your table when you're hungry for more than bar snacks.
Northern Monk Refectory
In support of our Northern cousins, the Manchester taproom of Northern Monk Refectory (a Leeds-based craft brewery) makes our list too. As well as guest pours on tap, alongside a choice of flavoured stouts, hazy pales and classic session IPAs, there's the most insane cheese-pull worthy food from Lazy Tony's Lasagneria. Want your drinks to takeaway instead? Then you'll get a 15% discount here.
Wander Beyond Brewing
Out of all the Manchester brewery taprooms, Wander Beyond has some of the tastiest brews. The dinky space is known for top-notch collabs and is open for drinks on Fridays or Saturdays. Our recommendations? Octopod, a mango passionfruit milkshake IPA with oats and vanilla, or the cappuccino stout that's brewed alongside the finest Brazilian coffee beans.
First Chop Brewing Arm
Taking a stand for all you beer-loving coeliacs and intolerant folk is First Chop Brewing Arm, the gluten-free local brewery. Their 'no-nonsense' classic bitter is aptly named MCR, in homage to our fine city, while low ABV cans are also available. Better yet, the spacious bar under some Salford railway arches also doubles as a great gig venue.
Pomona Island Brew
Adding to the Salford crew, Pomona Island Brew are an award-winning bunch that have quickly become city favourites, thanks to berry sours, classic helles and a saison flavoured with orange zest Darjeeling. But, where to find them being poured in Manchester? At The Gas Lamp on Bridge Street and the soon-to-be-built North Westward Ho, a Pomona pub.
ÖL Brewery & Bar
The smallest of micro breweries in Manchester, ÖL is actually classed as nano. Making up that iconic pink container you can see from Oxford Road when walking past Hatch, this one is a must-visit if you're after something different to your usual taproom experience. The contemporary space is serving up its own beers, alongside plenty of innovative numbers from other locals and beyond.
Manchester Union Brewery
As the city's only company dedicated to craft lager, Manchester Union Brewery has quite the following among enthusiasts. Traditional Central European brewing techniques are used to create a much more modern taste - and one that's uniquely Mancunian. Their taproom hosts regular events too, while stockists across town include Cane and Grain, Blinker and Edinburgh Castle.
The Runaway Brewery
This city centre staple is set for a permanent Stockport relocation to expand this 2023 - meaning The Runaway Brewery is our top choice of places more out of the city centre, but it's still an absolute belter. They run Saturday tours of the microbrewery, while the famous dog-friendly taproom and beer garden will also be moving to offer the freshest of hops, malt and yeast-led drinks on-site.
If you like this, then you'll love our lowdown on craft beer bars in Manchester. Plus, you can sign up to our weekly newsletter and stay in the loop.