Friends & Family & Beer

Buy tickets for our festival here.

We are part of a global family of brewers and breweries that are a constant source of inspiration, encouragement, mutual correction, and camaraderie. Without all our efforts to evolve, innovate, pioneer, or just grit our teeth and work from gut instinct, I’m not sure the beer scene we’re creating each day would be anywhere near as passionate, collaborative, or impactful as it currently is. We are deeply grateful to our global family every time they point a better way forward, share our concerns, pick us up and dust us off when we stumble, or hear our ideas and urge us to work with pride in our intention, and faith in our ambition.

These are all reasons why we have decided to organise our first festival next year and, more importantly, to use it as an opportunity to celebrate the people and relationships providing us with daily inspiration.

We’ve invited breweries specifically because we consider them our family - we have worked with them in the past, developed strong personal relationships through problem solving, through time spent in each other’s breweries, over beers, and have built relationships that transcend our love of beer, and our passion for our communities. They’re people and teams we love to chew the fat with, break bread with and, of course, party with.

We’re also inviting a small number of breweries we consider our near and distant forefathers, that were instrumental in creating and fostering the scene we love so dearly today, as a way of recognising their pioneering work that so often goes overlooked in our fast-paced, always-new niche today.

We’re creating a celebration of everything we hold dear, with the independent values we share at its core. You might ask what we mean by ‘independent values’, and it can be hard to pinpoint an exact definition, but our shared values are encapsulated by a sense of community where risks are taken, knowledge is shared, successes are celebrated, and where shortcomings are candidly addressed to ensure we all move forward. Our work is human-centred, and built on a playing field level enough to allow us all to succeed by plumbing the depths of our ability, imagination, and ambition, and because we work together. The name of the festival aims to capture everything we hold dear in our day to day lives, which is why we’re calling it Friends & Family & Beer. We want you, our friends, to come along and enjoy some of the world’s best beer, in-depth conversation, and great times with our extended brewing family.

Friends & Family & Beer is a not-for-profit festival, with all profits from ticket sales donated to charities in Manchester that focus on supporting those in our community with inadequate shelter or opportunity, and community engagement projects aimed at improving diversity and opportunity both sides of the bar. If we sell out, we’ll also work hard to finance an apprenticeship scheme here at the brewery, to extend opportunity to the next generation that aspire to work in beer. If you’d like to donate to our causes but can’t make it to the festival we’ll make an opportunity to do so later this year.

The festival will take place on Friday March 1st and Saturday March 2nd 2019 at Upper Campfield Market, a Grade II-listed Victorian market hall in the heart of Manchester, very close to a range of transport links, accommodation, independent restaurants, and Manchester’s best independent bars and pubs. There will be two sessions each day, the first running from 11am to 3.30pm and the second from 4.30pm to 9pm. All-inclusive single-session tickets will go on sale tomorrow (Friday November 2nd) at £60, covering entry, your festival glass and unlimited pours of beer, with measures ranging from 50ml to 100ml depending on the brewery and beer. We’ll also provide a selection of high-quality and wholesome food from a range of independent traders at each session, which will not be included in the ticket price.

We are aiming to use all our previous positive festival experiences, and to avoid repeating any poor experiences, to deliver an event that is relaxed and inclusive, with an emphasis on socialising, enjoying the breadth of what beer is, and celebrating what beer means to us all that draws us all together. To help us achieve this, each attendee will get a guaranteed pour of the most sought-after beers we’ll have on offer. We want to avoid queues as much as possible - whether that’s entering the venue, waiting for food or conveniences, or ordering at the bar - to give everyone the peace of mind that they will be able to claim their guaranteed pour at any point within the session so that you all will be able to spend more time with your friends, and more time with us too. We all work hard, and all need time to unwind, so we are keen to for you to enjoy your time relaxing and letting off steam whilst inside the venue, so you can focus on having a good time in good company.

Although we are primarily aiming to throw an amazing celebration of modern beer culture, we’re also keen for our festival to give brewers and drinkers alike the chance to get involved in productive discussions about ways in which we can better work together to harness our shared values. We’ll be bringing our past and near-future collaborators from all over the world to Manchester, giving us an incredible opportunity to draw on a rich and varied base of knowledge and experience. So we’ll be holding a series of discussions, seminars and fringe events throughout the week of the festival and during the festival itself, designed to help us all better understand the direction in which we want to travel as a community.

Over the coming weeks we’ll introduce each attending brewery, highlighting how we’ve worked with them in the past, and what draws us together. We can’t wait to party with you all, and very much look forward to sharing details of fringe events and happenings as we finalise plans to make a broad, and far-reaching positive impact on not just Manchester, and our surrounding region, but the entire country.

Connor Murphy