Macc To Basics

For the oh so many people that have been asking me about this, I can at last confirm that this years Macclesfield #Twissup is go!

P1020544As you can probably guess from the lack of updates, since we decided to kill the “Macc To The Future” idea through lack of interest (it seemed a great idea when we were drunk), things have been a little quiet..

I stand and solely take the blame for this, as for many reasons which are now thankfully all gone, I’d lost my drive to drive the event as much as I had in previous years. But thankfully due in truth to the support from you guys, and in particular I’d say Matt at the Treacle too for pushing me on, we going ahead as planned on Saturday 22nd August 2015.

What has made it trickier this time around is that there has been so much going on behind the scenes. Toby at RedWillow building a new brewery, Chris closing and reopening a new, larger and much improved Brewtique, and Bronwyn and Tim with their network of fine establishments. So we decided to take it back to basics (#MaccToBasics) and just go with a great social drinking theme. No big beer launches (unless of course anyone fancies it), just a great range of beer and food, a good crowd of friendly people having a beery bimble around the usual haunts.

IMG_6367So far we have the return of the amazing Great North (breakfast) Pie Co at The Treacle Tap as our starting point at 11AM. Where we will also have the pleasure of an informal Meet The Brewer session with Marble and I’m sure a fine selection of their beers tbc.

Toby is again opening up RedWillow brewery for us to try a few beers and take a look around the new brewery building so that you can see it as a work in progress.

Chris at The Wharf is escaping on holiday, but again is happy to welcome us and put on some “cellar specials” as well as the normal top range. He is also hoping that folk will take an excursion up to the new shop which now has beer on tap including a dedicated sour line. It’s probably not feasible for us all to go “en-masse”, but we should have plenty of time to visit as they are open all day till late.

Image 1Finishing off the day as last year in RedWillow Bar, which I am sure will have enough to keep you all happy on the cask, keg and gin front among other things. Molly and the team will I’m sure pull out the stops to make the days beer board as amazing as last year.

IMG_0273Full details to be confirmed for all venues as soon as I have them on the likely beer lists, venue timing itineraries, food etc. “So keep em peeled”. Hope to see you all soon.


Macclesfield beer gathering III – #MaccToTheFuture

As you may or may not know, I have helped organise an event in Macclesfield over the last two years, a Twissup, beer gathering, meet up, call it what you will. Both seem to have been well received, many new beers produced and especially with the most recent, many brewers attending to chat and drink alongside customers.

This last year (2014) under the “Back In Macc” banner, we tried to focus on new breweries and brewers not yet quite there commercially, giving them a chance to showcase something to a decent sized audience. (the “we” by the way is myself and mainly Toby Mckenzie of RedWillow Brewery, ably assisted by local pub/bar owners Chris Stairmand and Bronwyn Riley of The Wharf and Treacle Tap respectively) plus friends/supporters. There are a few pics from previous events in progress below:


IMG_0242 IMG_0265 IMG_0261IMG_6369

10659166_10154603871210788_1359327912401101491_n10600646_10154603870660788_3115339361503113849_nAnyway, it seems folk want another in 2015 so I’m exploring an idea.

What I am trying to do is get an “Old School” or traditional brewer(y), perhaps family generational owned, or anyone with a bit of history of just being plain good at what they have always done with no great desire to change as such. Hopefully avoiding those who have already tried “reinventing themselves” with a “CRAFT arm” or branding.

Then get them to pair up with a newer brewer(y), perhaps noted for being one of the new breed, progressive styled or trendier etc. The idea being that they create something together, not trying to change one or the other, or prove which is best. Maybe take an old recipe and recreate it, give an existing beer a new twist, or create something completely new. A no holds barred, free rein brief. Perhaps simplified as a meeting of minds. Clearly I’m talking about more than one collaborative brew here, it would be slightly limited in appeal otherwise, in fact the more the merrier..

The title of the event should it come to fruition is likely to be “Macc To The Future” but that’s not carved in stone if it doesn’t suit what works out. #Macctothefuture

To add to this and perhaps where some of you good people reading this come in. I’d like to also pair up a writer/blogger up with each collective (locally if possible), to work on the idea, join in with the brew day and promote it. The proposed timing is a Saturday around late Aug to mid Sept 2015 (tbc asap).

Unfortunately there is no money in this for anyone, it’s a labour of love, as it costs the venues a lot to buy the beers, and a lot of time and energy is given locally with the only beneficiaries being a local charity in past years. This from beer and food donated free by RedWillow at the Brewery.

This is the list of potential target breweries that came out of my first Twitter/Facebook poll as being perhaps unfairly overlooked as being “off trend”. Some may not suit and we probably wouldn’t be able to do them all, it does give us a wider scope though. It’s also worth noting that this list does not exclude anybody necessarily either, purely a starting point for reference.

Hook Norton
G W Wright
Burton Bridge
J W Lees
Black Sheep
Sam Smiths
Shepherd Neame
St Austel
Note: Adnams and Thwaites were also suggested, but my thought process puts them a little too far down the “reinvented” path, with the Crafty Dan brewery and the newer Adnams ranges, but included for fairness and reference as they were suggested. This though to be clear does not exclude them either, if there is a perfect match out there.

Ground rules.

In terms of what to brew, I suggest a no holds barred approach as I’ve said, anything goes, although clearly we’d need to try to make sure we didn’t end up with all big ABV’d bruisers

Each brew definitely needs at least someone there to represent each beer collective collaboration, it just adds to the occasion, giving folks a chance to talk about and be talked to about the project and promote it.

Cost is important of course to make sure the beer bill doesn’t spiral out of control and make this a burden for anyone. So please bare that in mind when deciding what to brew, or at least be prepared to ask a reasonable price of the guys hosting it in the town. It’s for fun not profit on this occasion.

If you are interested let me know, get in touch and register interest, especially if you have a collective in mind. We can then see if there is any mileage in pulling it together and set a firm date.

Contact me via twitter @filrd

Or via the MaccTwissup Facebook page here

Or comment on this post and we can arrange on how to get in touch, unfortunately listing email addresses on here leads to a massive spam-fest!!



Back In Map?

For those heading across to Macclesfield for beer related shenanigans that are not familiar with the area, my good mate @Tegteggers has produced this handy map which should give you a rough idea. If not, there should be plenty of folk to grab and follow about.

So that’s it, no more to be said, but please arrive and drink tasty beer!

*Saturday 13th September 2014*

Treacle Tap – 11am- 12:45

RedWillow Brewery – 12:50-14:45

Wharf 15 -17:15

RedWillow Bar 17-30 – 20:00

20:01 Feel free to circulate and do it all again..

The Wharf Macc Hardcore’s You

Last but by no means least in my round hop of what’s on for the BackInMacc tour tomorrow (Sat 13th September 2014), is one of my favourite pubs anywhere. Friendly local, music venue, community pub, beer geek heaven, it manages to pull them all off at one time or another, making it a must visit.


Chris in action at last years Twissup

As usual Chris Stairmand has pulled a series of extremely rat-arsed rabbits out of the hat, a tres continental sounding one at that in terms of what he has lined up for our drinking pleasure.

We have our new brewer in residence, James Bendall from Wrexham based Axiom Brewing, with his first beer to market New Dawn. A fine offering to start a commercial brewing career it is too and can quite easily stand alone, but to add to the intrigue tomorrow it’s planned to be served via a randall stuffed with hops yet to be revealed. A Welsh rarebit..


Mancunian with a southern hemispheric hint up next we have the delicious collaboration beer from Marble’s Matthew Howgate and New Zealander ex-pat James Kemp, who’ s collective talents created Howgate & Kemp New Zealand Pale Ale. Full-Product-Range-HowgateKemp

Continuing our transcontinental tour-de-biers we go all Soviet, via Nottingham’s Flipside Brewery, going dark and mysterious with their SIBA award-winning stout Russian Rouble, Da!RussianRoublePumpClip

Onward weary traveller to Europe, where we are set to meet some exceptionally special beers featuring brewers from Scotland, Denmark and of course Belgium. Beers that need no explanation to delight and amaze so I won’t bother, apart from to say, feast your eyes on these bad boys!!

T1_8438b5580d1ec292a9f2a5e9bd145515_84530pannepeutBoth will be available on keg of course rather than in bottles, with the Pannepeut being the 2013 Vintage rather than the version shown.

A truly knockout selection, with more on offer across the bar too. Step three of our beer adventure, The Wharf…

Another reminder to please like the Facebook page and if possible show you are coming along. If not for Twitter users you can tweet myself @filrd, @redwillowmacc, @thetreacletap, @thewharfmacc, or @tobymckenzie, or why not all of us at once. If none of that is your thing, like the post or comment below. But most of all, please share with your friends and come along for the day, all are welcome to join, itinerary again below with a little slack for walking etc.

The itinerary too for those who have missed it…

*Saturday 13th September 2014*

Treacle Tap – 11am- 12:45

RedWillow Brewery – 12:50-14:45

Wharf 15 -17:15

RedWillow Bar 17-30 – 20:00

20:01 Feel free to circulate and do it all again..

BackInMacc visit to RedWillow Brewery

No beer tour worth its salt doesn’t involve a brewery tour and as one of driving forces behind the event, Toby and Caroline agreed to host us again for a repeat of what was an excellent few hours last year.

None of the amazing pulled pork this time though I’m afraid, far too much to do in the brewery at the moment to allow time for a few hours of gentle pork massage.. 😉

ba937758522e76d4353df95ecb07e606_400x400But fear not, your need to soak up the beverages with some scrumptious nosh will be sated in most excellent fashion. We (well they actually), are firing up the barby. On that fiery cremater of all fine meats will be burgers from none other than @frostybutcher, aka Lee Horsley Frost of W H Frost and Sons, Chorlton. To house these delicious hunks of meaty goodness, we also have brioche rolls from Macclesfield’s own wonderful bakers Flour Water Salt, good enough to eat on their own. All topped, provided Toby has time to deconstruct his carrot and cabbage, delicious home made slaw. Deee-lish!!

fws_logoTo wash this down, of course we need some fine and tasty beer, something interesting to intrigue those taste buds and bring out their delightfully flavoursome secrets. In a weird stroke of luck, we have just that..

79f86de366a048bdab23bd882975c5bcFor a special one-off, never to sampled again treat, we have Andy Parker’s “Elusive Brewing”, who bring us their “Aged Pomegranate Lambic”, not to be missed.

Also getting its first ever outing is RedWillow’s own, “Rioja Barrel Aged Rhubarb Sour”, which has been maturing nicely, making it really smooth and fruity.

Don’t worry, there will be something a little less challenging for non-sour lovers too, this is to be decided yet, so fret not, you are catered for.

Basic CMYKIf the rain keeps off, this looks to be another really good session, informal brewery tours will be available for those who want them but generally its more of a welcome, come in wander around and have a beer approach, which was great fun last year.

All we need now is you, so a reminder to please like the Facebook page and if possible show you are coming along. If not for Twitter users you can tweet myself @filrd, @redwillowmacc, @thetreacletap, @thewharfmacc, or @tobymckenzie, or why not all of us at once. If none of that is your thing, like the post or comment below. But most of all, please share with your friends and come along for the day, all are welcome to join, itinerary again below with a little slack for walking etc.

*Saturday 13th September 2014*

Treacle Tap – 11am- 12:45

RedWillow Brewery – 12:50-14:45

Wharf 15 -17:15

RedWillow Bar 17-30 – 20:00

20:01 Feel free to circulate and do it all again..


RedWillow Bar announces beer list for #BackInMacc

P1020651Remember the name of the bar above, write it down on a piece of paper along with “get me home instructions” and shove it in your pants as an emergency reminder, as you may not recall even who you are after sampling this tippedy-top collection of beers put together by Toby & Caroline Mckenzie and their fine team at RedWillow Bar in Macclesfield for this weekends “Back-In-Macc” #Twissup event.

Hot off the presses this very afternoon, they promise a full tap list featuring one-off brews, limited editions and cask specials that even the trendiest of trendy central London bar dwellers would kill for. It’s as you would say, “Totes Craft”

We also hope to have brewers in attendance from Summer Wine, Cheshire Brewhouse, Five Oh Brew, Wharfebank, Quantum, OffBeat, Otherton, Axiom, Weird Beard, plus of course the RedWillow gang (maybe more), all milling about for a chat, IF you can drag them away from the bar…


Wild Beer Co/Burning Sky/Good George Brewing – Schnoodlepip, 6.5% Sour/Wild Ale  (Pink Pepper + Barrels + Passion Fruit + Hibiscus)

Buxton – Red Raspberry Rye, 4.9% Berliner Weisse with Raspberries

RedWillow – Gin & Tonic Saison, 4.2% Saison with Lemon Grass and Juniper berries (unfined)

Roosters – Baby Faced Assassin 6.0% IPA loaded with the American Citra hop

Quantum – Black IPA

RedWillow – Faithless 35, 4.9% continuously hopped with Cascade, it’s seriously hoppy but nicely balanced

Five Oh Brew Co – Hibiscus IPA *Exclusive brew for BackInMacc (one keg only)

Otherton Ales – East Indianman

Summer Wine – Mauna Kea IPA, 6.2% Hawaiian IPA Citra/Sorachi/Mosaic & 100kg of tropical fruits

Cheshire Brew House – B.A Govinda IPA, 6.8% English IPA made with Pale Malt and East Kent Goldings, White Wine barrel aged *Exclusive one-keg edition for BackInMacc 

RedWillow – Homeless

Camden – Unfiltered Hells Lager, 4.6% Hells Lager (that’s unfiltered)

Marble/Beermoth IPA, 7.2% A big and bold American style IPA  with a distinctive U.S hop character provided by a generous volume of Simcoe, supported by Columbus and Centennial hops.

Broad Oak – Vintage Cider (for one of your five a day)

Prosecco – (Non beery option)


RedWillow – Thoughtless Imperial Stout  9.4% Rich coffee with a hint of smoke and a long lasting bitterness, surprisingly drinkable. Note: One of only three casks anywhere, one is at the brewery ageing, the other is destined for a northern beery outlet..

Burning Sky – Devils Rest IPA, 7.0% Huge amounts of Simcoe & Centennial hops find their way into the kettle, with even more sneaking in post fermentation for a ‘proper’ IPA flavour.

RedWillow – Faithless 34, 4.2% Raspberry and Ginger Saison

Wharfebank/Broadford Brewer – Ro Sham Bo IPA, *Tri-brewer collab for BackInMacc

RedWillow – Headless, 3.9% Pale Ale

Rioja cask matured cider


This will be our final stop of the days events and I’m sure you’d agree, makes a suitable grand finale. More news on The Wharf, RedWillow Brewery visit, plus a full beer rundown and directions in the next 48 hours…..keep em peeled

Basic CMYKRedWillow Bar Macclesfield

Monday Closed
Tuesday 16:00 – 23:00
Wednesday 16:00 – 23:00
Thursday 16:00 – 23:00
Friday 12:00 – 24:00
Saturday 12:00 – 24:00
Sunday 12:00 – 22:30

15 Keg Lines, 5 Cask Lines, 50 Gins and some great food

32a Park Green, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK11 7NA

Runaway Brewery Treacle Tap Takeover

RB_smallAs you may recall me mentioning, one of this years BackInMacc aspirations was to try and get some of the newer start-up breweries involved, giving them an opportunity to show us what they can do, and of course for us a chance to taste something new. Runaway fit that bill perfectly having only being brewing commercially from June this year.

As a one-off special, the guys at the Treacle Tap are giving over all of their keg fonts to Runaway and are hosting a mini, “meet-the-breweresque” style event to kick off the days festivities in style. Nothing too formal, just a good selection of beers and a chance for a few words and after chat with at least one of the brewers.

Speaking of which, I asked co-owner Mark Welsby to pull me together a little snapshot of how things came to be to date, which is attached warts and all further below.

Beers available from Runaway on the day will be:

Runaway Pale Ale (4.7%)
Runaway IPA (5.5%)
Runaway Smoked Porter (6.0%)
(Plus maybe a few bottles of American Brown to sample too)
 Over to Mark:
“We’ve only been brewing commercially since June this year, but the beer on at the weekend will give people a good indication of the sort of thing we’re interested in brewing (and drinking) at the moment. Our Pale Ale and IPA are, I suppose, our interpretation of the American influenced style that a heap of breweries are brewing and, judging by our sales, are becoming pretty popular. Although both are based on bold hop flavours and aromas – the thinking behind them was to create two distinctly different beers. The Pale is intended to be crisp, citrus and refreshing, whilst the IPA more tropical and with a definite malt character to balance the hops to a degree. The Smoked Porter and American Brown Ale are the beers that excited us personally when coming up with our initial recipes, as both wannabe brewers and seasoned drinkers, plus both are influenced by our travels in the US and Germany. Although our beer is influenced by foreign styles, we brew it on a traditional real ale 5.5 barrel kit – and the way we brew comes very much from British brewing tradition. So we like to think the beer we’re making is modern and British in style.”
Runaway-Brewery-Group“As a quick potted history, The Runaway Brewery is two old school friends, myself and my old mate Darren. He and I both gave up our day jobs last year to set out on our little adventure (hence Runaway) to get away from the rat race and do something we could really get excited about, making beer! We’ve both been into beer for a long time, but had never brewed anything of note prior to taking the leap into microbrewing. We bought our kit second-hand from Bespoke Brewery down in the Forest of Dean (they were up-sizing) which we had adapted to allow us to make the sort of beer we wanted to make. We then set about designing and building a brewery around it, and ended up in a railway arch on the north side of Manchester city centre, dead close to a couple of other breweries (Marble and Blackjack) which has proved to be a big help to us.
So far, we’ve focused on brewing keg conditioned and bottle conditioned beer, as that’s what we enjoy brewing and drinking most at the moment. We’re excited by the diversity of flavours that keg beer enables us to play with as brewers, as well as the technical challenges it presents. That said we love cask beer too, it’s where our interest in beer stems from, so it’s certainly something we’ll think about brewing in future.”
Sounds good to me, more news to come, so keep em peeled, share the love and see you Saturday.

*Saturday 13th September 2014*

Treacle Tap – 11am- 12:50

RedWillow Brewery – 12:45-14:45

Wharf 15 -17:15

RedWillow Bar 17-30 – 20:00

20:01 Circulate and do it all again..