Twissup Macclesfield II – #BackInMacc

twissupA date for your beer diary, at last, after much moaning, groaning and gnashing of teeth, we finally have a date that fits the bill.

After last years event I had no idea that we’d be “Back In Macc” (hashtag alert). #Twissups don’t tend to be annual, they are usually wild sporadic beasts that pop up, create a fuss and are gone before you know it, at least for a year or two. However, the feedback from last year was ace, people have asked if I can pull another together and the venues seem game, so hey, let’s do this thing!

The aim will be to try and improve a little on last year, but keep the format similar. A group of great venues within a short walking distance of the train station each with some hand-picked beers for your delight. A brewery visit to Red Willow and all the joys that such visitations bring, plus, if all goes to plan, at least one completely new beer at each place we visit, hopefully with brewer/s in tow, and of course a selection of quality munchies to mop up some of the many beverages consumed.

That is the plan at least, it’s tough, but there’s only one way to find out if I manage it, turn up.

September 13th is so far away though, why wait so long I hear you ask?

Well it’s a number of things really, the first is time. Ask anyone who’s pulled together anything like the above and they will tell you it doesn’t happen over night. Then there are dates that clash all over the place. Last years date for example was scuppered by both an extended Barnaby Festival (a local Macclesfield event) and the European Beer Bloggers Conference, excluding lots of potential attendees. Of the other three potential dates, two clashed with large “craft” beer festivals in Leeds and Liverpool, the other was just too short notice to make it viable. On top of all that, August was pretty much wiped out by some of our protagonists taking three week well earned holiday.

In short, the next five months are just a bit mental, it also gives you all plenty of time to plan ahead..

As usual, more info will be posted up here as and when things develop, please share this post register your interest in comments or via Twitter.

(Read more about last years event here and here, there are lots more too, just follow the links on the pages)

Join the Facebook Page too, there you can get easy access to last years updates and chat to each other and social-mediarise or sammink!

Cheers all


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Isosceles – Macclesfield Twissup in pictures

Well there it was done, and at last a period of relaxation “sans stress” is on the cards.

As promised, no more writing as I can’t tell you how the event went, all I can say is that I, personally, had a brilliant day with some the best folk in the world.

Thanks again to everyone who made the effort to be there and share the fun, but most of all to my friends at The Treacle Tap and Great North Pie Co, The Macc and The Wharf, you guys rock!  I hope that at least some of you Twissupers will return to these cracking venues to drink great beer again.

Plus of course everyone at RedWillow, who I know worked like dogs to get the brewery in the condition it was for our enjoyment, you deserve every success that you are getting and more.

Oh and finally to the pig, for tasting sooooo good! 🙂



Breakfast pie at The Treacle Tap, another fine creation from The Great North Pie Co, make sure you check them out


Pre noon drinkies commence, plus pie guzzling


A thing of beauty

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Gregg impersonating Tommy Cooper “muss-like-that’..


Sing it with me now!


Shapeless – Cask


or Shapeless Keg? You decide


The RedWillow chaps pulling their pork!


Do not, I repeat DO NOT, publish this photogr…..OOPS


Gregg, JC and Claudia, top folk


Ladies and Gentlemen, the amazing Mr Toby Mckenzie

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Spot the Dave?


Weird Beard & Elusive Brewers Gregg Irwin and Andy Parker launch Nelson Saison


Officially (probably) the worlds youngest Twissuper


I really have no idea, Funky Chicken?


Marc, discretely rifles my beer stash…


Chris Stairmand pouring the delicious Isosceles IPA, no favouritism there of course 😉


Indiana Jones’s


Isosceles Launch at The Wharf, with Brian of Bitches Brewing and err me

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‘Twas the night before Twissup..

Twas the night before Twissup, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
Wallets were placed in back pockets with care,
In hopes that all pubs had proper glassware.

The tweeps were nestled, all snug in their beds,
While visions of hop fairies danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Just hoped for no Worthies, nor similar crap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the cash point I flew like a flash,
Bashed in my PIN and drew out the cash.

The head on the bitter like new-fallen snow
Drew us to Macc, pre mid-day, off we go.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a red Virgin Train, and Tilting Ale beer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I hoped on the way back I wouldn’t be sick.
More rapid than eagles conductors they came,
And I wished that I’d a valid ticket for’t train!

“Now 6Towns! now, Teggers! now, Sadfield and Dixon!
Stop hogging the bar, and get me some beer in!
To the top of the hill, walk up to the Wharf!
Now drink away! Drink away! Drink awayerr Dwarf??

As dry hops that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet in a beer, make Bluesy Bondi
So down to the Treacle the Twissupers flew,
For Earl Grey IPA, and breakfast pie too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The shouting and bawling of a loud drunken yoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
He’d peed in his Carling and fell to the ground.

All dressed in Burberry, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all checky, and chavvy to-boot.
A bundle of giros and a bag full of crack,
Definitely not one of Isosceles pack.

The drinkers eyes twinkled, dimpled jugs how merry!
But with 10% beers, had noses like cherries!
Pursed little mouths were drawn up like a horse,
But with high IBU’s its par for the course .

The string of pulled pork he had gripped in his teeth,
Let smoky juice splash on his shirt underneath.
He wiped off the drippings, all sticky and sloppy
Then washed down with Shapeless, my god was it hoppy!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, he looked like, myself?
With a frown of his face and a nod of the head,
“You can fill that bugger up, there’s far too much head”.

He spoke not a word, but went back to the bar,
And filled all the glasses, and said “here y’are”.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
He paid with a VISA, his overdraft rose!

He ran for his train, the guard gave a whistle,
Asleep in five seconds, his stop he may “missle“. (sorry ;))
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he rode out of sight,
“Isosceles Twissup, what a bloody good-night!”

Macc Triangle Aged 2I certainly hope so but am pretty confident that everything that could be done has.

Really looking forward to (hoping for) a great turnout, if we get that it will I promise be a blast. I’m off to RedWillow this afternoon to help to get things ready for eager drinkers and for a preamble around town in the evening, so this is the last you’ll here from me on the Twissup front.

I’d like to say a massive thanks to everyone, (there are loads and far too many to mention here, you know who you are), for helping to make this happen, especially RedWillow and the good folks from The Treacle Tap, The Wharf and The Macc.



Macc Twissup itinerary #Twissupdate 8

Twissup is nearly upon us and bar a few last-minute set up arrangements, everything “seems” to be in place (crosses everything), so I thought a bit of an itinerary and directions might be a good idea.

Isosc map Jpg

As you can see from the map above, it’s all pretty straightforward on the directions front and none of the venues is more than ten minutes walk from another and probably less.

11am – 12:45 pm Treacle Tap

The first point of call is the Treacle Tap which is about three minutes easy walk from the railway station. Although not plain on the map itself, simply exit the station (there is only one exit) turn left and walk down the drop off ramp to Sunderland Street, The Treacle Tap is approximately 500 metres up the road on the right hand side.

At the Treacle we have Great North Pies delicious sounding breakfast pies and hopefully their creator in attendance, chef Neil Broadhurst. Washed down with among other things Marble Earl Grey IPA. We also have our first beer exclusive with the fabulously sounding Bondi Blues from Cheshire Brewhouse.

As a last-minute addition I’ve literally just heard the Summer Wine Brewery’s “Devil Loves Chinook” arrived last night to complete the keg line up. 🙂

There will be more beer available of course on cask and keg, plus an extensive bottle list including your chance to grab your very own bottle of Red Willow Tilting Ale, brewed for Virgin Trains.

13:00 – 15:00 (15:15-ish) RedWillow Brewery

Next up the brewery visit to RedWillow, here we will sample another brand new beer brewed for Twissup, Shapeless, a continuously hopped IPA, Witless 3, Faithless G&T Saison and perhaps more dependant on demand and numbers. If all goes well you will be able to meet Michelle from OffBeat and Brian from Bitches Brewing too, both of whom were involved in collaboratively brewing two of the beers on offer. To feed your hunger we should have pulled pork fed on RedWillow grain and marinaded in RedWillow beers.

Brewery tours will be available on a staggered basis, again dependant on numbers and demand.

The leaving time has been stretched here slightly to allow the next venue to clear thirsty beer drinkers from their bar as we move on.

15:00 – 16:50 The Macc

At The Macc we will see our third brewery launch of the day with the fabulous Weird Beard and Elusive Brewing collaboration Nelson Saison. All being well both Greg and Andy from each respective brewery will be onsite to tell you a little about the beer and how it came about etc. One not to be missed

Other highlights include Magic Rock/Kissmeyer Salty Kiss and Oakhams Eugene’s Lair.

The Macc has enough cask and keg lines to quench your thirst whatever your dispense preference and a great bottle selection including some 750 sharing bottles. Food too if you’ve room and get the munchies.

17:00-15 – 19:30 The Wharf

Finally we wind our way towards our last scheduled stop of the day (the timings may be a little out by then hence the extra noted), The Wharf, recently voted Cheshire CAMRA Pub of the Year 2013.

Here we have yet another exclusive beer launch for your pleasure, the Bitches Brewing Co & Black Jack Beers “Isosceles IPA“. Again it’s hoped that the brewers will be around if commitments allow, if not I will be and I helped to brew this one too. 🙂

Chris has also lined up a very special cask of Marble Old Manchester, plus no doubt another fine beer selection on the cask and keg lines (including Tiny Rebel Urban IPA) one of which will be on the hop rocket.


Map plain ArialOf course as normal on such occasions there is no requirement to follow the crowd for the entire day, although clearly that’s the idea, but if that’s not your bag and the venue in question is rammed feel free to move around. All I’d ask is that you please make an effort to visit each participating venue as everyone has put a lot of effort into making this day happen.

One word of warning though on that front, clearly the brewery time is fixed so don’t miss that, and if you do move around, be aware that any launch beers may not be on until somewhere near to the stated times.

Links to both of the map and directions sheets pictured are below (hope they work) both of which should print very well on A4 on a good quality print setting. They will available printed too from The Treacle Tap (assuming I remember to print and take them) as will be the local CAMRA leaflets which detail other pubs in the area of note, should you want to venture further afield.

Map arial

Project Isosceles – Map rev1

Should you need a hotel, there is a Travelodge 200 metres from the train station for cheap n cheerful accommodation:  Travelodge Macclesfield Central

Cheshire Brewhouse – Bondi Blues #Twissupdate 7

treacle tap logoJust when I thought I could relax, put my feet up and wait impatiently for Saturday to arrive, I get word of yet another new and exclusive beer that is due to hit one of our venues for #Isosceles #Twissup.

fit-160x160The beer comes from “The Cheshire Brewhouse” in Congleton, a local brewery that as far as I can recall, brew beers that I don’t think I’ve tried but have recently come in for some fine recommendation. Head brewer Shane Swindells contacted me late last week offering to try and get their latest special edition on the bar somewhere in Macc for Twissup. I thought was going to be too late to arrange but those lovely folk at The Treacle Tap have got it sorted and the only keg in existence will be on the bar for your drinking pleasure.

IMG_6329This is what The Cheshire Brewhouse are saying about Bondi Blues:

“Bondi Blues IPA our biggest and hoppiest 12 Bar Blues Beer is due for release very very soon. Massively hopped with Citra, Galaxy Nelson Sauvin and another secret blend of hops, Bondi Blues is set to turn your tastebuds upside down and set you up for a long hot summer of hoplicious enjoyment.”

It all sounds pretty darn good to me from that description, and it’s really exciting that we have yet another first.

Beer is good people, enjoy…

RedWillow Brewery and Shapeless IPA #Twissupdate 6

LogoNo Twissup would be complete without a brewery visit, it’s the law!

As it happens we are in luck as this one has a brewery too and a bloody good one at that in RedWillow, owned and run by husband and wife team Toby and Caroline Mckenzie, both of whom have been amazingly supportive in getting #Isosceles to where it is today.

Toby-McKenzie1-199x300Toby was one of the first people I asked for advice and support when starting to plan this beery escapade and he was up for it from the start. Brewery visit aside, he and Caroline have been a wealth of info and acted as go betweens on more than one occasion when things have threatened to to go tits up. So I’ll offer them both a massive thank you right here and now.

I’ll be gobsmacked if you are coming to the Twissup on June 29th and you’ve never tasted any of Toby’s beers, but just in case you’ve been locked away for a while, expect hops by the lorry load, crazy flavour concoctions made using real, fresh base ingredients (not a syrup in sight in this gaff) all bound together by a whirlwind of passion and enthusiasm.

0a747baf-68b3-4f21-bf54-815aae5ba18dTalking of which brings me to the details of yet another Isosceles exclusive, another new beer brewed to be launched on the Twissup at the brewery itself, “Shapeless”. Collaboratively brewed with Michelle Kelsall of OffBeat Brewery who is also hoping to be with us on the day.

Shapeless is a continuously hopped IPA, hopped every five minutes throughout a 60 minute brew with Simcoe, Chinook, Centennial, Columbus and Citra and was said to a real taste bud ripper in its early stages. Since then it has had another blast through the RedWillow hop rocket with (if I remember correctly), Citra, Simcoe and Centennial. I’m not sure on the abv yet but Toby reliably informs me that it is tasting amazingly well so far.

1005584_10151473650023479_21125648_nThe plan hopefully is to serve it side by side on keg and cask to give folks the chance to compare and discuss the relative merits of both, or maybe (hopefully) not discuss it that much and just bloody enjoy it? 😉

1001789_10152913496465375_3979293_nIn terms of other beers potentially on the sampling list at the brewery, we are also hoping to see Witless 3 (which I tried last night and is most definitely the best Witless so far) and if it’s ready, a fresh incarnation of Faithless Gin & Tonic Saison. Which was very recently brewed as another collaboration with Brian of Bitches Brewing using shitloads of juniper berries among other things

Definitely another to look out for as the last version was one of my favourite saisons of last year, with this one set to topple it’s predecessor on the flavour front.

In other RedWillow Brewery visit news, on the food front expect further foodie treats of pulled pork made using RedWillow beer in the marinade, pork fed on RedWillow spent grain, served on rolls using RedWillow yeast. That’s if you’ve room left after grabbing your breakfast pie at the Treacle Tap.

Finally, by way of making your beer experience during your visit a special one, I need to give a massive thank you to Claudia and the guys of Port Street Beer House and IndyMan Beer Con for kindly donating the use of their mini (portable) two keg draught line for the day, which makes life so much easier for Toby and co at the brewery.

Brewery tours will be available and subject to numbers staggered throughout the visit.

We expect to arrive at Red Willow at roughly 1PM and will be there until between 3-3:30PM to give the next venue a chance to serve folks with minimum delays.

So, the stage is set and the line up complete, look out for the itinerary over the next couple of days. We are all ready to rumble, all we need now is to hope for good weather and lots of loverly people, in other words, YOU!

This is set to be a great afternoon of beer, be there or regret it later…


Bitches Brewing – Brewbitches bitches bitch – Isosceles #Twissupdate 5

bb_tumblr_icon2Beer folk are ace, fact!

On the very night I pitched my idea of holding the Macc Twissup to the proposed venues, the idea of this brew too was conceived via twitter whilst sat at the bar of The Wharf. I was chatting to folk about the idea and mentioned to Brian of Huddersfield’s awesome beer establishment The Grove.

Brian or @GroveBrewBri as he is now known has had a few handles over the last few years, originally “GroveBri” he graduated to “BrewBitchBri” whilst on a mammoth tour of work experience for want of a better description, at some, or most of the UK’s finest breweries, with a view to starting a brewery back in Huddersfield. During this time he was renowned for being every brewer on the tours “brew-bitch’, and as such on his return Bitches Brewing Co was born.

Since then, Brian has gone from strength to strength cuckoo brewing with Gadds creating Graduation IPA and at Quantum where he and Jay produced Chameleon IPA and the awesome Choc & Chilli Stout, one of my favourite beers of Indyman 2012.

bjb-web-593x363For todays brew he joined forces with Rob Hamilton at Black Jack another relatively new brewery a rather handily (hefty) stones throw away from The Marble Arch in Manchester. So on a warm sunny day, Wednesday 5th of June I took a day off work and headed to Mancunia..

The idea was set, I wanted to try to create a Belgian style IPA hopefully with an American twist, I say hopefully as although this was my second brew day in four days, I’d previously done none at all and hence hadn’t got a bloody clue. We were also joined by another Grove dweller Matt, who was promptly named the brew-bitches bitches bitch.

Team assembled, we promptly set to work…


Actually Rob set to work while Brian was checking out his hop store..


IMG_6203IMG_6207Larking about aside, the three of us had a good old rummage through the Black Jack hop store, which barring a couple of pre beer destined bags of hops Rob gave us free rein to use what ever we wanted. This was a great learning experience for me as although I love hoppy beers, it’s very difficult to pick individual varieties out without normally getting the chance to handle the fresh raw product.

After half an hour or so of rubbing and sniffing (hops) we narrowed it down to four, which were used in two separate additions of three if that makes sense. Apollo, Columbus and Pheonix first, followed by Amarillo, Columbus and Phoenix.

Many of you reading this may have already realised the significance of the brew date, Wednesday 5th of June was the day of Simon “Scoop” Johnson’s funeral and celebration of his life. Sadly as we only had this date on which to brew this beer it was decided that we go ahead, a decision on which I’m sure he would have approved. Suitable refreshments were taken however to raise a glass at the appropriate hour.

IMG_6208I doubt Simon would have disapproved too much on the glassware having after apparently chugging one at Orval, straight off the bottling line, directly in front of the head brewer.. He would however I am positive, guffawed muchly at my piss poor attempts at pouring… (well it was a little warm, that’s my excuse)

IMG_6310Brewing finished and checks made it was looking like ending at around 6.8% ABV which was slightly higher than we anticipated, as it goes after a little dry hopping with more Columbus it finally finished at a quaffable 7% ABV. 🙂

Isosceles IPA is now the second completely new brew we will have for you guys on the 29th and is for me the most exciting, having had such an involvement in it’s concept, production and of course it being named after the beery day itself.

ImageThis beer will be launched at our last stop of the day The Wharf at around 5pm, a full itinerary to be confirmed later this week (watch this space).

In terms of other beers Chris has lined up, he’s keeping things pretty close to his chest, but did let slip that his hop rocket will be out and fully loaded and that he also has a cask of Old Manchester brooding somewhere in the darkest corner of the cellar…

Be afraid…