Macc To Basics – Route and Timings #Twissupdate

twissupReeto! It is now officially Macclesfield Twissup Eve…

I’ve been up against it today time wise, so apologies that this is a little later than planned. Below is basically a rough timetable for the day, but as always nothing is carved in stone, especially this year. So expect a leisurely wander, to great places with lovely folk, drinking ace beer.

All timings are approximate and all beers listed as being on are subject to change; as beer sometimes can be unpredictable. This is a quick rundown, a snapshot if you will, of some of the beverages that await you…

*Saturday 22nd August 2015*

Our first stop, Treacle Tap is easy to find. Walking out of Macclesfield train station, turn left down the bank onto Sunderland Street (No 43), the bar is 2 minutes walk and is on the right hand side, walking away from the station as you look at it.

Treacle Tap – 11am-12:45

Marble Brewery tap takeover, informal meet the brewer session. Great North Pie Co “Breakfast Pie.

RedWillow Brewery – 12:45-14:45

Faithless XLV, a New Zealand Hopped Brett IPA mini-launch. Faithless 44 Dry Hopped Pilsner, Directionless (or Wreckless tbc). Toby Mckenzie cremating meat.

(Gunco Lane)

The Wharf 15-16:45

Cellar aged Cheshire Brewhouse “Smokehouse Porter” (12 months), and Anarchy Quiet Riot IPA (a little less). Further cask and keg offerings.

(107 Brook Street)

RedWillow Bar 17-00 – 19:00/till late

Roosters Baby Faced Assassin, Salopian Kashmir, Mikkeller Crooked Moon and many, many more…

(32a Park Green St)

Brewtique – Bottle Bar and Taphouse 11AM – 11PM (all day) then general wanderings from RWB roughly 19:00 onwards

Four keg taps, full bottle menu. Lots of SOURs, see here.

(8 Market Place)

To confirm this is not a ticketed event, anyone can come along. It would be great if you can join us for the whole day, but if not you should find us in the vicinity of the venues at the above times. Share the love using the #MaccToBasics hashtag on twitter, have fun.

See you at 11am in The Treacle Tap, I have a hot date with a breakfast pie..


Brew(tique) kid on the block! #Twissupdate #MaccToBasics

Blimey! It’s Thursday already, only two days to our little “bimble” around Macclesfield’s finest. I’d better get sharing some info..

As with last year, our intention is to follow a similar route and timings, Treacle Tap, RedWillow brewery, The Wharf and RedWillow Bar, a copy of the timings to follow (probably Friday). But, we have a rather pleasant problem, another stop to fit in to the itinerary, but when?

logoBrewtique, already worth a visit, recently relocated.  Outgrowing their small but perfectly formed earlier home, they packed up and shifted further up into town on Market Place (No8).

This move however gave them more options to spread out, expand the range and include a “drink in” option to their offering to customers. More space, bottle fridges and four lovely keg fonts of joy, one sour, one dark and two “other”.

Anticipated offerings on Saturday (subject to availability):

  • Boon – 2 year old Lambic
  • Arbor – Nitro Stout
  • Lervig – Lucky Jack
  • Offbeat/Otherton – Triplette Saison
  • Kegs “next up”, (should the above go) Troubadour – Gollem IPA, Thornbridge – Cocoa Wonderland, Beavertown – Gamma Ray, Kona Longboard Lager.
  • Fully stocked bottle/can fridges (over 150 beers)
  • Belgian and International Sours (see lists below, again subject to availability)

I attended the opening night recently and any fears over lack of space soon faded. The place feels airy and has some really interesting features including this super cool cellar space, soon to see tasting sessions and already home to a stack of ageing lambics, Orval etc.

IMG_3613 IMG_3610

So what is the problem, well, although they have moved from the previous semi-mountainous site, 8 Market Place is a little “off-piste” (yes, piste) in terms of our route, making it difficult to have a dedicated time slot.

The guys at Brewtique have therefore agreed to basically say look, we are open all day from 11am to 11pm for anyone who wants to pop in (it is only about 5 minutes walk from the train station) plus, it opens options for breakouts from RedWillow Bar at busy times being only a short walk away, and the extra place to visit afterwards, be that for locals or folks homeward bound by train. Please pay them a visit, I know I intend to.

Brewtique – 8 Market Pl, Macclesfield, Cheshire East SK10
01625 503228


See you at the bar…








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

Twissupdate #isosceles

Macc Triangle AgedAttention Twissupers!

I have exciting news for those of you who are joining us in Macclesfield on Saturday 29th June 2013. (note: crap subliminal message stating the date for your diary)

We got ourselves a Twissup collaboration brew! Yes, it’s been confirmed tonight that it’s definitely a goer and we have three exceptional brewers getting together to create a beer for your very own drinking pleasure.

Being brewed at Red Willow sometime soon, Toby Mckenzie will be joined by Jay Krause, head brewer at Quantum and Colin Stronge, formerly of Marble, Black Isle and now head brewer at Buxton Brewery. Can anyone smell hops?

So what’s the plan?

Well first of all it’s going to involve this…

BIyn1uaCIAE9VHg.jpg-largeSpeaking exclusively to Mr Stronge this evening, I can now reveal some of the “finer details” and I quote:

“Turn up, mash in, get drunk, trash Toby’s hop store” and “see how we can “cough” lighten his hop load”..

That sounds an absolutely marvellous plan to me, what do you think people?

Stay tuned for further updates and sign up to the Facebook page too

Summer Wine Brewery in the Treacle?

Thursday night saw yet another fantastic night of craft beer, food and frolics as James and Andy aka Summer Wine Brewers laid themselves bare to friends old and new during what was yet another top-notch meet the brewer event.

This time we didn’t have to travel to Manchester, London or Edinburgh as they were two stops up the main line in Macclesfield hosted by the good folks at The Treacle Tap, one of a few of Macclesfield’s superb forward thinking drinking establishments.

This is the second event I’ve attended by this mini craft bar chain, tonight organised by Robbie and Neil of Treacle Tap fame, the other was at TT’s sister venue The Young Pretender in Congleton which was as it happens a beer and food tasting night featuring Macclesfields own Toby McKenzie and Red Willow Brewery (you can read that here). Both have been absolutely superb and I tip my proverbial hat to both bars, it’s great to see these things at a local level and a testament to both brewers and organisers that each event was well attended.

The evening started well but was perhaps not the wisest move before a MTB if I’m honest, we took a short walk up the road to The Wharf where I immediately spotted “Soulless”, a black IPA from Red Willow. The first beer of the night when you want to keep your palate fresh, a 7.2 abv black as pitch but hoppy as hell itself IPA, hmmm “wise move beer genius…” But, would I change my mind, of course not Red Willow beers rock and this was no exception.

Moving swiftly on as time was of the essence, we dropped down to The Macc Pub where I faced my second impossible dilemma. On the keg board sat “Strewth“, it’s an Aussie hopped IPA from Summer Wine Brewery and it was smiling at me all coy like. Whispering to my inner beer psyche, calling softly “drink me, drink me”.

The voice of reason in my other ear said “but it’s not called STREWTH for nothing, it’ll rip off your taste buds and leave you with a mouth like an aborigines armpit”

“But what if it’s not on at Treacle Tap” I argued, “I want to try it?”

OK, OK I’ll cut to the chase, I tried some (but then you already knew that didn’t you), it was awesome as I suspected it would be, however it scrape all but the most resilient life out of my shrivelled taste buds and left me gagging for more..

We arrived at the Treacle Tap embarrassingly or fashionably two minutes late, not the end of the world I know but we were last and folks were waiting for beers, (don’t blame us, blame Macc’s great beer scene). No sooner as I’d sat down a glass of “Zenith” was thrust into my hand and the festivities commenced, Andy and James took to the stage (well more of a step really) and started to introduce the beery flock to their fine creations.

Now don’t get me wrong Zenith is a nice session-able pale ale and I’d quite happily go straight to it on a Friday night, but after Strewth, it “paled” in comparison. (sorry, that was pun’ishing)

Now I’m not going to go through blow-by-blow (beer-by-beer) detailed descriptions of the whole beer selection but there were a few new surprises for me at least. “Shackled” for one, which was a pale ale single hopped with Citra if memory serves. This was a one off affair (perhaps not the best choice of word) brewed with friends of the brewers for their wedding, the name “ball and chain’ apparently vetoed.. After this an old favourite “Teleporter” the oldest brew in the SWB range, a delicious porter made with a blend of ten different malts.

Never a truer word spoken, chalked, written etc…

Stepping up a gear then with “Gorilla Black IPA“, or (Cascadian Black Ale), now you’re speaking my language. It’s a beast of a beer this one that grabs you with both strong dark hairy arms, pulls you close and gives you a big fat sloppy-hoppy smacker right in the chops.. SHHHWWWWACK! (in layman’s terms, I liked it)

Cohort” what can I say, I’m a fan, ever since my first taste way back in 2011 at the Newcastle #Twissup I was hooked. It’s a Double Black Belgian Rye-PA, don’t ask me to explain it, what it’s made of, why it’s called what it’s called, nothing because I just don’t know nor do I care. They should have just called it Awesome. If I don’t have a bottle of this tucked away in my beer cupboard there is something wrong, call a doctor, take my temperature and rush me to A&E (no that’s not a beer shop).

CHEESE AND MEAT, did I mention the awesome selection on offer? No, then see above…

Finally to assault my taste buds one last time like hordes of pillaging hop Vikings we have “Maelstrom Double IPA“, in the words of SWB “an unashamedly big bold American style badboy”, fine finishing beer, full on hoppy, think Bugs Bunny on acid..

A massive thanks to the guys from Treacle Tap for organising a superb night of beer and food and of course to James and Andy for travelling down after a long shift to share their obvious passion for what they do.

Words of Wisdom

Now you don’t often get many wise words when visiting Beersay, it’s normally me just rambling on about random shizzle, but today I’m going to give you three.

  1. Get to a Summer Wine Meet the Brewer night soon, if you’ve been to one before, go again, if it’s too far and you have no money, hitch hike, just go. The beers are going to be excellent that’s a given, but both guys speak with such passion about beer and if there is anyone pushing more brewing boundaries in the UK I’d be absolutely amazed.
  2. Visit Macclesfield and do the “Macclesfield Triangle”. Don’t bother googling that term for details as they don’t exist, or at least not yet as that’s a post yet to be published. The three points being The MaccThe Wharf and The Treacle Tap. All are within easy walking distance of the train station and less than a mile in total I reckon, great forward beer emporiums all friendly and welcoming. Do it!
  3. When an opportunity presents itself, grab it with both hands, or one hand if it’s glass or bottle-shaped. If I had listened to the voice of reason, I’d have missed tasting Strewth…