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Where to Find Cask Ale in This Year’s Manchester Christmas Markets

Intrepid ale-hunters Dave and Carol Sheldon recently braved the crowds and crushes of the Manchester Christmas Markets on a mission to chart the availability of cask ale across the various bars and watering holes scattered around the market locations.

Here’s the info they gathered on their visit earlier this week, which Dave also posted to the Scoopgen group on Yahoo:

Christmas time, mistletoe and wine (and fortunately cask ale). Carol and I have been around the Manchester Christmas markets this afternoon.

German beers and glühwein are to be found in several locations. The French Market is on Brazennose Street where we came across 2 draft beers, a 5% Brasserie-Meteor beer and another called Eiffel, 4%, which may have been from the same brewery. There were also 25cl bottles of Pelforth Blonde 5.8% and Brune 6.5%.

What we were looking for were cask ales and in Exchange Square there was a bar advertising cask ale but the sole hand-pump stood unused. They checked the barrel for us and it was Thwaites TBC 3.8%, we were told they it might be put on later this evening.

Better news from Albert Square where a bar positioned right in the centre of the action had 6 hand-pumps, 4 of which were in use:

• Boggart Rum Porter 4.6%, £4.50 a pint.
• J.W. Lees San Fairy Ann 3.8%, £3.50 a pint (probably the cheapest beer anywhere on the markets).
• J.W. Lees Moonraker 6.5%, £2.50 a half.
• Lymm Brewery Lymm Dam 7.2%, £2.50 a half.

The Lymm Dam was tried and it was very good. There will be other beers on here during the course of the Christmas Markets.

Cheers, Dave and Carol! Your seasonal research efforts are much appreciated.

The Manchester Christmas Markets are around until December 21st. Albert Square is open 10.00 a.m. to 9.00 p.m. daily. Other sites: 10.00 a.m. to 7.30 p.m. (8.00 p.m. in December). All bars are open until 9.00 p.m.