As of today, Manchester Ale News is on Hold. Paused. Tables on chairs, lights out, shutters down for the time being.
I started the project – then called Greater Manchester Ale News – just a couple of years ago. The idea at the time was that I’d collate as much current news and events information about the Manchester ale scene as possible, and put it all in one place so people knew where to look for it. At the time, there was a lot less of this sort of information sloshing around on Twitter and Facebook, and to be honest, the local CAMRA wesbites weren’t all that great at passing on the news (they’re a lot better these days). There seemed to be a need for a central resource to pull everything together, give it a home and let the good, ale-drinking folk of this fair city and the surrounding area know what was going on, where and when.
Then the last two years happened.
The Manchester ale scene exploded.
The number of breweries went from – what? – 20-odd to however many there are today (40? 50? More? I’ve lost count). The number of pubs serving more than just a small selection of national brand ales went from a handful to a shed-load. Likewise the bottle shops, up from three or four to well over a dozen, maybe even 20 or so by now. And as for the beer festivals… from one per large town and a couple of biggies in the city centre, we’re up to something like two or three every weekend.
It’s all rather wonderful. It’s all rather mind-boggling. And it’s all just too much. I’m engulfed by information overload, I’ve got rather a lot of other stuff going on, this was always meant to be a spare-time side-project and, to be honest with myself and everyone else, I’m unable to do the job properly just now.
So: I’m taking a break. I’m going to re-assess my position, re-evaluate the central idea of Manchester Ale News, re-work my approach and decide how to take the site forward. All that sort of thing. I might end up posting one or two more pieces of content, if they come in, from people I’ve promised coverage to. But I’ve called time on anything new.
If you’re looking for good sources of what’s on info, the local CAMRA branch websites (as I say, a lot better than they were) and Facebook pages are a good place to start. As is the Manchester Beer and Pubs Meetup Group, whose members tend to pop up at most of the good ale and beer events across the region. And if you’d like to get a feel of the Manchester beer scene in general, then here are a few local bloggers with their fingers on the pulse, or who are otherwise generally entertaining and/or worth a read:
Right then. Enjoy your ale and I’ll no doubt see you at a real ale pub, craft beer bar or beer festival or two in due course.
Site Editor, Manchester Ale News