Real ale fans are spoilt for choice if they want to go for a good pint in Manchester - according to an iconic guide to the best beer around.
The Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) has released its Good Beer Guide 2022 and a staggering 159 venues across the city-region have made it into the volume.
In particular, 25 pubs will be celebrating as they are newly listed in the guide.
And for one iconic Manchester city centre watering hole a very special milestone indeed is being marked.
Extra cheers for the Marble Arch in Manchester
The flagship venue of the renowned Marble Brewery, the Marble Arch in Manchester has extra cause to celebrate as it is included in the Good Beer Guide for the 25th straight year.
The local Camra branch is marking this incredible achievement with a special presentation at the Rochdale Road pub on 17 November.
The characterful and beautiful building, with its well-known sloping mosaic floor, is the birthplace of the brewery and remains its spiritual home.
The bar has nine handpulls for cask ale, eight keg taps for Marble and guest beers, and a selection of artisan ciders.
Which other venues have made it into the Good Beer Guide 2022?
Altogether there are 159 Greater Manchester pubs included in the latest Good Beer Guide, 25 of them new listings.
There are also 67 breweries in the city-region in the book.
There are nine new breweries in the guide, while six have closed.
The pubs selected for the Good Beer Guide 2022 showcase the diversity of drinking establishments across the city-region.
In Manchester craft beer venues like Cafe Beermoth and the Port Street Beer House, known for their huge ranges and explorations of the most adventurous parts of the brewing scene, sit alongside more traditional boozers such as the Lass o’Gowrie with its Victorian tiled frontage and the Grey Horse which has been serving beer since 1851.
Newer entrants to the drinking scene include the likes of the Beatnikz Republic Bar, which opened in 2018 less than a mile from the brewery it is named after.
Historic Salford watering holes the Eagle Inn and the New Oxford have also made it into the guide, while in Stockport the listings include the Angel Inn, which was reopened in 2018 by a consortium of local people.
Pubs with historic interiors sit alongside more contemporary drinking establishments and brewery taps, while there are also a few social clubs across the city-region which have made the grade.
What has Camra said?
This is the 49th edition of the Good Beer Guide and the first one to show the ramifications the Covid-19 pandemic has had for the industry.
Contributors, including singer and publican James Blunt who has written the foreword, are therefore taking the opportunity to encourage readers to support their local pubs and breweries.
Camra also wants the Government to do more to help the industry, given the effect lockdowns and the measures to slow the spread of coronavirus had.
Overall the number of independent breweries has risen to its highest in the publication’s history, though there has been some turmoil in the sector over Covid-19 with breweries both opening and shutting their doors.
The Guide, which surveys 4,500 pubs across the UK, is considered the definitive beer drinker’s guide to the very best pints in the most picturesque and friendly pubs.
CAMRA national chairman Nik Antona said: “After the struggles of the past 18 months for the industry, it is great that The Good Beer Guide figures are showing the resilience of pubs and brewers in the face of strife – a national increase in brewery numbers after they dipped last year for the first time, as well as over 500 new pub entries.
“This is great to see, especially coupled with the news from the Government’s latest Budget, including the announcement of a new, lower rate of duty for draught beer and cider.
“However, the industry is still vulnerable in the aftermath of COVID-19 lockdowns.
“Breweries still face issues around costs of goods, lack of business rate relief and silence from the Government on Small Brewers’ Relief reform.
“We are calling on the Government to make sure the new draught duty rate applies to containers 20L and up so that all our small and independent brewers can benefit.”
The Good Beer Guide 2022 is available now from Camra’s shop.