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Manchester's Best Beer Pubs & Bars

This guide will introduce you to Manchester’s beer scene and guide you around the long-established as well as new, exciting pubs, bars, breweries, and more. 



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A new Title

Explore Manchester

With an introduction by the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham this book will set a marker for any beer enthusiast’s exploration of the North-West.

There is no doubt that the most recent decade in Manchester’s long and fascinating beer history is one of its most thrilling. It truly feels like the city has become an epicentre of contemporary beer culture, not just in the North-West but for the nation as a whole. Most interesting is how the scene has shifted in its most recent years, especially following the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. Like much of the country, Manchester bore the weight of numerous lockdowns until society gradually returned to normal following the rollout of the vaccine.

From traditional pubs serving top-quality cask ale, to the latest on-trend bottle shop bars and funky brewery taprooms, Manchester is bursting with great beer and this new book will direct you to the very best.

Over 200 must-visit pubs, bars, cafés, shops and other outlets with great beer offers

Explore Manchester’s rich brewing history and modern beer scene

From traditional pubs serving top-quality cask ale, to the latest on-trend bottle shop bars and funky brewery taprooms, Manchester is bursting with great beer and this new book will direct you to the very best.


Piccadilly and the Northern Quarter
Ardwick and Ancoats
O.M.A., Victoria and the Green Quarter
Oxford Road and the Universities


Reddish and the Four Heatons
Ladybarn, Levenshulme and Burnage
Didsbury and Withington
Chorlton and Whalley Range

Salford & Trafford

Sale, Stretford and Urmston
Eccles, Monton and Swinton

Wigan, Bolton & Bury

Bolton and Westhoughton

Rochdale, Oldham & Stalybridge

Ashton and Stalybridge

Suggested beer tours

  • The Best of the City Centre
  • A Day Out in the Northern Quarter
  • Up The A6
  • Hopping Around Chorlton
  • Salford into Town
  • Bolton’s Buoyant Beer Scene
  • Rochdale into Oldham
  • The Author

    Matthew Curtis

    Matthew Curtis is a freelance writer and photographer based in Manchester, England. He specialises in writing about beer, pubs and the culture that stems from them, and has written for various publications including Vittles, Novara Media, BEER, Ferment and Good Beer Hunting. In 2019, he founded online magazine and podcast Pellicle with his friend Jonathan Hamilton, for which he is editor-in-chief. Born in Lincoln, Matthew grew up in rural Lincolnshire before attending the University of Teesside in Middlesbrough, after which he relocated to London where he lived for 15 years while discovering his enthusiasm for all things beer. In 2020 he relocated to Manchester, where he fell in love with the city, and its rich beer and pub culture. He is the author of An Opinionated Guide to London Pubs (Hoxton Mini Press, 2021) and Modern British Beer (CAMRA Books, 2021). His latest book, Manchester’s Best Beer, Pubs and Bars (CAMRA Books), is due to be released in October 2023.

    A Word from the author

    I first came to Manchester to explore its beer and pub culture in 2014, and immediately fell for it – to the extent that in 2020 I decided to make the city my home. Since moving here, my love for Manchester has deepened further, and its vibrant, essential beer culture is at the heart of that. When CAMRA Book’s commissioning editor Alan Murphy asked if I’d like to pitch a new idea, I immediately asked if I could produce a guide to the city’s beer scene, as I felt it was well overdue an in-depth look at what makes it so special.

    Most beer drinkers already know that Manchester is home to a great many breweries and pubs, but few know how deep it runs; with great venues pouring exceptional beer to be found in nearly every suburb, neighbourhood, and outlying town. Initially this was to be a guide focussed on the city of Manchester itself, but as I explored and went about my research, I realised that to ensure the guide represented the area’s beer culture, it had to include Greater Manchester as a whole.


    Towns like Rochdale, Wigan and Stockport have incredible beer scenes of their own, each of them eminently accessible from the city centre. In producing this book I realised that it’s only when you view Greater Manchester as a whole that you can truly understand why it’s perhaps its home to the most well-developed beer community in the country. One that includes everything from 200 year old breweries, traditional boozers, world class modern breweries, exceptional bars and restaurants, all within – or close to – what is one of the most eclectic and creative cities within the UK.

    Foreword written by the Mayor of Greater Manchester

    Andy Burnham

    I am no stranger to the pubs and bars of Manchester so consider it a great honour to be asked to provide this foreword!

    The history and development of that great British institution – the pub is in many ways, synonymous with the development of Manchester and Greater Manchester. As the city has developed and reinvented itself, so too has the nature of our hostelries.

    Pubs are ever-present and ever-changing and that is a good thing for a city like ours. We must fundamentally change what our view of what a pub is. The Eagle Inn in Salford, for example, is a classic traditional Edwardian red-brick workers pub and, yet, whilst keeping all its charm, has been re-invented as one of the most-exciting small venues in the city-region. Equally, our incredible brewing scene is one of the very best in the UK – Track Brewing’s former home in a railway arch under Piccadilly, and now in an industrial estate warehouse might not look like our traditional view of a classic pub, but their tap room fills the same role – great beer, great atmosphere, and great community focal points – and they are key to our re-invention and understanding of what a pub can, and should be.

    What makes Greater Manchester’s relationship with the pub so special is that there is always one at the centre of our communities – every place across Greater Manchester – rural and urban, has a pub at its heart.

    The last three years have been incredibly difficult for all our hospitality sector, but pubs, and particularly wet-led ones, have seen the pandemic, energy crisis, cost-of-doing-business crisis combine for a perfect storm. Alongside that, ever-increasing beer duties make it harder and harder to run them. I want to pay tribute to all of those who dedicate their lives to creating these great spaces for us. If we want to keep these vital Greater Mancunian institutions alive and thriving at the heart of our communities, we all need to do our bit. So here’s a request from the Mayor get down to your local more often!

    Collaboration brew with RUNAWAY brewery, Manchester

    Manchester’s Best


    Pale, bitter beer inspired by an early 1970s Boddingtons recipe, & hopped for a contemporary audience with a blend of modern British and European hop varieties.

    Unfined, unfiltered, vegan friendly.

    This beer is an exciting limited release and has so far been shipped out to the following locations in and around Manchester.


    The Runaway Brewery Taproom (Stockport)
    Heaton Hops (Heaton Moor)
    The Petersgate Tap (Stockport)
    Reddish Ale (Reddish)
    Port Street Beerhouse (MCR)
    The Smithfield Market Tavern (MCR)
    Fell Bar (Chorlton)
    Reasons to be Cheerful (Burnage)
    Keg Cask & Bottle (Prestwich)
    Playhouse 2 (Shaw, Oldham)
    The Stalybridge Buffet Bar (Stalybridge)
    Broad Street Social (Bury)

    Order your copy today!