Today sees the beginning of the seventeenth Manchester Food and Drink Festival, spanning 12 days from 18th – 29th September, and sprawling across the city centre.
At its centre, as usual will be the festival hub in Albert Square where for the first three days new Festival sponsors open MFDF with their Festival of Beer.
They’ll be creating The Tasting Room, a bar dedicated to the flavours and complexities of Thwaites stonking beer range. This will include the bespoke brewed ‘Use Your Loaf’ Beer, an ale created especially for MFDF by competition winner and beer enthusiast Iain Divine.
Also in the hub will be the 100 Greatest Beers Bar taking over from the above, the now famous celebration of local beers with more than 100 of the best brews from Manchester served up right through to the Festival finale and the Blue Pig Cocktail Lounge, where Northern Quarter stalwarts Blue Pig will be bringing an illustrious drinking experience to The Hub, crafted and built especially for MFDF.
It’s not just alcohol though in the big tent. The Taste of Malaysia Pavilion, explores South-East Asian culture, and Ex-England and Manchester United footballer, Gary Neville will be swapping the pitch for pans when he takes part in a live cook-off, ahead of the opening of his and Ryan Giggs’ exciting new hotel, Hotel Football.
On the final weekend the hub entertains the Brand Cheese and Chocolate Festival, celebrating two of Britain’s most glorious and gluttonous foods.
Cheese, in particular, is one of Greater Manchester’s specialities and the Festival is welcoming a whole host of local makers and traders to showcase their best for you to taste.
There is plenty more going on, amongst the highlights, The Liquor Market returns in the curious and decadent surrounds of Elixir bar on Deansgate and in its seventh year, the ever-popular Big Indie Wine Festival will be hosted for the very first time by New Century Hall, the events venue for NOMA.
Many events are free, others are ticketed but for details of everything check out www.foodanddrinkfestival.com
Manchester Food and Drink Festival
18th – 29th September.