Manchester Union Brewery, 96D North Western Street, Manchester, M12 6JL – Visit Now
Manchester just got its very own lager. It goes by the name of Manchester Union Lager and you’re going to be
mad for it very happy with it. I know what you’re thinking, though. A Mancunian lager… is Shaun Ryder involved?
More often than not, if you let anyone launch a Mancunian lager you’d end up with a load of oddballs in parkas congregating by the fountains in Piccadilly Gardens, handing out samples of a bright yellow liquid called ‘Our Kid’ or ‘Born Sippy’ as pigeons do their business onto an amplifier blasting out Kinky Afro. There’d be t-shirts with Tony Wilson on the front and George Best on the back. It’d be so Manc, you wouldn’t even know what it tastes like.
Thankfully founders, Jamie, Ian and Will, know enough about Manchester to capture the much-loved Mancunian essence without employing the style-over-substance approach seen all too often in the city. The focus has been on getting the product bang on, but the branding has a familiar industrial feel to it, with a half-bee-half-lion occupying the label.
The only commercial brewery in the UK using a decoction mash technique in its brewing process
Manchester Union Lager’s motto is Concilio et Labore, which means ‘Wisdom and Effort’ and it’s pretty clear there’s a lot of both being shown at the site on Temperance Street. For a start, it’s the only commercial brewery in the UK using a decoction mash technique in its brewing process. This lets the brewer move the concoction around at boiling temperatures, releasing more melanoidin and giving the lager a wonderfully unique caramel flavour. It’s a wise move, sure, but it takes a lot of effort too…certainly more effort than it took me to Google the word ‘decoction’ and pretend I knew what it meant. Every drop of lager takes 80,640 minutes to brew. That’s 900 football matches. Gruelling, especially if you don’t like football.
If you like the malty but pricey Pilsner Urquell in Albert’s Schloss, you’ll welcome Manchester Union Lager with open arms. There are similarities in the brewing process and you get that refreshing butterscotch in your nose as you drink it. The brewing process is Czech AF (not a brewing term), but the guys at MUL HQ have perfected it here in the city. It’s a really, REALLY good lager.
A lager brewed in Manchester by people who live in and love the city
It’s light, creamy and it’s pretty moreish. Refreshing too and it’s Mancunian, so if the sun ever comes out it’ll be an absolute go-to; an oasis in the desert, if you will.
Manchester Union Lager is a lager brewed in Manchester by people who live in and love the city. As a local myself, it’s something I want to get behind, because it’s something that, in time, can represent the city in some way. Thankfully, it tastes very good and I’ll be keeping an eye open in the likes of Cask and beyond for a permanent pump so I can back it on a daily basis. It’s finding a home in pubs across the city in 2019, so be on the lookout.
Manchester. A City Hydrated.