#ISBF6 - Post 2


Pretty eh?

Hello again!

It’s nice to catch up eh? I’ll probably keep these updates to once a month (so long as there is something to say, some “news” to impart...)

In Post #1, I alluded to paying a little more attention to cider. Well....

If I’m honest, I’ve been embarrassed re Cider at ISBF for some time. Not that I believe that what we had was rubbish – it wasn’t – but that I never focused on it. Never have I given it even close to the attention I’ve given beer. Real last minute stuff every year. Until this year.

This year, I’m quite excited about it.


In December, I had a chance encounter with a lovely couple whilst at Torrside picking up a clutch of Monsters. We chatted and got on well. They said they normally drank Cider, but didn’t at #ISBF5 and focused on some of the tarter beers and really loved them.

It was only afterwards that I realised that they were arguably Greater Manchester’s premier Cider enthusiasts and evangelists. Dick is responsible for the unbeatable Cider Map of Manchester and Cath is an aspiring Pommelier – yes, such a thing exists! So, a month later, I met up with Dick and we talked. And I was fascinated with developments in small batch artisan Cider. I wanted to know more.

Then he invited me to a Cider tasting at Runaway.

Oh. My. Days. My eyes were opened!

Suffice to say, I’m excited. And I’m not easily excited.


So. The idea is to have a presentation / tasting / MTC (Meet The Cidermaker) with someone so elevated in the Cider world as to be almost out of reach to the likes of #ISBF6. Precise details haven’t been hammered out yet, but......

Acclaimed author and renowned Artisan Cidermaker Susanna Forbes and a special guest will be leading a tasting and discussion about Real modern Cider linking in to the (substantial) flavour, aroma and techniques interface between Cider & Craft Beer.

This will be something NOT to MISS. I, for one, am genuinely excited. Those who know me, know that I choose (and use) words very carefully. And mean everything I say. This is not hype.

And this work is all down to Dick & Cath... For which I thank them hugely!

Next up. We’ve got a new glassware Sponsor!!!


ISBF has always tried to be about localism. And at its heart, it remains committed to being as local as it can be. It supports local causes – this year Start Inspiring Minds again – and we like to be involved with local independent businesses. I’m absolutely delighted to say that our new glassware Sponsor is the ace Swinton Micro Pub House of Hops!

Located just around the corner from Salford Town Hall, it couldn’t be more appropriate!

We were really excited when Claire & Scott made the decision to open a Micro Pub. Even more so that it was a mere 15 mins door to door from my (Jim) house! We’ve been thrilled to see how successful they’ve become in a location (Swinton) where they’ve become the vanguard for modern tasty beer.

I was made up when they approached, the decision to agree was instant. To have a glassware Sponsor that is local to the event, it matters. And we couldn’t be happier.

The “Look”


Almost before we’d finished serving at #ISBF5, I’d had an idea, a thought as to what I wanted the imagery based on. I discussed it (briefly) with Andy (aka Design Genius) and he was quite excited – which is always a good start. But I needed to reach out. Re copyright. And I had to dig a bit.

The copyright had changed hands over the years, but I managed to locate the current rights holder and – having emailed – was the recipient of a phone call from a rather lovely lady who seemed surprised that I’d asked (they don’t normally, apparently!). It was an easy chat. I think we actually spent more time discussing likely breweries than the subject of permissions!

Suffice to say, I obtained permission. It was surprisingly easy. And I’m all giggly.

Next, Ticketing.

The “back office” stuff doesn’t normally impact on the attendees, but I thought I’d bring this up.

Weirdly, I get approached by varies companies over the course of a year about ticketing services. Most of the time, a polite “I’m OK with what we’ve got, thanks... “ type reply suffices. But one company caught my eye with the phrase “50% of our fee goes to a charity of your choice”.

That was the bait on the hook. I bit.

The firm is Citizen Ticket. And once is spoken and was assured that that money could go to START, I was sold. So. That’s where we will be hosting ticket sales.

Dates : 31st October to 2nd November

Tickets – as I’ve said previously – will go on public sale at 8pm on 25th August. Unless you’re at our little launch bash....

That will be at The Brink on the same evening at 6:30. Attendees to that will get first chance to buy tickets, get to drink exclusive beers brewed for the event and a chance to buy some exclusive bits and bobs. Tickets for that will go up (they’re already set up!) on Monday 22nd July at 8pm.

Set calendars....

Sponsorship! I nearly forgot…….

If you’d like to get involved with our little bash via sponsoring a beer or something, please get in touch via the “contacts” page. Last year, we were overwhelmed with the number of individuals and small local businesses that got involved. This year, we’d love to hear from you - people have already started without a reminder!

Sponsoring a beer (or cider!) will cost £65. What you get is…..

2 tickets to the session of choice

£10 of tokens per sponsorship

2 glasses

The choice of Supplier to sponsor - based on order of contact.

i look forward to hearing from you!

That’s all for now. (I’ve started contacting breweries, but that’s boring isn’t it?....)

Keep your eyes peeled. Back soon.