The Brew Wild Manchester project began last year with the aim of bringing together local Beekeepers and community growers and use their produce to create the Brew Wild Beer and Drinks Company. Through the making beer and cordial from honey and native plants, the company will show that good things can be grown in the city.
Their first batch of test beer was brewed in September of last year. Since then, they’ve been busy collecting honey from urban beehives across Manchester and Salford, from bee-keeping groups in Longford Park, Wythenshawe, Harpurhey, Manchester Art Gallery, Salford, Kersal, Heaton Park and Manchester Cathedral in preparation for brewing 900 litres of beer this year.
Photograph courtesy of Richard Searle.
Brewing commenced in early February at RedWillow Brewery in Macclesfield, with the honey being combined with Wild Marjoram, which has also been locally grown. Following a launch event in early March, the bottled beer will be on sale at Manchester Art Gallery, with other outlets being explored. Also, a cask version of the beer will go on sale at avenue which will be announced via the project’s twitter feed, with a plan to give away packets of wild flower seeds with every pint. The beer’s labelling has been specially designed by Mancsy, which is featured above and below.
The project hasn’t been without its challenges, principally the low level of honey generated by local hives last year, an example of the effects of climate change at a micro-level. For more information on the project, I recommend their Grow Wild UK page, and to follow the project’s progress, have a look at their Youtube channel which has been providing regular video updates. It’s also a wealth of information about the different groups and their hives along with bee-keeping in general.