But I thought you hated beer festivals, Retired Martin ?”  I hear you say, cynically.

I do.  And I detest familiarity.  But still I go to IndyManBeerCon. Perhaps it’s old age. Or perhaps, like always watching “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off“, if it’s on I have to go.

Back once again at the IndyMan queue admiring Wavy Man

Here I was, about to waste a week’s alcohol units (Spanish limits) on a festival of murk, without even the company of Mrs RM, with whom at least you can have a game of “Find the strongest beer“.

Still, this year I managed a bit of pre-Fest urban tourism, taking in Longsight.  As in “Linger Longer In Lively Longsight“.


I took the 192 bus up the A6 to (source: Google maps) the only place where you can get coffee in Longsight.

Rare bus that isn’t a 192 ahead

Along with my Greggs bacon roll and Americano (£2 the lot) I picked up a discarded glass from the previous night.  There’s now seven of them in our cupboard at home.

3 coffees to each third of DIPA

Longsight has a way to go to become the next Levenshulme, but it’s a good place to stock up with barfi and your vaping “essentials”.


Every flavour except Mango Barfi

The walk to the Victoria Baths is what we politely call “mixed“, with pleasing architecture, lost cats, and impromptu dumping grounds.

Could be in West London, regrettably
Come back Moony
Possibly an art installation

I join the queue at 11.45, and chicken out on getting an autograph from the top beer blogger talking pumpkin sours next to me.

Inside I head for the disco in room 3, forgetting to buy my little plastic tokens.  But at least I get the seats closest to the speakers.  Tellingly, I’m the only person here in a band T-shirt (Suggested Friends) rather than brewery merch.

It’s packed by 11.30.  Perhaps the buzz around IndyMan has eased a little after half a decade, but it still seems to be dragging the Londoners and Yorkies here again.

You can’t see me as I’m taking the photo

The tokens for a third of beer are £2.80 each, and I buy 5.  If you can work out my spend you get Maths “A” level.

To maximise my ROCT (return on craft tokens) I go for the strongest beers I can see*, starting with the Squawk DIPA (8%).  Squawk are great, they let me have a badge.

Squawk man

I can’t be bothered to review the beers; they were all good, cool and not over carbonated.  I bet I see less than 1% of them ever again though.

A chap in his 60s called John comes to sit at my table, and we take turns looking after each other’s collection of badges while the other goes in search of weird stuff at Verdant, Left Handed Giant and Black Iris.

I win with the Fierce 12.5%  IPA, but prefer the Little Earth Project sour red, even though it’s a mere 11.3%.

Yes, Track Sonoma would have been SENSIBLE

John is a beer man, travelling round the country with his OAP rail card visiting breweries and festivals.

But he knows his pubs as well, and we reminisced about the days when Donny pubs only had Tets or John’s on the pumps.  We shared a few thirds and I promised to say something nice about the Leeds International Beer Festival.

The discussion about prostate problems was, perhaps, more typical of Proper Pub banter.

Left Handed Giant -possibly

Without the banter of John, and a lovely young couple from Stockport who claimed to be from Manchester, it would have been a bit dull.

With some folk to chat to, it’s still a top day out. And as always, the Baths themselves are the star.



Just put Draught Bass on next year though, heh ?


*In the queue for the excellent Keema Fries I bumped into the estimable John Clarke of Stockport CAMRA fame.  John was drinking sensibly.  Where’s the fun in that ?


  1. Great post and pics. For some reason I had thought Indyman was a music thing- obviously haven’t been paying enough attention to your annual posts from it. Must check WB festivals listing (though I don’t suppose that was listed).


    1. Yes, me too. I thought that my middle son had been there, but as he only drinks cider and blackcurrant, I was clearly wrong, and he must have meant somewhere else. He also went on about “EDM” and “drops”.


    2. Just cannot believe you don’t read every word and Google odd things, Duncan. Russ does.

      IndieMan does sound like a music fest. It’s very Manchester, though folk from London come up these days, mostly with armed guards of course. All keg these days, though I bet you’ve heard of nearly all the breweries. If you put 5 or 6 Norrebro bars together you’d have a similar experience.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. But a mere fraction of the Norrebro prices though….

        Your comment does kind of sum up why I tend to find beer festivals a bit redundant these days, especially the craft ones. I can generally get at least the same amount of variety by visiting any town/city with half a dozen craft beer bars. Why go to a less welcoming environment to have essentially the same drinks? (OK, indyman does have a great venue, but that is an exception).

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Cheaper in Beermoth or Piccadilly Tap, probably not much cheaper at IndyMan at £8.40 a pint for the lower ABV beers. Of course, you can get Tuborg for a fiver at that pub near the station that plays ABBA all the time…

        Liked by 1 person

      1. In my mind it’s not about trawling the festival for the strongest beers available in order to obtain maximum VFM – I really think that if that is your mind set then you shouldn’t have gone in the first place. I like to go and experience different styles, brewers, beers I have never tasted or don’t often see on general sale; VFM in terms of maximising ABV shouldn’t really come into it.

        It’s a bit like curating an exhibition in a gallery. Does one cram all the well known heavyweight paintings in the world into one room or instead curate a selection of paintings from a particular artist, époque or genre – showing people a different experience and maybe even a new way of seeing things?


      1. If this was the case then all of Humphrey’s pubs would be full of punters – they aren’t, with the exception of The Duncan and The General Elliot in Leeds who both have certain type of customer who are not representative of drinkers in general.


      2. Well I must admit to not knowing Leeds as well as Stockport but in the Queen’s Head and Boar’s Head I’ve struggled to get a seat after 11.50am.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. The state of that pathway in the “Possibly an art installation” photo is really heartbreaking. Doesn’t take much to see how lovely it would be without the litter.

    Is that ‘Fierce’ the highest ABV to make an appearance in your blog? That’s getting into wine territory!


  3. Ah, days of original IndyMan. When they did cask beer and allowed you to drink pints.

    When they started this one price for all thing I thought most would just go for the hard stuff.

    I used to volunteer too, when they allowed you to drink behind the bar. It lost its sheen as it became more professional. Perhaps I should undraft all my old reviews of IMBCs of yore.

    Nice piece, very much liked your ponderance about ever seeing certain beers again. Such if life.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’d like to read your old reviews, probably predate my first visit in 2015, when I indeed had a pint of Moor’s Old Freddie Walker. To be honest, you could get a similar range of craft just walking through central Manchester, but the setting is worth the cash.


  4. Enjoy Indyman while you can.
    If Comrade Corbyn gets in it will be called Indyperson with gender-neutral bogs and a safe space for lager drinkers.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s