Dec 2 2022
“We’re gonna move it slow, when lights are low
When you move it slow, it sounds like more
And it’s all right, whoa, it’s all right
Now, listen to the beat, kinda pat your feet
You got soul and everybody knows
That it’s all right, whoa, it’s all right…. ”
“You got soul and everybody knows….” That’s Curtis Mayfield, right there, with a one liner. Perfectly describing Runaway Brewery. A brewery with soul, in the heart of Manchester.
Well. They WERE in the heart of Manchester. Until last night. Because that purposely built mezzanine tap space is no more. The tap has moved. To Stockport.
Last night saw the first opening of the new premises (Right on the bank of the Mersey on Astley Street), a three floored space which is – quite simply – stunning.
Mark (Welsby, Owner) took some of us on a mini tour of the building…….At basement level is a large space to be devoted to resting beers. Wooden barrel ageing, funky stuff. To have a dedicated space for this is a step change for the brewery. No need to cram. This new premises is flexible enough to allow room to breathe. Grow, organically. Mark has, on many occasions, said that brewery is at its size. Not chasing growth in brew length. This new space will give the team all the room they need. And more.
Heading two floors up, the hard work of recent times was evident. Scrubbed floors, huge space, gradually being renewed, all in-house. This space could be a future space for the tap room, could be anything, plans are fluid. Mark looked simultaneously proud and shattered. This last few months must have been a grind. But – to these eyes – totally worthwhile.
Outside, Honest Crust were doing their thing in the expansive outdoor space. Some of which Runaway have had to borrow previously at Dantzic Street.
But no longer. It’s theirs. And will be HUGE in summer.
As for the beer – a not unimportant consideration for a taproom – it’s Runaway. Therefore consistently exceptional. From the Pale on keg (possibly my favourite keg beer), through American Brown (an all-time favourite) through to 2 cask lines (new to the Brewtap) of Autumn Bitter and the Sublime yearly Gingerbread Stout, the beers were all stunning.
From others, such words trip from the tongue and keyboard all too easily. Not from here. I’m a Fanboy of few, but I am of Runaway.
Before I got there, I wondered why they’d move from Manchester. On entry (and following the short tour) that became obvious. The current premises felt constricting by comparison. In this place, there’ll be breathing room. Room to dedicate space, to give the larger and funkier beers space and time to do their thing.
The full move (with the brew kit in place and operational) should be finalised in early Spring next year, giving Mark and team time to make the place completely theirs. All done without fanfare. Without fuss. Without hype. Something I’ve always loved about them. Quietly doing their thing. Making bloody good beer. Exceptional beer in fact. Some of the best around.
Runaway Brewery. Mancunian Sensibility in their new Stopfordian Circumstance. The journey – both theirs and yours – couldn’t be more worth it.
Go. And thank me later.
Be kind to one another. JCx