Many fans of live music have long had to suffer mass produced national lagers if they wanted a beer while watching their favourite bands at venues like Manchester Arena & Apollo.
Now they can look forward to something more flavoursome to accompany the tunes with the news that Manchester University Students Union have teamed up with Bury's Brightside Brewery to launch their very own beer.
Academy IPA is midweight, modern IPA which is brewed from a blend of four fruity American hops. It is available on cask, keg and in bottle conditioned form and the really good news is that it is available now in all four of the Student Union's Academy music venues as well as the Students Union Bar on the ground floor of their Oxford Road building.
The Students Union Bar will be selling the cask conditioned version as a permanent real ale in the recently refurbished bar. The bar is open to the general public11 to midnight Sunday to Thursday & noon until 1am on Friday & Saturday.
Academy 2, Academy 3 & Club Academy (all of which share the Students Union building) will offer the bottle conditioned version. The main Academy One venue also has the beer in keg form - filtered but unpasteurised - as well as bottles. The launch of the beer coincides with the 25th anniversary of The Academy which opened it's doors with a concert by Manchester legends The Buzzcocks way back in October 1989.
T&H CAMRA went along to the beer's launch at the Student Union in February where brewery Sales & Marketing Director Carley Friedrich told us that they had been planning the 4.5% beer for over a year. The Academy has been patiently waiting for the family run brewery's new 18 barrel plant to come on line before it could come to fruition although has been selling bottle conditioned Brightside beers in the Academy venues for several months.
Carley told us that after initial experiments with New World hops, they finally set on a combination of four American hops - Cascade, Columbus, Citra and Comet. The result is a beer which is hoppy but quite bitter on the back with the trademark grapefruit characteristics of the Cascade hops. The Academy certainly has plans for this beer with it being heavily marketed throughout the venues - banners, posters, beer mats & bar runners were everywhere on launch night. They have even comissioned the video below.
To learn more about Brightside Brewery - see brightsidebrewing.co.uk