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Top young chefs, BBQ masters and local independents join beer festival line-up

New for 2022 are The Fire Pits, featuring a series of guests chefs and live fire specialists serving up a signature dish

This year, Manchester Craft Beer Festival will offer a food line-up that encompasses some of the best young chef talent in the North West, alongside a new open fire pit feasting concept and some of Manchester’s favourite foodie destinations.

New for 2022 are The Fire Pits, featuring a series of guests chefs and live fire specialists serving up a signature dish for hungry festival goers.

On the Friday you’ll catch Tom Bray from Country Fire Kitchen, while on Saturday Ronnie Aronica from Bench and Belzan’s Sam Grainger take over.

From The Ashes BBQ will have their own dedicated pit throughout the entire festival.

Tom Bray was inspired to create his own BBQ culinary venture Country Fire Kitchen after his years living in South America and discovering the art of Asado.

Expect whole lamb and beef ribs ‘a la cruz’ – roasted ‘on the cross’ – hung beef fore rib, fire veg of onions, leeks, butternut squash and chimichurri.

Ronnie Aronica is the chef-owner of Bench, a neighbourhood bistro and natural wine bar in Sheffield that started as a series of local pop-ups focussing on communal dining and open-fire cooking.

A self-trained cook, while Ronnie takes inspiration and influence from all over, his food has a natural Italian and Sicilian emphasis thanks to his family background and upbringing. 

Joining him is Liverpool’s Sam Grainger, chef patron at the critically acclaimed Belzan, a small neighbourhood restaurant where he focusses on British produce interwoven with Japanese and European ingredients and techniques.

Sam also joined forces with London’s Breddos Tacos to launch Mexican taqueria Madre, which has sites in Liverpool and Manchester.

Pitmasters From The Ashes BBQ specialise in whole animal butchery, and the holy trinity of smoke, fat and flavour on live fire.

Priding themselves on delivering a comforting and delicious menu, from low smoked pork shoulder encased in handmade doughnuts to big, meaty beef ribs to gnaw on, it’s set to be quite the spectacle.

Also on the line-up, some fantastic independent restaurants from across Manchester – including Northern Quarter’s Chakalaka and Chorlton’s Jerk Junction.

You’ll find Chakalaka bringing their bold flavours to Depot Mayfield with signature South African classics such as Boerewors, Biltong and Bunny Chow – a celebration of all that is great about South African cuisine and culture.  

Award-winning Jerk Junction are all about ‘food, familia and flavour’, or as they put it, ‘the best Caribbean food outside of the island’.

Expect Jamaican classics such as rice ‘n’ peas, jerk chicken, and curry goat, all prepared daily in their on-site jerk house then brought to us to cooked in a jerk drum.

The festival will run across three sessions: 6pm-11pm on Friday, 11:30-4:30pm Saturday and 6pm-11pm Saturday, offering the ultimate beer exploration experience with its supreme line-up of world-class breweries.

In addition to the breweries already announced, Bundobust, Salt Beer Factory, Stone and Wood, Signature, Lost and Grounded and Campervan will be at the festival pouring their finest pints.

Headlining the sessions this year will be the one and only, king of jungle, Goldie, one of the finest and most respected DJs in the world, Norman Jay MBE and dance and indie legend David Holmes.

Each ticket is priced at £55 and allocates guests entry for a five-hour session on the Friday or Saturday. The ticket includes all of your beer, a special festival beer glass and access to the festival’s pop-up kitchens. 

Manchester Craft Beer festival runs from 22nd-23rd July 2022 at Depot Mayfield. Tickets are available to purchase at

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