Manchester is home to the UK’s best independent brewery, research reveals

Manchester boasts over 1,300 beers produced from six breweries, with an average Google rating of 4.63 out of five - but which comes top?

With over 2,000 independent breweries in the UK, and over 74,000 Google searches a month for ‘breweries’ alone, it is evident that the UK’s love for local beer continues to grow.

But who really are the best local producers of beer?

To find the best independent breweries in the UK, South Western Railway has ranked each independent producer of beer based on their average Google review rating, the number of beers the brewery has produced and the rating of the top performing beer, according to RateBeer, the international website for craft beer enthusiasts. 

And it’s a brewery in Manchester that takes the top spot for being the best independent brewery in the UK.

The Cloudwater Brew Company is one of only three to receive top marks for a beer produced, with 5 out of 5 from the craft beer community (RateBeer).

This is just one of the 816 beers listed for the brewer, which shows a wide variety of options – an area of pride for independent brewers.

While it seems the UK like to experiment with their beer tastes and flavours, it is clear the nation likes a strong beer with the ABV% of the top-rated beers averaging 7%.

The highest percentage on this list is Manchester’s Cloudwater A Great Many Breaths, a beer that weighs in with 12.7%.

For those still ordering in, Cloudwater Brew Company currently has a variety of beers on offer on their online store, including a number of IPAs as well as a chocolatier-inspired Stout, with coffee, cacao and ancho chilli. 

Loanhead, a small town in Scotland, is home to the second-best independent brewery in the UK, while third place goes to Kernel Brewery in London.

But while London is home to the most top breweries overall, Manchester is in fact the second-best location for beer production in the UK.

The “capital of the North” boasts over 1,300 beers produced from six breweries, with an average Google rating of 4.63 out of five.

Salford’s Marble Brewery comes in at number 30 on the list, with Manchester’s Blackjack brewery taking the 39th spot.

Hydes brewery, also in Salford, comes in at number 50.


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