Skip to main content
4th July 2017


Independent Manchester Beer Convention

Thursday 28th September – Sunday 1st October 2017

Victoria Bath, Manchester


The Thirsty Games is Indy Man Beer Con’s initiative to find and support the best new small breweries operating in the UK today. In recent times some of the best, most forward-thinking, and sought after craft beer has come from breweries working with modest setups. Indeed, now more than ever, big – within the beer industry – does not mean better.


As a beer festival always looking to improve and offer something new, IMBC strives to be on the cusp of the UK brewing scene – and a reflection of the teeming positive output within the modern brewery industry. The Thirsty Games acts as a showcase to the brightest UK breweries making their first moves within the professional beer world. The idea of the competition being to give those small businesses a leg up into the industry and to posit them alongside their revered domestic and international peers within the bustling setting of Indy Man Beer Con.


From initial submissions, the best three Thirsty Games entrants will be chosen by the IMBC team to present their beers across every session at IMBC 17 (Thursday 28th September – Sunday 1st October 2017, Victoria Baths, Manchester). The successful three finalists will then be judged, both by attendees and by selected brewers from the forefront of the UK and international beer scene, on the quality of the beer they bring to the festival.


The winner of The Thirsty Games 2017 will be announced at the closing of IMBC 17 and invited, as part of their prize, to be the first name on the brewery attendee list of IMBC 2018.


The inaugural Thirsty Games competition was launched at IMBC 2016 and Macclesfield brewery, Fiveclouds, were crowned winners. Since taking home The Thirsty Games crown, Fiveclouds have expanded to brew six times greater volume than they did prior, producing an average of 20 brewer barrels (BBL) of beer a month. Fiveclouds spoke on their experience of winning The Thirsty Games and attending IMBC as a brewery for the first time,


“It was absolutely awesome yet pretty overwhelming! We had such an amazing time pouring next to some of our favourite breweries and friends alike. To be pouring at IMBC in our first year of trading was a massive deal to us, slightly surreal after going for the past few years as drinkers and we were totally surprised at the amount of interest and feedback from other brewers and the public alike. It opened a huge amount of doors for us as a brewery and gave us some much needed confidence.


When we tweeted the results of the competition our tweet had got over 6000 interactions that night. We had about 30 bars from around the country asking for beer over twitter, etc. It was pretty crazy!”


This year’s Thirsty Games promises to bring yet more exciting new breweries to the wider public, projecting the future of the beer industry within the Grade 2 listed surrounds of Victoria Baths at a world class modern beer showcase, Indy Man Beer Con 2017.


Thirsty Games 2017 entrant criteria:


Brewers must be operating on a 5BBL or less capacity / be operating on a cuckoo basis

Breweries must have been in operation for no longer than 18 months

Breweries must be UK based and duty paid


Submissions for this year’s Thirsty Games must be received by Friday 30th June 2017. Entrants can apply by filling in the form here:


IMBC interview with Thirsty Games 2016 winners, Fiveclouds:


Matt Gorecki

t – @briggatebeer

o – 01484900850

m – 07788513432