We popped by Wander Beyond Brewing Company last week. The Manchester-based brewery launched in 2017 and has been creating a storm ever since with their funky artwork, mixed in with imaginative twists on traditional styles.
Unfortunately, the original members Dan, Mat, and Tina were out of the country, but I had a chance to catch up with the Ryan and James (fresh from Siren’s barrel aging project).
I’ve got to admit, I was imagining rocking up to a brewery with an army of workers, Wander Beyond seem to have almost become a household name in the independent craft beer scene, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover that there is just five of them!
“Matthew our Head Brewer still does the majority of the production work,” said James, with his hands on hips looking up at the tanks that reached the ceiling of the unit. He continued, “A lot of the beers are his recipe, however, Dan also likes to get involved. As there’s only five of us, we tend to all sit down as a team and chat about what’s next… obviously, we’re creating new beers that are a bit mad all of the time. Although we’re a small operation, we still need to keep a high level of communication up, so we all know what’s going on. In the beginning, when I first started, I could be dealing with sales, digging out the tanks or helping out with clean-downs as we were a team of only 4.”
“We’re doing reasonably well and have come a long way in such a short space of time. Our annual production last year was around 1000HL. We try to put a spin on things, what makes a beer a style and then pushing the limits of it. The more experimental stuff will go into keg or cans… So we’ll be canning a lot more this year.”
While speaking to Ryan, James handed me a brew poured straight from the bright tank, a blueberry sour… it was tangfastically good.
“We used 500 kilos of blueberries in this 2000 litre batch,” said James with a grin on his face.
Ryan continued, “Everyone helps everyone in Manchester brewery-wise, it’s still competitive but in a very, very healthy way. It’s like the Cloudwater Friends & Family & Beer Festival issue the other week. There was a little blip but the beer community came together and got it sorted. There are some really great breweries in Manchester and we’re really happy to be part of that community, especially when so many people are enjoying the beer as well.”
They then gave us a couple of cans of Nautiloid, their 12% Imperial Milkshake IPA to take home. Brewed with orange and mandarin, it’s a cracking brew, almost comparable to a beer-like bucks fizz. We’re really impressed with what these guys are doing, so next time you’re in Manchester, try to swing by The Knott or Chorlton Tap where you can get most of their brews!