Marble’s Old Manchester

My last post touched upon collaboration between two free-wheeling, young UK Breweries in Dark Star and Marble. Saison – very much a style in vogue right now – was the result of that experiment, reflecting both the style and tastes of right now. The other Marble collaboration beer I’ve enjoyed recently proves that when the young and old guard come together, the results can be even more interesting – and again, entirely apt. ESB, anyone?

In my eyes, Fullers are a UK Brewing leviathan, yet manage to hold on to critical acclaim as well as maintaining the size and outlook of an undeniably ‘Macro’ business. Experiments such as Past Masters showcase the wealth of brewing knowledge and finesse at John Keeling’s fingertips and remain must-haves – whilst new releases such as Black Cab pique interest enough for you to seek them out over the bar.

…and so, Keeling – a native Mancunian – knocked up Marble one morning and they set out creating Old Manchester, an ESB that carries hallmarks of both breweries. Somehow – and it could be entirely placebo effect – OM feels new yet old, traditional yet exciting. Most importantly, it’s tremendously satisfying.

At 7.3% abv, it’s no slouch in the ‘warming’ stakes, and is a brilliantly bright, Amber ESB. Sugary, sweet Candied-Peel notes mingle with firm Maltiness in the nose and body – but there’s a cheeky undercurrent of fruity, lively yeastiness rippling beneath it.

The taste is clean; all the flavours arrive in sequence. Digestive Biscuit, Raisin, Caramel and Fudge, then getting drier with more Marmalade and Orange/Tangerine pith. You just keep drinking it; it’s eminently smooth and slips down too easily. It’s a pleasure to drink and another fine example of the spirit of brotherhood, fraternity and collaboration that our Brewing industry enjoys so much.

My only regret is that instead of sitting a home, feet up and a film on, I wasn’t enjoying this on cask in the opulent bustle of The Marble Arch on a Saturday lunchtime, a cheeseboard in front of me and good conversation accompanying. That’s something I’ll certainly have to rectify.

For a little insight to the beer, jump over to Des De Moor’s page.

About leighgoodstuff

Blog: I'm Leigh Linley; born and bred in Leeds, and writing about it since 2005. TGS exists solely to highlight the great beers that are out there; brewed with passion by Craft Brewers around the World. I also edit the 'Tavern Tales' section of Culture Vulture, which looks at Pubs and Pub Life rather than the beer in the glass.

Posted on 09/02/2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Fuller’s and Marble joining forces, eh? And I thought the British brewing industry was closed and unfriendly. Well, that’s what I’ve read anyway …

  2. John Clarke

    I had a tiny hand in brewing this beer last May as I helped John Keeling measure out some of the hops. My notes taken at the time tell me it was hopped with Goldings, Motueka and Amarillo for bittering and Amarillo, Simcoe and a touch of Motueka for aroma.

    Marble have a number of collaborations in mind this year with possibly one of the most interesting due in a couple of weeks. Kees Bubberman from leading Dutch micro Emelisse (link to their much improved website here – – although even now it doesn’t cover everything they do) will be across on 20 February. Beers planned are a Bitter (4.7%-ish but with a good slug of hops) and a 6.3-ish ‘Earl Grey IPA’. A Meet the Brewer’ night with Kees is also planned at either the Marble Arch or 57 Thomas Street.

    I had a chat with Kees at Bruges Beer Festival last weekend (I know, how to name drop brewers and go-to beer festivals in one easy lesson) and he’s fizzing with ideas – he’s acquired a couple of sweet balsamic vinegar casks and was wondering what might go well in them – I suggested his Barley Wine might do nicely…

  3. Can’t argue with any of that – a sensational beer. ESB for a new generation. Would personally have thought it impossible to improve on Fullers original recipe but together they’ve managed it.
    It’s Revolutions night at Foleys tomorrow and I’ll be in London for a football match that’s unlikely to take place given the weather. The lure of Brodie’s Brewery Tap in the east end had proved too strong to pass on, but have just been informed that the cellar at The Grove is now awash with the stuff! Talk about bad timing… :0/
    Enjoy your evening!

  4. John Clarke

    Brodies at the Grove? That’s rather lucky as I hope to be there late Saturday afternoon.

  5. Reading these reviews is in severe danger of having a detrimental effect on my bank balance, I feel a trip to Marble Arch coming on…

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