A pub crawl with a difference: the Great Rochd‘ale’ Festival of Champions Ale Trail 2018

Date published: 09 November 2018

Eight venues, three days and over 100 ales and ciders can only mean one thing: the Great Rochd‘ale’ Festival of Champions Ale Trail 2018!

CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, certainly know a thing or two about good beer – and great pubs – having named our very own Flying Horse Hotel as their Greater Manchester Pub of the Year this summer.

And as you’d expect, CAMRA is also backing this autumn’s ale trail, fully behind the real ale to be had locally – with proper beer in proper pubs and bars, what’s not to love?


Real ale at The Flying Horse, CAMRA's Greater Manchester Pub of the Year
Real ale at The Flying Horse, CAMRA's Greater Manchester Pub of the Year


Taking part this year are Rochdale’s traditional pub favourites, plus a couple of newer faces, all of which will offer a minimum of three CAMRA Championship Beers of Britain, plus many other local favourites.

Paul Ambrose, Town Centre Manager, said: "In a few short years, Rochdale town centre has become a true destination for beer lovers across the country. What impresses me the most is that all the pubs and bars are genuine community venues where people from all walks of life come together to socialise.

"While each of the pubs and bars offers something unique to their visitors, they all share the foundation of what makes them great - a warm and welcoming atmosphere, excellent service and a fantastic range of beers.

"The ale trail is the perfect way of showcasing these fantastic pubs and bars, whilst sampling some of the very best ales and ciders along the way."

The three-day event is sponsored by Barton Kendal Commercial and the Rochdale Round Table, which will enable any profit be donated towards to Mayor’s Charities.

Sponsor John Barton said: "Barton Kendal Commercial are delighted to be sponsoring the Rochdale Beer Festival this year. We are particularly excited that the festival is being held in the local pubs which gives Rochdale the ability to showcase what the town has to offer.

"I hope the event is a success and no doubt me and the team at Barton Kendal Commercial will be sampling a few beers."


Sample CAMRA's finest
Sample CAMRA's finest


Councillor John Blundell, cabinet member for regeneration, said: "This is a fantastic event for Rochdale. As we’ve seen with the Business Improvement District vote, businesses are behind this, working together to get as many people into town and increase the footfall.

"The Rochdale Ale Trail will do that and draws attention to the fantastic amount of real ale on offer around Rochdale, a much better selection than anywhere else.

"This is a real success story for Rochdale."

Michael Howarth, of The Wellington and Vicolo del Vino commented: "This is a great opportunity to visit old and new bars and hostelries in Rochdale, which really shows the town is on the up."

Expect CAMRA’s finest beers at participating venues: The Flying Horse, The Baum, CockaDoodleMoo, The Medicine Tap, Vicolo Del Vino, The Regal Moon, The Wellington, and Cask and Feather.


Vicolo del Vino
Vicolo del Vino


A selection of award-winning Championship Beers will be on offer from Elland Brewery’s potent 1872 Porter 6.5% right through to Moorhouses’ Black Cat 3.4%.

  • Beavertown - Neck Oil - 4.3% - Craft Icon Award             
  • Castle Rock - Harvest Pale - 3.8% - 2010 Supreme Champ  
  • Fullers - ESB - 5.5% - 1978 Supreme Gold       


  • Elland - 1872 Porter - 6.5% - 2013 Supreme Champ  
  • Harviestoun - Bitter & Twisted - 3.8% - 2003 Gold Supreme       
  • Hawkshead - Windermere Pale - 3.5% - 2017 SIBA NW Cask Champ


  • Hawkshead - Iti - 3.5% - 2017 NW Below 4.4% Gold        
  • Moorhouses - Black Cat - 3.4% - 2000 Supreme Champ                  
  • Mordue - Workie Ticket - 4.5% - 1997 Supreme Champ         


Medicine Tap, one of the participating venues
The Medicine Tap, one of the participating venues


  • Mordue - Radgie Gadgie - 4.8% - 1998 Strong Bitter Gold               
  • Oakham - JHB - 3.8% - 2001 Supreme Champ  
  • Orkney - Red MacGregor - 4.0% - 2018 Gold Bitter


  • Rudgate - Ruby Mild - 4.4% - 2009 Supreme Champ  
  • Salopian - Oracle - 4.0% - 2018 Golden Ales Gold
  • Timothy Taylors - Boltmaker - 4.0% - 2014 Supreme Champ  


  • Tiny Rebel - Cwtch - 4.6% - 2015 Supreme Champ  
  • Triple fff - Alton's Pride - 3.8% - 2008 Supreme Champ
  • Kelham Island - Pale Rider - 5.2% - 2004 Supreme Champ


Participating venues
Participating venues


Enjoy a drink in all eight venues, donate £1 to the Rochdale Mayor's Charity Appeal and you’ll receive a unique commemorative glass – this is one pub glass that you’ll be encouraged to take home.

A joint partnership by Rochdale Town Centre Management and Rochdale Borough Council, the Ale Trail 2018 replaces the Rochdale Beer Festival, which in previous years, took place at the historic Town Hall.

The Ale Trail takes place over Thursday 15, Friday 16 and Saturday 17 November.

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