If there’s one brand that can claim to have played a massive role in the Manchester craft beer boom – it’s ShinDigger.
Sensing a sway in public demand for exotic new bar drinks, George Grant and Paul Delamere promptly purchased a home-brewing kit in 2012 and began churning out beers by the bucket-load – passing them on to pals at house parties.
After sitting down with the pair, MM discovered that ShinDigger are still adding fresh zest to the Manchester drinking scene six years later.
“We started ShinDigger back when we were students in Manchester University,” George tells us.
“We basically just bought a home-brewing kit and started brewing in our student flat. We began giving it to our friends, and it kind of grew from there.
“At the time, a lot of different American craft ales started coming into the UK.
“What we liked was the idea of making a hybrid between a lager and an ale; taking the chilled, refreshing taste of a lager and combining it with a flavour of an ale.”
The ShinDigger boys proceeded to play with recipes that brought these types of beer together – becoming one of the first Manchester brewers to appeal to two different taste palates.
“In Fallowfield back then, the beer choice was real ale or it was lager,” says Paul.
“We saw a gap in the market to introduce cold, fizzy, fruity drinks – something a bit different that took the best of both types of beer.
“They went down great at house parties and after university, we stepped things up and now our beers are being served at pubs and bars in Manchester.”
In many ways, the ShinDigger boys are a lot like their product: refreshing, creative and infectiously effervescent. They’re constantly looking for new ways to bring exciting, different things to the city – exemplified perfectly in their brand new seasonal range of beers.
These include the exotic “Festiva”, the mango and pineapple-infused “Mango Unchained”, and the scrumptious “Summer” – a tropical lager blended with watermelon that has all the hallmarks of a beer garden favourite.
But Paul and George aren’t just stirring things up in the distillery. They’re also taking their ideas beyond the brewing room and turning ShinDigger into an experience.
Their recent Block Party at RedBank was a rousing success – marking the latest chapter in the ShinDigger Sessions events.
Interweaving Shindigger beer with other components of party culture, these Sessions are held in association with local street food traders, musicians and artists.
“Our philosophy behind beer is having a good time, being with your friends and enjoying the moment,” says Paul.
“That’s why we decided to launch Shindigger Sessions.”
“These events give us a chance to interact with our local community,” adds George.
“Putting on these Sessions gives us a chance to be more than just a beer and give people an overall experience.”
From their tasty beer to their bouncy events, ShinDigger are a brand dripping with good vibes – the kind of local company you can’t help but root for as they continue to innovate in a city that’s defined by its knack for bucking trends.
It’s worth keeping an eye on Paul and George to see what they’ll do next. But in the meantime, if you’re searching for something ice cold to sip on whilst the sunshine is still beaming, you’ll find the summery flavours in a can of ShinDigger just the recipe.