Having gone out of England for the first time last year, the 2018 National Weekend will take us overseas – it will be based on the Isle of Man, 28 – 30 September. The Isle of Man is a fascinating place in its own right and deserves a visit. The Island has four brewers – Okells, Bushy, Hooded Ram and Old Laxey – as well as two cider manufacturers. All the approximately 90 traditional pubs stock real ale, with the Okells parent company Heron & Brearley owning about half the estate.
The prevalence of craft ales is sparse when in comparison to parts of the UK, particularly the city areas. The Island’s first micro-pub is due to launch in Peel on the West Coast before Easter. There is an extensive bus network (passing all pubs!) for a rural area, operating well into the evenings, but for ease generally, a centrally based stay in Douglas (population c40,000) is advised. More details will appear over the next few months.