One cold, autumn evening in a public house in Thirsk, two unknown men sat hunched over the bar, conspiring in hushed tones over several beers and a bottle of rum. As they spoke, they jotted down notes on the back of a beer mat.
To any casual onlooker Manson and Wade will have appeared like two ordinary blokes having a quiet beer together but, the plot they were brewing up was far from ordinary.
Manson and Wade had decided to set up their own bootlegging operation.
Operating in plain sight and even boldly going by the name “The Bootleggers UK”, Manson and Wade spent the next few years on the run, frequenting the bars and clubs of Yorkshire and the North East of England.
Armed with microphones, a guitar, harmonica, drum and with a handful of other tricks up their sleeves, The Bootleggers gained the friendship and loyalty of the people they encountered on their way.
Performing their toe-tapping, foot-stomping, bootlegged covers of classic songs they worked on building their network and the foundations for the next stage of their operation.
Early one morning in April 2018 Manson and Wade gained entry to the Hambleton Ales Brewery.
Not a lot is known about what went on within those walls and those who do know, won’t talk.
Soon after, the duo began peddling a 3.8% cask ale they called “The Bootleggers Pale Ale” to pubs and clubs across Yorkshire and Teesside.
The beer proved so popular that as the demand grew, so too did their operation.
In October 2018, “Bootleggers IPA” suddenly emerged.
This new brew is stronger, at 5% volume, and comes in a crate of 8 x 500ml bottles.
Demand for The Bootleggers and their beer sky-rocketed overnight.
Who knows where the bootlegging operation of Manson & Wade will end?
To this very day they remain on the run, avoiding capture as the performing their music at pubs, clubs, festivals, private events and weddings all over Yorkshire and the North East.
Rumour has it that they have even released two singles and are also working on an album.