For the couple of months I’ve been working in Manchester, in the north-west of England, home to both Manchester United and Manchester City (they’re soccer teams for the uninitiated), home to some interesting traditional breweries and some great new bars.
During my first few weeks ‘up north’ I explored the bars in the area around my hotel with an intention of writing a guide to Manchester bars for The Brewclub. But somebody beat me to it! They missed a couple of interesting bars, but if you find yourself in Manchester in search of a pint, then this here is a pretty good starter.
Once you’ve explored those, then I recommend the Oyster House, a Sam Smiths pub that is eminently affordable, selling Sam Smiths Old Brewery Bitter at an astonishing £1.85 a pint.
I also recommend the Oast House at Spinningfields, this has an extensive range of brews that includes Thornbridge Jaipur at a slightly less affordable £4 a pint and, (sounds of fanfare) the new Brewdog bar.
Regular Brewclub visitors will know I’m a Brewdog fan, so while I was disappointed not to have received an invite to the opening (it must have been lost in the post) I visited a few days later. Inside it’s very spartan and industrial, but they have a full range of interesting brews, available in pints, halves and even thirds.
And some of their more exotic brews (Tactical Nuclear Penguin and Sink the Bismarck) are available as ‘shorts’ – just 25ml, or a little less than a fluid ounce. Okay that doesn’t seem much for a beer but when you consider that these brews are the equivalent in strength of premium spirits (you halve a spirit’s ‘proof’ to calculate the alcohol percentage) weighing in at 32 and 41 percent alcohol (64 and 82 degrees proof) respectively, we’re clearly into sipping strengths here. And to be honest, I think I would rather spend ten bucks sipping a sample than spend close to a hundred bucks on a bottle that I might not enjoy.
Anyway, I hope to be ‘up here’ for a few more months, so I will try Sink the Bismarck and report back for The Brewclub.
And if you expect to be in Manchester, soon, give me a shout. I refused a drink once… it was a Thursday, and it was raining… February 1975!