Sunday, 30 November 2014

BRAPA - More from Manchester

It was my birthday last time we went to Manchester.  On that day, I had a fairly productive pub ticking day (despite Ben's best efforts to sabotage things / get pre-emptive ticks - delete as appropriate) followed by a spineless defeat at the hands of Man Utd, so it was almost reassuring to see how little can change in the space of six months.

Like at Burnley, the main result of the day was two new BRAPA ticks.....

513 - Wharf, Manchester - My first venture to the Deansgate area of Manc was much needed, as this is where the majority of the remaining pubs are.  Along with travel companions Tom and Dad, we eventually negotiated our way across the canal without swimming(!) and dodged some angry Canada geese to find our way into this modern, clean, airy conversion of a huge warehouse type thing - you'll all be familiar with the kind of place I mean.  A huge range of beers was served by youthful trendy staff, though most of the customer's at this time were gnarly middle aged Manc men.  My Liverpool Styrian Organic didn't quite hit the spot, didn't seem totally fresh but I could have been suffering "first pint of the day" syndrome.  Upstairs were loos and a non real ale bar, outside a huge patio area by the main entrance.  Though I enjoyed my brief stay on the whole, I shuddered to think what it would be like on a balmy summer's Friday night.

Approaching the Wharf, a solid if not spectacular additon to the Manc GBG scene

514 - Knott Bar, Manchester - Some pub ticks are real 'monkey off the back' stuff for me, and this was a good example of that.  Our friends the Andrew's have been raving about this for as long as I've been stuck in Briton's Protection, and despite my initial reservations about the frontage (but it calls itself a bar so I can't complain), I could now see what all the fuss was about.  Location is a big thing, certainly for pre-match pubs, and it's handiness for Deansgate (and therefore Oxford Rd) make it a great bet before Man Utd.  And what's more, it had no footbally element other than ourselves.  Another wide but more exciting range of ales were served by friendly, polite staff.  My beer from innovative local brewer First Chop was coffee and passion fruit IPA heaven, my Brother Rabbit from Thornbridge top quality and slipped down easily, and my Ginger Marble warming and wholesome.  Despite the layout and 'bar' style, it was very warm and homely which isn't always the case, and although food was on offer and being ordered en masse by the middle aged clientele, it didn't dominate.  Yes, all in all, an excellent Manchester real ale establishment.  

Dad and Tom enjoy some ale and blackcurrant action in Knott Bar

Had I known how delayed my train home would be well in advance (or indeed, got out of Old Trafford at anything like a sensible hour), I'd have easily got a post match tick or two but it wasn't to be.  Three now remain in Manc - Molly's House between Piccadilly and Oxford Rd, the Soup Kitchen near Piccadilly and Cask Bar near Deansgate.  The two Salford pubs look quite handy too.

For now, I will focus on a hectic start to December with a bit of Pontefract style action tomorrow, hopefully a few new Liverpool ticks on Wednesday, before an exciting 6 pub day in Macclesfield on Saturday.  Bring it on!

Si

2 comments:

  1. Molly's and Soup Kitchen should be gimmes for Manchester Hunter. If Cask Bar and/or the Salford ones open early enough, there may well be time for a third. On the subject, be on the look out for early openers on the Airport branch. I shall have a crossover at Wilmslow to whip in that morning, so will be happy to join you for something out of the box.

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  2. We will definitely aim for Molly and Soup Kitchen then, Cask Bar is 12 sadly and so are the 2 Salford's, very annoying. What kind of stops are on the Airport branch? Pre West Brom, have decided on the boring option of Jewellery Quarter's Red Lion. Several reasons. (1) We went to nearby Lord Clifden last year, not one football fan in all day. (2) The Tipton pubs are too far out of Tipton mainly. (3) It opens 10am (4) I also have 3 or 4 new Birmingham centre ticks so after match or even pre take some pressure off.

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