I saw in 2016 a beer mat advertising the Manchester Beer Festival in January 2017, when I saw this I was in Manchester and thought “why not”, it sounded big with so many ales and bars so decided in january this is the one to attend.
The hotel was next to Piccadilly station and stayed there the last time I was in Manchester, this time I was staying Wed to Saturday, Wed was pub day and Thur/Fri was beer festival day with Fri more pubs after the festival.
I wasnt 100% clear there the venue was so had a walk round on Wed and found the building, easy to walk to and also the No1 free bus goes up that area incase my legs couldn’t hack all this walking, which I did alot.
So the pubs are all below, some are from 2016 visit and have added a couple of new ones I found into the list, the new ones were Brewdog, Crown Anchor, Port St Beer House, Sawyers Arms, The Brink, Sir Ralph Abercromby.
So onto the beer festival, not knowing what it would like as this was my first visit, I waited in the queue, didnt have long to wait and they split us into 2, pre-paid tickets and paying on door, got in okay and picked up my beer glass and was amazed how HUGE this was, the bar was at the back of the venue in one big row, and the other featured breweries were in a enormous big square, you can see some of the breweries there in the pictures below.
The seating was massive and stuck myself at the end so i could find it easily, loads of food to eat as well, which i tried, and the first question was “where do I start”.
For me the best one was Tiny Rebel – Cherry Bomb on cask, yes I did say cask, they ran out on Thursday and when it was back on Friday at 2.30 there was already a queue waiting, astonishing.
I must say this is probably the best beer festival I have been to … ever. the range of ales was amazing, lovely to see breweries I dont get to drink from and I shall be there next year. if you havent been before then you must do it next year, start saving up.
For the 2nd year in a row I booked the 17th to 21st October week off, mainly for the Sheffield Beer festival as I go on the Wed, Thurs and Friday early, this year I wanted to go away and after much deliberation between York and Manchester I decided to choose Manchester, I have done York recently but not the Manchester ale pubs. Now I have been going to Manchester since I was a teenager which is along time ago, but never for ale pubs.
I booked my hotel and it was near to Piccadilly station and then research on the pubs and most were in the Northern Quarter so alot of walking was to be done as they were not near the hotel, apart from one which I will do last.
So here we go, these are some of the highlights I went to, I dare not look at my Untppd as it will show more.
I will put the Twitter, website links at the end of this blog.
Marble Arch – This is a Marble brewery pub and was near to Victoria Station, I was near it on day one but went on day two, I was already waiting by the door for it to open, I arrived 5 minutes before 12.00 and what a nice pub this is, lovely old fashioned wood everywhere, and the bar was a delight, serving marble ales and some guest ales, they have lovely boards to see what is on offer.
Crown and Kettle – I went to this on Day 1 but they had a wristband event on so couldnt get in, so day2 visit was on the cards, once inside the bar is infront of you with a fine selection of ales, I had a couple of them, and plenty of seating area, very old fashioned inside and not what I was expecting from the outside look,.
The Smithfield – This is a Blackjack Brewery pub and they had a few of their ales on cask and keg, some of the keg were tempting at over 8% but the price did put me off a bit, plenty of seating area and a few plugs to charge your phones, I was sat on the comfy seats near the door, I didnt want to get up.
The Angel – I had waked past this one going upto the Marble Arch and was recommended on Twitter to pop in so I did, the outside doesnt look much but inside is a different story, loads of ales, I counted about 12/13 pumps, plenty of seating area and I was sat next to a guitar, definitely worth popping into.
The Gullivers – this pub was quite busy and they had a few ales by Manchester Brewery and nice lovely pub, found a comfy seat to sit in. A good range of ales to pick from as well.
The Old Wellington – Nice looking pub and a place everyone was taking pictures of, half the ales were not on but still found something to drink, nice beams inside and was very busy.
The Oyster Bar – A Sam Smiths pub and time for their Stout, again very busy and I was sat inside as all the tables outside were taken.
The Crown & Anchor – Just round the corner from Oyster Bar and their ale taps were a bit weird, not seen those types before, had a London Pride in here, this was on day3, nice big pub and loads of seating.
Abel Heywood – a Hyde brewery pub and very big pub and had one of their Hyde ales, again I found the comfy sofas and collapsed in it, the weather by then was really sunny for Manchester.
The Grey Horse – this is a tiny pub from the front surrounded by scaffolding and was small inside as well, another Hyde pub and had one of their ales which I couldnt find on untppd, very friendly pub and landlady was extremely jolly.
57 Thomas Street – a Marble brewery pub and again plenty of Marble ales to drink, all seating was wooden chairs, tables and they had a long wooden seat against the wall, nice pub.
Waldorf – this one is near to the hotel and very nice inside, again found a comfy chair, was getting a bit tired by the time I landed in here and the only pub where I found a Sheffield ale – Moonshine.
Piccadilly Tap – this is very close to the hotel I was staying in and the most visited pub, had so many choices and certainly tried them, on day3 it rained for a while and ideal pub to stay in, nice easy to understand boards.
The Brink – this was suggested from twitter to visit and it was a hard pub to find, the street was easy to find the pub was a doorway and it went downstairs so you could end up walking past it which I did, this is a converted shop (we call these micro-pubs) and has 5 ale pumps to choose from, all 5 I never seen before and paid to visits to this place, well worth going to. It is off Deansgate.
Sawyers Arms -This is a Nicholson’s Pub and very large inside, a very old fashioned pub serving 8 ales, and was impressed with the selection. The pub is on a corner and is on the way to The Brink.
Sir Ralph Abercromby – another difficult pub to find and I would it by accident, it is off the main road near Brewdog and I saw a sign mentioning this pub, looking down the side street I wasnt sure this was correct, anyway went down the side street and round the corner and there it was, there are 6 ale pumps, tv screen was on and a open fire, well worth paying a visit.
Crown & Anchor – a nice sized pub sat on a corner near to Piccadilly area of town, plenty of seating area and they are serving 6 ales, food is also served here, and it is near to the Port Street Beer House.
Port St Beer House – This was due to be my 2nd pub of Wednesday but they dont open until 4.00 and I had arrived a hour too early so came back the following day, a micro-pub and nice laid out bar, I think there was 7 ale pumps and they also have some keg lines , seating is minimal but was expected but managed to get a seat.
Manchester beer festival in January 2017
I thoroughly enjoyed waking round and visiting these pubs, you definitely need your walking shoes on, I am sure the free buses went past some of the areas I was in, but I like a good walk and surprisingly the rain was very little and managed to hide inside pubs along the way.
You will need your goggle map ready to take you round them all.
The Marble Arch – @
57 Thomas Street – @
Marble Brewery – https://www.marblebeers.com/57thomas-street/
Crown and Kettle – @
Blackjack Brewery – @
Smithfield – @
Piccadilly Tap – @
Grey Horse – @
Hydes Brewery – http://www.hydesbrewery.com/
Abel Heywood – @
Gulllivers – @
J.W. Lees – http://www.jwlees.co.uk/
The Brink – @
Port St Beer House – @