On the last May bank holiday weekend I headed up to Manchester. I had a glorious 8 hours to spend in my favourite city. So I made plans with a couple of friends that we would spend the day doing a gentle beer crawl around the city.
When I say gentle, I mean the Keep It Session type crawl. Craft beer doesn’t have to be all about the high percentage stuff. In fact, it takes more skill to make a low percentage beer taste good. Plus I didn’t fancy the long train journey back completely blotto…
First up we headed to the Pen & Pencil. I won’t lie, not my first choice, but being the bank holiday a lot of places didn’t open until slightly later. Spying a Magic Rock tinny in the fridge our day started with a Grapefruit Highwire. A fave of mine and coming in at 5.5 % not too strong either.
We then made our way to the Port Street Beer House. A staple to the beer scene in Manc, if you like beer and like Manchester then you have to head here. I went with a Gose from Runaway Brewery. Coming in at 4% and perfect for sitting in the sunshine outside the beer house.
After baking in the sun a bit we headed to the recently reopened Pie & Ale. This was always a favourite of mine when I lived in Manchester so I was glad to see it open again. Here I went for a non northern beer, but I hadn’t seen it in a while so I had to order. The Sleeping Lemons from Wild Beer Co. Wonderfully citrus and only 3.6% it’s another perfect summer beer.
Moving deeper into the Northern Quarter to Number 57 Thomas Street. Another staple on the Manchester beer scene, I remember when it opened when I was an undergraduate!! Here I went with Magic Spanner from Magic Rock. Coming in at 3.9% it was a pretty banging session IPA. I’ve seen it in a few places in Worcester too since coming back. Very pleasing!
Ok so now it had been a while since breakfast so we headed to Mackie Mayor. An absolutely wonderful venue and a must visit. I had bao from Baohouse. An incredible vegan avo and pineapple bao and a delicious spicy pork belly and peanut bao. Both were just perfect! From here we picked up a hungover Dr C, I got a very quick hug from Clare and we headed to The Pilcrow Pub. Here I enjoyed another low % sour but the lighting was so bad I didn’t take a picture. Also a venue I’d never been too before and it was quite a good space, one I recommend for sunny days in the north.
Must admit the beer got to me a bit and at this point I sensibly made the call for a toastie at Northern Soul. Going with my favourite, the Hawaii Five-O of course (cheese, chilli pineapple and ham – oh yeah!) After a refuel we headed to Cafe Beer Moth, where again I kept it session (didn’t write the beer down sorry!) Then lastly, because I was at the train station anyway, we ticked off Piccadilly Tap from our list. Another Manchester staple and another one I remember the opening of! A couple of beers here (FYI I stuck to halves all day – I’m not silly!) and it was time to depart. Until next time Manchester you glorious beast.
Have you been on a pub crawl around Manchester? What’s your favourite Manchester pub? Let me know in the comments,
P.S. This beer crawl was funded by my own money. All photos, words and opinions are my own.