#KeepItSession: Bank Holiday Beer Fun | Manchester

June 11, 2018

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,


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P.S. This beer crawl was funded by my own money. All photos, words and opinions are my own.


  • Reply Elsa Lee June 12, 2018 at 11:50 am

    Some great places for beer listed here! You’ve pretty much recommended a lot of my suggestions for friends. I would also throw in Albert’s Schloss as a good one for German beers.

    • Reply MissPond June 12, 2018 at 12:43 pm

      We were sticking to NQ this time. Alberts is great, but there are others that rival it. Like Temple and Sandbar 🙂

      • Reply Elsa Lee June 12, 2018 at 3:30 pm

        I love Sandbar! Everyone at the University goes to it, hehe.

        • Reply MissPond June 13, 2018 at 2:34 pm

          Another good place is Cask on Deansgate.

  • Reply Ellie June 12, 2018 at 9:20 am

    Not a beer person at all but the food looks incredible! I 100% NEED to go to Mackie Mayor!

    • Reply MissPond June 13, 2018 at 2:34 pm

      How have you not been yet?!!?!

  • Reply Bryanna Skye June 11, 2018 at 5:48 pm

    we’re actually heading to Manchester in a few weeks time and I know my partner wants to hit up some bars and pubs so this is a great help!

    • Reply MissPond June 13, 2018 at 2:35 pm

      These are good places to start! Check out my Manchester section for all my recommendations 🙂

  • Reply Hannah swancott June 11, 2018 at 5:19 pm

    Such a great idea and SO FUN!! That toastie looks amazing too, much needed I’m sure!

    • Reply MissPond June 13, 2018 at 2:36 pm

      So much fun! The toastie was pretty tasty too 🙂

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