Last but by no means least Marble Arch, the home of Marble Brewery.
The pub itself as many will know is great example of the old tiled pubs, it reminds me of the old station pubs that I have seen pictures of in books and the odd film.
We headed there on a day that Manchester City were playing at home as such they had a food special for the fans on their way back. Despite it's tall ceilings the pub itself is very compact but by heck can you fit a lot of folk in! They did have some guests on but as this was an unparalleled chance to try many Marble beers they didn't appear on our ordering. As you would expect they were all in tip top condition, my personal favourite was unsurprisingly the stout although I did quite like the bottled ginger stout which was a surprise as ginger in beer isn't usually my thing as per.
Food was good too which was great as the pub was further out than I expected from the main part of Manchester.
Another underground bar but this time a much larger and spacious one, I have been following The Gaslamp on Twitter for a while since someone recommended it as a good place to visit. Subterranean drinking den? Oh go then...
We went here Saturday afternoon when it was busy but not murderously so, which I suspect it may very well become in the evenings. The staff were quick and friendly also a good beer selection, from your session to more unusual servings plus if you fancied a change from beer their whisky selection was rather good too. It seemed a big trend in Manchester for good bars and pubs to concentrate on their beer and whisky selections in tandem.
The bar itself was split into two main rooms, the back one looked like it once was a kitchen with a big fireplace and was very loud once it got full whereas the room with the bar was warmer and more cosy I felt and given it had started snowing before we arrived at The Gaslamp this was most definitely a bonus.
Prices are on par with London, so if like us you are on a trip to Manchester it won’t be a shock unless you have been in one of the smaller pubs. However this is a great place, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves on our visit and I would definitely come back here if we are up this way again.
We see similar this in London where the underground toilets are convented and this is what this bar is. Formerly known as the Temple of Convenience, it has a claim to 'fame' if you want to call it that, by the fact of when it was a loo this was the one that Alan Turning was arrested at for cottaging. This is was also the reason my other half wanted to visit this bar after getting his picture taken at the Alan Turing statue whilst logging into Foursquare... I don't pretend to know the male mind especially not my husbands so don't ask.
Anyway the bar itself is actually very pleasant, surprisingly so given what it used to be and also oddly spacious. Staff are friendly and it claims to have one of the biggest bottle ranges in Manchester (I disagree but hey), we tried two beers from Bath which were very pleasant before we headed off to Manchester's Art Gallery.
It is a bit hard to find but it is an unusual and quirky bar, the graffiti in the bar's toilets is amazing, not something I thought I would write on my blog but there you go.
I have a love-hate thing going on with Brewdog, like many beer drinkers I suspect, but despite the hype I do like their bar. Regardless of the industrialness of the bar itself they usually are quite cosy and the staff are friendly, if a tad too enthusiastic sometimes. So it was my plan to see what a northern bar of theirs was like on my recent trip to Manchester, the other half wasn’t happy as he didn’t get his free whippet once past Watford and he was less than impressed when we ‘accidentally’ found Brewdog Manchester…
He should have known I had a mental map of where the pubs were in Manchester I wanted to visit; my internal beer nav isn’t bad.
However once inside the fact they had a pinball machine soon cheered him up, we only stayed for a couple as we were exploring Manchester that day having arrived on the early train from London. The Cocoa Psycho was my first pick and I have to admit I found it just a tad too bitter, there are many a chocolate beer I enjoy (Rogue’s chocolate stout springs to mind) but this one was trying to get hops across as well which just wasn’t to my taste, in fact it reminded me of the time I had a taste of a modern attempt at the chocolate drink which the Aztecs had, way too bitter for me. Punk on the other hand hit the spot.
The bar itself is kitted out the same as all the other Brewdogs, despite the metal and concrete the bar itself is warm and doesn’t echo which means the important test of ‘can I hold a conversation’ is always passed in these places. I wonder if the rough concrete has a sound proofing quality; it seems to be the only major structural difference between these bars and the echoing wine bars that pass themselves off as pubs. Having said that the amount of folks with dogs they attract maybe it is the sound reducing quality of canine furry bodies at work... who knows.
If you are after a good place to relax with your mates I would say that you should give this place ago, again like their other bars the prices are depend on what serving you want but more unusual beers are keenly priced and on keg beers are reasonably priced on abv which is a sensible way to do it.
The Bricklayer's Arms in Putney does some fantastic beer festivals and this wasn't any different apart from the weather being some what chilly.... Well ok, freezing! The beer kept in the outside tent was chilled almost to the point of Wetherspoons beer which is impressive as it was all natural but did mean you had to warm your beer up before drinking it.
We arrived ahead of our friends so could nab a table for all of us with ease, the pub was surprisingly empty at 1pm but then we passed a lot of football fans heading towards Fulham's grounds so this could be a reason as the pub soon filled up after 2pm as if folk were avoiding the fans before heading here.
First beer for me was Acorn Brewery's impressive Old Moor Porter, not a new beer to me but a favourite and I can't resist having a quick half of this before I started on the new beers. It didn't disappoint either cold or warmed up and set me up for my next half which was Ebony Stout from the Wood Street Brewery. This is a new brewery and this stout was one of the stronger beers on at 5%, nice liquorice finish to it.
Junga from Acorn was next and to be honest they should have called it Paddington as it was extremely marmaladely but a rather pleasant beer, now the marmalade flavour was there in another beer called Golden Lion from Bob's. Both good beers but really reminded me of Fullers and this is no bad thing.
Next up for me was Idle's Black Abbot which was a huge roasty beer with a fantastic aftertaste and continuing the dark beer theme one of our table got Sportsman's Pidgeon Bridge Porter which was a lovely chocolately beer, so nice I ended up getting this one next too. Old Mill's Porter was a nice Bertie Bassett of a pint and I will be looking out for this one again.
Beers that didn't work for me were Cap House's Fox Hunter, which to be honest smelt like wet dog and tasted how I imagine that smell would taste. And the other was Concertina's Bengal Tiger which was soapy and seemed like a pint that had white wine spilt in it. Neither were good for me but this is the first time I have tried these breweries and with none of their other beers were here so I will keep an eye out to try some of the others.
All in all it was a great little festival, although we were extremely grateful to be sitting inside! The poor staff looked frozen if cheerful though.