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Tyson is an underpaid writer, beer anarchist and cheese addict living in the North West of England.
If the people are buying tears, I'll be rich someday, Ma

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Build The Craft Bars And They Will Come


The post Christmas period can feel a little flat. Pubs are quiet; punters have little money to spend and there’s an air of resignation as the new year kicks in. So when my friend at the BBC said: “Hey, Tyson, Media City is the place you ought to be. Swimming pools and movie stars”, I jumped at the chance to see how the other half lives. After all, there aren’t many cement ponds in Bury.
The main attraction is the Dockyard. This is a large, open-plan, structure with high ceilings and plenty of glass, wood and shiny chrome. Inside there is a good mix of tables and comfortable sofas. Quality food is served-not surprising considering that the owner also has the renowned Damson restaurants in his portfolio-and breakfast is served from 0730, presumably to cater for the media types.
It’s obviously serious about its beer and craft beer at that. How do I know? Well the cellar is on show, for a start. And the very friendly staff person told me so and she used the ‘C’ word. Now ordinarily if a member of staff approaches me unbidden it’s to ask me to leave as I’m spoiling the decor. But no, she was merely enquiring if everything was ok. For someone accustomed to being ignored stood at the bar in Spoons this was quite the culture-shock. I suppose I am a media type. Well I do cobble together a blog. Occasionally.
In fact, all the bar staff were friendly and professional. How the other half lives, eh? But onto the important stuff. There are six handpumps including their house beer, a dark Mild from Brightside and Old Rosie cider. The emphasis here is on local beer both in cask and in keg: the very local First Chop was prominent on the fonts. However, these will be rotated and initial sales are apparently very promising. All in all, a very welcome addition to the beer scene in Manchester generally and to Salford in particular. Oh and the pies looked good, but went untried. Next time, definitely.
On a much smaller scale but no less welcome is Craft Brew. Situated across the road, next to the Lowry Outlet, this is a one-roomed cafe bar that has a small but select choice of beer. Craft beer, as the name suggests. The choice is mainly bottled but there are a couple of fonts and two handpumps. The handpumps are reserved for rotating guest beers, but on my visit yielded well-kept pints of Windermere Pale and Brightside Amarillo. Put Booths in the equation and Media City is looking like the place to go to for craft beer.

Written at: Hare & Hounds

Drink: George Wright Pipe Dream

6 comments:

Tandleman said...

Got me convinced!

Bailey said...

Thought this was really interesting, and certainly underlines that 'craft beer' goes where middle class people do.

Penny said...

Yes ut's an interesting phenomenon, isn't it? Less chicken and egg and more middle class drinker and craft beer bar. Not surprising given the proximity of the BBC etc but also indicative of a wider cultural change, perhaps?

Is what people used to call posh wine bars now the craft beer bar?

Tandleman said...

There's an element of that I think Penny.

Mark said...

Bet you wish you could afford to live there?!

Tyson said...

Never mind live there, I wish I could afford to drink there!