Southern Sun

Manchester has a famous, rather loosely defined, area called the N/4. This is home to a collection of bars and pubs, and in recent times, has become something of the chic place to be. Actually, it was probably at its peak (beer wise) several years ago, but then, the trendies are always one step behind. Anyway, for a change, we decided to do a crawl of the “Southern ¼” which is based round the Oxford Road area of town. Being student-land, it also boasts a lot of pubs and bars, a lot of whom do cask.

First call was the Paramount. This JDW had several tempting beers on offer. The Otter Bright went untried, but Archimedes tried Ossett Silver King whilst I sampled a rather tired George Wright. Kro 2 is a trendy bar with a large outdoor drinking area. Luckily the sun had come out allowing us to enjoy this facility and I could pat myself on the back for packing my sunglasses, despite the promise of intemperate weather. Also luckily, the Landlord was on top form, delivering a cool, very crisp pint. Round the corner at the Lass O’Gowrie on Charles St, there were mixed signals. It’s a great place to eat, with proper chips, and real homemade pies. However, we decided not to eat as the beer choice wasn’t very good. Probably not helped by the fact that the place was absolutely dead. Having said that, the Brains I tried was in good nick.

The Sand Bar was closed-perhaps they had heard I was calling? So it was across the road to the Deaf Institute. Or Trof 3, as it is the third in a chain of very trendy, music, beer bars. Although the name raised a few eyebrows at first, it’s a listed building, so any changes could only be minimal, and the name has been given the blessing of the Manchester Deaf Society. Anyway, it’s a big improvement on their first choice-Deaf & Dumb. Inside it’s a mix of booths and tables, and, bizarrely, the kind of chairs you find at primary school. Now there’s a fine line between idiosyncratic and plain silly, and, personally, I think this crosses it. It is nice however, and an excellent venue for student-totty-spotters. For a chain that prides itself on their drinks range, they let themselves down by not offering any cask. They really should know better, but I did enjoy an excellent bottle of Anchor Steam Beer. Archimedes seemed pleased with his mega breakfast, as well.

Odder is yet another trendy bar. The beer range had much improved since my last visit and my first pint was, inevitably, Copper Dragon Golden Pippin. Feeling I should get some beer soaking sustenance, I opted for a Rosemary & Thyme (what I use for my pizza bases, incidentally) pizza with sautéed potatoes. Not bad value at £3.99, either. I washed this down with a cloudy, but very enjoyable, pint of Leeds Yorkshire Gold (4.2%) which had a real bitter bite to it. It was a case of as you were at the Pevril of the Peak, as Copper Dragon Golden Pippin made another appearance. It was al fresco time at the Britons Protection where I enjoyed a pint of Robinsons Unicorn. Then it was tram time, before settling in the Trackside for a nightcap.
I’ve found the Southern quadrant a bit variable on previous occasions, but on this evidence, things are looking up.


Sorry to hear that the Lass O' has taken a turn for the worse, it used to be a great place for cask despite the silly barstools. Always remember good bar staff, quality cheap eats and footy on the box
Tyson said…
Well, lets hope it's just a blip. Full marks for having a tabletop Asteroids game, though.

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