A rainy Monday in Manchester-who’d have thought it? Yes unfortunately the day was dark and very wet, but it did provide a good excuse to linger longer in the pubs. The primary reason was a visit to the Christmas continental markets by Lytham John & Moonstruck Maria, but let’s be honest; a drink was always on the cards. Maria was a Manchester virgin (not a phrase you hear often), and it’s always interesting introducing new people to our drinking dens.
We kicked off in Sinclair’s Oysters Bar. This Sam Smiths institution had a few lunchtime stragglers in, and indeed we were joined by our own favourite Manchester straggler-the WHB. I sank a couple of Old Brewery here whilst others toyed with Porter, Organic Cherry Beer, and the like. A pit stop at the German market produced gluhwein-they’d already sold out of wheat beer. No wonder they lost the war.
Next stop was the City Arms on Kennedy Street. Surprisingly busy for that time of day, we squeezed in and sampled Brains Rev James. Literally next door is the Waterhouse where Saltaire Yorkshire Pale proved zesty and very refreshing. Obviously being away from Bury has had an effect on LJ, as he was already struggling with his beer. However, Maria, being a true lady, helped him polish it off-a pattern that soon repeated itself.
The Britons Protection proved popular with both the Unicorn and Cumberland in good nick. As our visitors were catching the train back, we moved down to Knott Bar. As on recent visits, this proved disappointing with Marble Manchester Bitter tasting like wet cardboard. No wonder the place was empty. Much better was our last stop-Cask, on Liverpool Road. Ostensibly we had gone there to sample some of their fine foreign range-ideally Kwak, but Pictish Susan proved so good that we stuck with the locally brewed stuff. Then it was time to escort out guests to the station before slowly winding our own way home.