The musings of Tyson, the anarchic beerhound, as he sups his way through life's bitter vale of tears.
Eating a lot of cheese along the way.
There’s a new kid on the block. Marble have opened a little brother in the city centre to complement their well established Rochdale Road outlet. Little being the operative word as the bar, at 57 Thomas St, is indeed tiny. Style is of the Post-Industrial Chic and somewhat reminiscent of what’s happened in Leeds which has overtaken Manchester in terms of innovative bars. So it’s good to see Manchester landing a blow for the Red Rose side.
The small room is dominated by the bench seating that runs parallel to the bar. It won’t take many to fill this up on a Friday/Saturday night. In keeping with the uber modern look, beer is dispensed by an innovative gravity dispense system that uses cold water to keep the casks cool. They could probably have put them under the counter and used handpumps, but having them on the bar makes a certain statement.
The plan is to normally have two on at a time and two settling, but this being the opening weekend, there were actually three on. Ginger, Dobber, and Pint-which was on good form. And, at £2.40 a pint, came the sad realisation that central Manchester is now actually cheaper than my locale. There is also a good bottled beer range.
Oh, and saving the most important for last, they have a very impressive cheese list. The waft of Stinking Bishop was like music to my nostrils.
The Kimberley Workingmen’s Club in Stacksteads, Rossendale is the stuff of legend. Few, outside of those interested in such things, have heard of it and fewer still have visited it. Even many locals aren’t aware of its location and yet internet forums are full of people willing to travel across the country to visit a genuine slice of social history. Established in 1897, the KMC started out as an afterhours drinking venue for quarry workers. Legend has it that it was carried down into the valley on poles. There are various theories about its South African connections-there is a Kimberley Street close by, but what we do know is that surprisingly little has changed since those early days. Once you have got up the steep hill, over the dirt track and through the gate; you are confronted with two very small rooms. There’s probably just enough room to squeeze all 36 members in. This helps to explain why visitation is strictly by invitation only. We were privileged to enjoy a special Sunday ope…
London is a strange town. Or so the Jam said way back in 1979. And indeed it is. However, despite the early closing, congestion and lack of decent pizza, there are actually people who work and live there. And everyone from the Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers to the British Guild of Beer Writers hold their piss-ups there.
So it was once again that I found myself wandering the lonely, mean streets of the Big Smoky with nothing in my pockets but hope and fortitude. Now, one has to make careful preparation before attending a function such as the BGBW awards. And, being one for correct form, I did my bit by having a little tour of the capital’s watering holes.
Conveniently, the Euston Cider Tap had just opened the previous week and I was the first in on that day. The very helpful barman kept me company until I was joined by some chirpy cockney sparrows newly arrived from Manchester. After sampling sparkling, still and some Normandy cider, the bonding was complete and I…
This is an unusual beer from the Kernel Brewery that I first tried at the Port St Beer House, Manchester, some weeks ago. That was after a few scoops, so I was looking forward to trying it fresh.
The basics: Kernel are a small brewery based in Druid St, London. This is a 6.5% IPA and is bottle conditioned. It poured a cloudy burnt orange/gold colour with little carbonation and only a slight head. A little like my last sample to the doctor. Thankfully the aroma was much better with definite marmalade, fruit and just a hint of coffee. Taste: Full bodied and rich. This is not an easy drinking session beer for the uninitiated. Starts with a classic IPA taste of oranges and powerful hops before the coffee kicks in which gives it a fair smack of bitterness. Finish: You really get the coffee effect in this. A sharp, lingering bitterness that sticks to the back of the throat. Conclusion: A good attempt at something different. Not for everyone, but I enjoyed the level of bitterness. One to give…