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Manchester, United Kingdom
Tyson is a beer hound and cheese addict living in the beery metropolis paradise known as Manchester
If the people are buying tears, I'll be rich someday, Ma

Thursday, 6 October 2016


Thornbridge Brewery will no doubt need no introduction to my thousands of readers, but here’s a quick recap anyway. It started life in 2005 as a modest 10 barrel plant in the grounds of Thornbridge Hall in the heart of the Peak District. And like many new breweries it promised to blend traditional brewing with a modern twist. But, unlike many breweries, it actually succeeded in doing so and quickly gained a following for the quality of its beers. Indeed there is a case (endorsed naturally by the brewery) that they were the first UK craft brewery. They certainly made a big impact with Jaipur, their flagship ale, and rapidly made their presence felt.

Fast forward to 2009 and the opening of a new 30 barrel plant at the Riverside Business Park in Bakewell. The old brewery is still in operation but is used to develop smaller batches of new or seasonal beers. Now having had a butchers’s at the old setup, when offered the opportunity to have a gander at the fancy new one, who was I to refuse? I mean asking a CAMRA member if they want to visit a brewery is like asking Donald Trump if Mexicans are rapists.

The brewery bar is a one room affair flanked by large windows on two sides and kitted out in contemporary style. The ten beers on offer were divided between two bars. Somewhat disappointingly, given that a coachload of thirsty CAMRA types were descending on it, only two out of the ten were cask beers. Naturally they soon got shifted. The beer selection did seem ‘craft’ heavy and along with some others I was disappointed that the great session beer Wild Swan wasn’t available. However, the beer I did have was good.

Now I’ve been on many a brewery tour but this one was a first. We didn’t actually go round the brewery. Apparently ‘elf and safety deem it too dangerous; even though we had signed a safety waiver. Instead we sat in a room and watched a slideshow about it. Not a problem really as our guide was very friendly and knowledgeable and we got a drink to keep us company. We did get to see the impressive barrel ageing room and the shiny new bottling plant which will increase production from 1000 bottles an hour to 9000.

Thornbridge, although proud of their bestselling Jaipur, naturally don’t want to be seen as a one trick pony. So although they could easily sell more of it, they’d rather grow other brands. Still it accounts for some 30% of production with increasing amounts sold in keg and bottle now. Talking of which, they still see bottles, not cans, as the future and have put their money where their mouth is with the new £2 million bottling line. The barrel ageing store is another nod to the future and has already produced Serpentine; the collaboration with Brooklyn where they took a Belgian golden ale, seeded it with wild cider yeast and aged it for a year.

All in all, very interesting. But as any veteran will tell you, brewery visits can be thirsty work. So obviously we had to seek liquid sustenance on the journey home. First stop was the Red Lion at Litton. This is a proper CAMRA pub. Located on the village green and dating from 1787, its small rooms with exposed stone and wood panelling encapsulates the word ’cosy’. The second and final stop was the Old Hall Inn at Whitehough. Another charming pub that I’ve visited many times and usually has something decent to offer beer wise. And it didn’t disappoint with a rather tasty 4Ts. Then it was end of drinking part one, back on the stagecoach home and hello drinking part two: post brewery evening drinking. 

Friday, 30 September 2016

The Pilcrow

The Pilcrow is Manchester’s latest addition to a seemingly never-ending list of craft beer openings. But there’s a back story to this one that marks it out as something that little bit different. If you don’t know (and why don’t you-it’s been on TV) it’s been something of a joint enterprise project. When the latest city centre `redevelopment` was announced several years ago; there were cries of anguish when it was realised that the historic Crown and Cushion pub would be a casualty. Indeed has there ever been a `redevelopment` when a historic pub wasn’t sacrificed? Manchester City Council seem almost perversely proud of their reputation as cultural vandals who wouldn’t know history if you underlined it in a dictionary.

Anyway, don’t get me started on those arse-wipes. Back to the Pilcrow. One bright spot of the new plans was the announcement of the building of a new pub. This was to be slap bang in the middle of NOMA: the new 20 acre neighbourhood development project that promises to fuse city living with city working. Or something like that. It’s in Sadler’s Yard which was the site of Manchester’s first steam mill and is now Manchester’s newest public square. Named after James Sadler, who became the first Englishman to fly in 1784 and staged two successful ascents from what is now Balloon Street. You could easily pass it by but it’s in a nook between New Century Tower, the CIS Tower and Hanover Street.

At the moment, although there has been some use of the square for outdoor events, it’s mainly home to non-descript offices. However, it is planned to be the leisure and cultural epicentre of the area and that’s where the Pilcrow comes in. And its USP? Well the interior has been put together by craftsmen and enthusiastic volunteers who have attended workshops to best utilise their skills. From the handpumps to the (sturdy) toilet doors, it’s been a labour of love. The phrase “a pub built by the people for the people” has been used. You can read more about its journey from concept to realisation on its website.

Of course you need someone to actually run the place. Step forward All Our Yesterdays, a new collaboration between Jonathan Heyes, owner of the ever-so-well-known Common and Port Street Beer House, and Paul Jones, co-founder of Cloudwater Brew Co. They’ve worked closely on the project from the outset to achieve the pub you see before you now.

So what is the pub like? Basically it’s a narrow L-shaped room with the bar in the left corner with tables and chairs arranged in rows down the right next to the large glass windows. The soft toned colour scheme and plenty of natural light give it a fresh and airy feel. It’s not quite finished yet but I like it. And that’s not just because we had it to ourselves. It’s my kind of joint. It’s got a good vibe. The seating is comfortable and practical, the toilets look good and there is plenty of space outside to enjoy the legendary Manchester summers.

Beer, beer, beer, I hear you cry. Yes, yes, yes, I cry. Other bloggers may enthuse about the flooring, atmosphere etc. in a pub but, as my mother always used to say, it’s all about the beer. There are no less than seventeen, including three cask beers, to tickle and tantalise your taste buds. With the operator’s pedigree, it comes as no surprise that along with Cloudwater, expect to see a smattering of other Manchester breweries mixed in with some more exotic fare. And it’s great to see a banker like Jever appear in its too rarely seen draught form.

Ideally placed close to Victoria station, this could be the missing link between the outer rim of the Northern Quarter and the city centre. Certainly it won’t be long before it becomes a destination pub in its own right.

The Pilcrow is at Sadler’s Yard, Manchester, M4 4AH. Open Mon-Thur 12-10:30pm, Fri/Sat 12-11:30pm, Sun Closed.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Breakfast Beer Tasting: Camba Bavaria Imperial Black IPA

I`ve developed a taste for the strong stuff. Well that`s what it seems like anyway.  After the dabble (more than a dabble, actually) with Sixpoint Resin the other day, I find myself once more in Imperial IPA territory. This time with Camba Bavaria Black IPA which, I believe, is brewed in Truchtlaching, Germany. Yes, a foreign beer. I know, I know. We`re now living in a post-Brexit world and we shouldn`t be having any traction with the likes of the Hun but, hey, I won`t tell anyone if you don`t.

It`s a 330ml bottle and comes in at 8.5% with a heavyweight IBU score of 120. It poured, as one would hope, a jet black with no light seepage and a large tan head that gradually settled to a finger`s worth. There was a strong aroma of dark chocolate, liquorice, roast malt and citrus as well. Mouthfeel was quite thick but surprisingly smooth. Dark stone fruits, chocolate, pine and a slight smokiness are all there in the initial taste. This is quickly followed by a heavy dose of all your favourite big C hops. The long finish is a slug of bitter-fruit hopiness that lingers on the palate.

Tyson says: As a friend of mine might say: complex. Full of flavour and full of all the goodness that any decent breakfast beer should have. 

Monday, 12 September 2016

Breakfast Beer Tasting (Live): Sixpoint Resin

The Monday Club early bird drinkers are in Spoons as per usual. However, today there is a disturbance in the Force. Normally the routine is set in stone. A few rounds of Smooth and animated discussion of wins (not so many, usually) and losses (more of, generally) at the bookies. But word has got round of a new, very cheap, super-strong beer. What exactly is this Sixpoint Resin 9.1% stuff? And who was going to be the first one to try some?

Obviously I felt obliged to enlighten them as to its provenance etc. And that, dear reader is how things began. And that is how I now find myself doing a live breakfast beer tasting. Firstly, the basic facts. It`s a 355ml canned double IPA weighing in at 9.1% and with an IBU count of 103. It`s described as “an ode to the sticky quintessence of hops - we extracted the alluring nectar from every precious citrus, pine, dank and herbal cone and channeled it all into one vessel. Now that's Mad Science”.

Hard to be absolutely sure in this light, but it appears to pour a light orange/amber with a good, off-white, foamy head. The clue to the aroma is in the name of the beer. Yes, it`s resinous. Strong scent of pine, some breaded malt and marmalade. Mouthfeel is full-bodied. It`s a warming beer but otherwise the alcohol is well disguised. Surprisingly balanced, it`s not abrasive and the firm malt base perfectly complements the hop content.

Ultimately it delivers on its promise. The piney hops shine through with marmalade, fruitcake and a little caramel in the background. The finish is a satisfying bitter-sweet crescendo of flavour that slips down the throttle easily. In many ways it`s hard to believe that this is a DIPA. Obviously you can tell it`s strong but, for me, the best ones (think Cloudwater) manage to disguise the alcohol well and on that front, this proves to be a winner.

Tyson says: Rather a damn fine breakfast beer. 

Friday, 1 July 2016


So the mission was clear: to boldly go where no man had gone before. Well ok, a few had gone before but not many lived to tell of it. Why? Because we’re talking about Wales: of course. Yes, that far-off land of fierce tribes such as the Silures and the Ordovices. To be fair, we were visiting Cardiff and South Wales which, we were reliably informed, is quite civilised and not a muskeg like North Wales. So with expectation and just a little trepidation, the wagon train of Rochdale, Oldham and Bury CAMRA set off for pastures new.

On a campaign such as this, as any Roman legionary will tell you, it’s wise to surround yourself with seasoned veterans. So naturally I headed for Jack and Jill, as campaigners don’t come much more seasoned than these two. Once we were underway, our drinking plans for this adventure were outlined by Stopwatch Sid’s erstwhile Padawan: Bingo Billy, who had kindly forsaken his award-winning bingo calling duties for the duration and was to be our guide for the weekend. And a fine job he did as well.

Now I don’t know if you realise this but it’s a long way to Cardiff from the idyllic plains of Lancashire. Horses and mules and their riders all need sustenance to maintain their strength. So before we reached our first official stop: Cheltenham, we were obliged to call in at the Crown in Wychbold, Droitwich. This is a large, rather attractive looking, Marston’s roadhouse pub of the variety that has become something of a rarity in the North West. It did offer several real ales from the Marston’s range and one immediately stood out to me. Banks’s Mild was a one-time favourite of mine many moons ago. I couldn’t recall the last time I tried it, so it seemed the obvious choice. Sadly many a beer has run down the urinals since its heyday. It’s changed; my palate has changed, so suffice it to say that it wouldn’t be my first choice again.

It was then time for the afternoon’s excursion into Cheltenham. Naturally, like blood sucking leeches on an open wound, a swarm of thirsty CAMRA members soon descended on the nearest pub. However, rather conveniently, there are several pubs on the High St and so my posse decided to explore those further along. First stop was the Old Restoration, a large mock-Tudor affair. An impressive number of, largely unknown, pumpclips awaited us. A couple of samples were tried that didn’t excite; so the decision was made to have a beer that someone else had already ordered. A half of vinegar was duly delivered. When this was pointed out, the barman’s excuse was that it was “an unusual beer”. It was swapped for something else but I was less than impressed.

On the opposite end of the same block as the Old Restoration lies the Vine. This has an appealing, rare, green tiled frontage and consists of a narrow room smartly spruced up in contemporary style. Hook Norton and North Cotswold Shagweaver were both on good form. Further along on the same side of the road is the Swan. This is a modern Marston’s house with a pleasant little beer garden. The beer range, particularly given the choice elsewhere, showed exactly all that’s wrong with the tied system. You can have any beer as long as it’s a middle of the road Marston’s brown/copper/auburn beer. Hobgoblin? I think not. To be fair, the Brakspear I had wasn’t in too bad nick, just on the warm side. Across the road is the Strand. With its airy, open plan modern style and large shop front windows, this looks like a high end conversion. It’s got a nice patio area and the beer choice was the best so far, with Gloucester Galaxy proving a winner.

It was then time for the main contender to step forward. The Sandford Park Alehouse just shows what can be accomplished in a short time. A former nightclub housed in a Grade 11-listed building, it only opened in 2013 and yet managed to win CAMRA’s coveted national pub of the year award in 2015. It may boast 10 handpumps and 16 keg lines but as we all know, quality is king and it has a well-deserved reputation for delivering on that. I particularly liked the large beer garden and the Oakham Citra was excellent.
Friday and Saturday night saw us wandering; some may say staggering, round the watering holes of Cardiff. It’s a very compact crawl and whilst it may not yet rival the beer goddess that is Manchester, it has plenty to offer the discerning imbiber. Although busy, it seemed a little quieter than Manchester would at the equivalent time. Having said that, the young lass relieving herself in an alleyway did remind us that the two cities have more than just beer in common. Tyson’s Top Tip: when in foreign lands seek out the autochthonous drinker for up to date info. The locals also appreciate it if you can muster a few words of their native tongue. Here I found repeating eich defaid hardd” had them nodding sagely.

In the shadow of the Millennium Stadium lies the Urban Tap House. This is a large, quirky-think student design here-pub operated by Tiny Rebel. No surprise then to find it offers an excellent range of cask, keg and bottled beer than can be enjoyed in rooms of differing décor. Apart from their own good stuff, I enjoyed Windermere Pale alongside several other guest beers. Across the street is the City Arms, a two-roomed Brains house that sells 10 real ales as well as the same amount of that evil keg filth. Cask came out on top though; with Bude’s Pendeem American Pale being the pick of the crop.

If it’s evil keg filth that you’re after, you can satisfy your unnatural lust al fresco style at Brewdog. Talking of craft, if you want to see what craft was like before, erm, craft ‘arrived’, then check out ZeroDegrees. This swanky, US style, brewpub is part of a chain that were bringing craft to drinkers well before Brewdog hijacked the concept. The upper floors are reserved for diners but you can relax and enjoy a glass of beer-and pizza-on the ground floor. The black lager, American Wheat and Pilsner were all excellent and required a return visit. Beer is served cool via a font but the beer comes straight from the tank and is CAMRA endorsed, so you know it must be good for you.
(Urban Tap)
Another chain that offers pizza is the Stable. Not much in the way of beer here but with a choice of 80 ciders and perries, you won’t go thirsty. Nearby is the Gravity Station, Cardiff’s first micropub, which I believe is now in the process of relocation. Having had a negative report from the Oberst, it needed checking out. It was the only place I didn’t like. A small, sterile, shop space where ridiculously loud music, presumably for the benefit of the staff, was banging out. The draught beer was warm diacetyl and there didn’t seem to be any cooling for the bottles either. Fail, as they say on Twitter.

Much better was the Cambrian Tap, another Brains pub that had a good selection to suit most palates. Spying Magic Rock High Wire Grapefruit on tap, there was really only one rational choice. Other pubs worth a look include the Goat Major and the Rummer Tavern which claims to be Cardiff’s oldest pub. However, the one place that no serious drinker can afford to miss out on is the Hopbunker. This basement bar, run by Hopcraft-Pixie Spring Brewery-like the Cambrian is a latecomer to the Cardiff beer scene and has only been open a year. It’s got a very relaxed vibe and of course offers plenty of beer. Some 15 casks, 10 ciders and numerous keg options. Prices at around £3.20 were extraordinarily reasonable for the area. Who says craft has to be expensive?
Saturday saw an excursion out into the murky depths of Swansea and the Gower Peninsula. First stop was the Greyound at Oldwalls, Llanrhidian. This is a pleasant, traditional 19th century inn with a large beer garden and is a tap for the Gower Brewery. Unfortunately, I didn’t really take to the Gower beers; too sticky and not clean enough for my palate.

I fared much better with the beers in Mumbles, Swansea. The Pilot is a small local on the seafront. Their own Pilot beers were quite acceptable to the drinking man, with the Pilot Light delivering a nice refreshing crispness. The Park inn was another cosy, terraced, side street boozer of a type sadly all too rare in Manchester these days. They specialise in Welsh beers, but try not to hold that against them. Last but certainly not least was the Mumbles Ale House. This is a tiny micropub on the ground floor of a standard terraced house. A proper pub with no keg or other unnatural distractions. Just some excellent beer, cider and perry along with top-notch banter. The tres petit unisex outdoor loo is a gem where, as the locals say, there isn’t room to change your mind.
We had two more stops of note before returning to Cardiff for the night. Fagins Ale & Chop House at Glan-y-Llyn is a very popular village local consisting of a main bar area and a back room that was reserved for diners. Being a free house it has a better range of beers than you might imagine and, unusually for this neck of the woods, has Dark Star as a regular beer. Coincidently also boasting Dark Star American Pale, was the Gwaelod y Garth Inn. This is another cosy village pub that boasts terrific views from its beer garden and an onsite brewery. But, just between me and you, you’re much better off on the guest beers.
Sunday saw us returning to hot running water and the beautiful mills and cottages of Lancashire. But, naturally, there was beer on the way. An old, old favourite was first. The Vine, better known as the Bull & Bladder, in Brierley Hill is the Bathams brewery tap and a smashing Black Country pub. Times and palates change but the Bathams Mild and Bitter remain as tasty as ever. You could do a lot worse in life than spend some time supping in the sunshine here.

The Old Swan aka Ma Pardoe’s at Netherton is a nationally famous pub and one of the last four remaining English home-brew pubs from 1974. It’s on CAMRA's National Inventory of Historic Pub Interiors and is a treat for pub architectural aficionados. I’ve been here many times over the years and while it’s undoubtedly a great place, the beer isn’t the best. Certainly on the last two visits, I remember discussing the matter with several others who had the same opinion.

This time the Olde Swan beers were either diacetyl or unduly harsh and chewy. Unwilling/unable to stomach an afternoon of them, a breakaway party made for the hills. Well the nearby Bulls Head, to be precise. This community local, despite seemingly being the antithesis of the grand Swan, is another CAMRA success story. It has recently  been bought free of tie and now sells Holden’s Golden Glow. Not only was the beer excellent but the welcome from the staff and customers was top rate as well. Thus it was with a heavy heart that we quaffed out final pints, got our exit visas stamped, saddled up and headed back to our homesteads.

The lesson here, to everyone’s amazement, is that you CAN go to Wales and still really enjoy yourself. 

Monday, 29 February 2016


Another compact pub crawl that was recommended to me is the little market town of Poulton-le-Fylde. Easily accessible by train from Manchester, it makes for a pleasant change and all the pubs are more or less based round the market square. Be warned though, this is a traditional area with lots of cask on offer but barely a wisp of hipster hair to be seen. 
Barely five minutes from the station was the first stop: the Poulton Elk. Formerly the Edge nightclub, this was converted by JD Wetherspoon in 2013 and it made for a good initial impression. Being in Poulton it was much more civilised-no screaming ankle-biters and cleaner than your standard Spoons. As one of our party remarked, you felt you should be wearing Harris Tweed rather than the de rigueur Spoons outfit of piss-stained tracky bottoms. Most importantly the beer was very palatable with the double offerings of Phoenix fitting the bill nicely.

The Grapevine on Market Place is the nearest to modernity you’ll find in Poulton. Spread over several floors, it’s obviously aimed at a slightly different crowd than its potential rivals. Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, it has eschewed the possible lure of the daytime drinker and opens at teatime until late. That’s not to say it doesn’t offer a reasonable selection of real ale and if that doesn’t tickle your laughing stick; you can always try the Prosecco at £12 a bottle before 8pm.

The Bull on the corner of Market Place is your typical local pub offering big screen sports etc. and, unusually for a non-Wetherspoons pub, opens at 9am. However, it’s sadly a Stonegate tavern who, in my experience, run their pub estate quite badly. Certainly the beer choices you’re faced with in their establishments are little more than pedestrian. And so it was in this case; with only the drab malted brew that passes as Bombardier and Thwaites Bomber on offer.
Things improved in the quiet but comfortable Golden Ball, situated, appropriately enough, on Ball St. This is a former coaching house that is decorated in the house style of its former owner: Spirit Group. So lots of cushions, light wood and neutral pastel colours. I don’t know what their new owners Green King have planned for them but their beer range, whilst not brilliant, is still better than the insipid offerings usually on display in a GK house.
Easily the best two pubs in Poulton are the Old Town Hall and the Thatched House and I would recommend leaving them until last. Or first and last to be fully sated. The OTH on Church St has the bar with five pumps on the left as you enter with seating areas split up throughout the pub. Horse racing seems to be a bit of a theme here: check out the prints and copies of the Racing Post. Roosters Wild Mule was the pick of the crop here, I thought, although some went for the Bowland.
The Thatched House meanwhile is the Local CAMRA branch Pub of the Year 2016 and certainly offers the largest range of beers in the town. The bar stretches along the left hand corner as you enter and the first thing you notice is the high number of Chapel Street beers. This is because the microbrewery is housed in the old coaching shed at the rear of the pub. Some people giddy with the occasion may go straight for these but the seasoned professional will tread more carefully. All the ones I sampled seemed to have the same fault: lack of crispness and a chewy Crystal malt undertone. However, the guest beers were excellent.

There are two other points to mention about Poulton. Enviably it boasts a Booths supermarket right in the centre and also a renowned chippy: Doodles, which lived up to its reputation. The rest is up to you

Sunday, 21 February 2016

West Didsbury

There are numerous good pub crawls in and around the great beer metropolis that is Manchester. One of the newest and also one of the easiest is the West Didsbury run. Having sampled its delights myself on several occasions, I wasn’t going to miss out on another crack at it with some chums in attendance. All the famous faces were there: Stopwatch Sid, Archimedes and Pythagoras, The Wallsend Wonder, The Whitefield Holts Bandit. Not to mention Jack and Jill, without whom no pub trek is complete.

First stop was the handily placed Wine and Wallop on Lapwing Lane. I say handily placed as it’s practically opposite the West Didsbury Metrolink stop. It’s always good to be able to snag a pint quickly after a lengthy journey. Or indeed even if the journey isn’t lengthy. And, of course, it’s always good to be able to stagger onto your chariot home without inconveniencing oneself too much. Owned by the same people who run the nearby Folk Café, Wine and Wallop is apparently aimed at the more mature drinker. Which is handy; as the odd CAMRA member may just be over 21.
W&W has the relaxed-note the trad jazz music-feel of what used to be called a wine bar. However, that always seemed to be a derogatory term amongst serious drinkers and doesn’t do what is a comfortable, contemporary outlet justice. There is space upstairs and a small outdoor drinking area at the front but it is hard to wander too far from the bakers dozen row of pumps. I generally find the selection here very good and wasn’t disappointed by the Brightside and Marble on offer this time.
Barely five minutes away down Lapwing Lane, on the corner with Burton Road lay the next two, very different, prospects. The Railway is a small ex-John Smiths basic boozer that Joseph Holt’s transformed in the 1990s into something more fitting for the area. They have done well with the limited space by using snob screens to break it up into separate areas and the log fire is a nice touch. It may come as something of a shock to be paying more than £2.70 for Joey’s finest wares but they do stock the sadly all-too-little seen IPA. Perhaps a sign of the times are the bottles of Belgian and American ale also available.
Across the road is the Metropolitan. This is altogether a much larger, grander affair. It’s what Uncle Albert classes as a “proper pub”. Formerly the rather rough (with a capital R) Midland Hotel, quite a lot of cash has been splashed to make it the pub you see today. Now it is far more representative of the sumptuous Victorian railway pub it once was. The high ceilings, large tables and extensive al fresco drinking give it lots of space. Which it needs, as unsurprisingly it majors on food in a big way and is the area’s busiest pub. Perhaps because of this, they seem to rather let the beer side slide a little. Certainly the choice generally seems lacklustre and often one ends up with a rather expensive pint of Landlord.
Much more reliable, usually anyway, is Mary & Archie just along the way on Burton Road. This is another small bar; they usually are round here, with drinking areas to the side and rear of the bar. I say usually reliable as, on this occasion, some people had skipped ahead and supped all the good stuff. Perhaps a downside of only having three pumps? But, never fear, refrigerated goodness in the form of Founders and Beavertown came to the rescue.
On the other side of the road and next to each other are the Folk Café Bar and Volta. FCB is the opposite of the TARDIS, it’s much smaller than it appears from the outside. Past the Palm tree terrace lies the framework of the two shops that now make up this bar. As the name suggests, the décor is rather eclectic and music plays its part at weekends. Volta comes to you courtesy of the folk behind Chorlton’s successful Electrik bar albeit with more of a focus on being a neighbourhood eatery. This being Didsbury though that doesn’t stop it offering a couple of pumps to tempt you with.
Another Chorlton offshoot lies across the road at Saison. This one is the brainchild of the Dulcimer crew and has only been operating since September 2015. Very much a beer led venture, it consists of a narrow ground floor bar with seating all along the downstairs space and some upstairs. Most importantly is the choice of four cask and sixteen keg lines. Cask won out on this occasion as the keg offerings seemed to have fallen into the seemingly classic craft trap of being unpalatably strong.
Our last scheduled stop was the George Charles which cannot hide its origins as a corner shop. Nicely converted, the wraparound windows let in a pleasing amount of light. However, it is cosy with only a couple of tables, bench seating and stools to provide room for about 40 imbibers. There is more room downstairs but alas, the curse of the modern age, that is often reserved for diners. Having been lucky and acquired a table, all that remained was to sample some excellent Saltaire Gold. And Flying Dog, naturally. And we could hardly have left without saying bonsoir to Shindigger IPA.

A leisurely stroll round the watering holes of South Manchester that even the laziest of imbibers can manage.