Track Brew Co Tap Room – Quick Review

I’ve always had a soft spot for Track Brew Co of Manchester.

When I first went to the brewery and talked to the people there, they stated that they fined their beers (possibly not now) which I thought was honest and, given the unnecessary hatred craft people have for finings, a bit of a revelation.

There was also while I attended a beer festival in Leeds, the first brewery to DM me via twitter and as a fledgling beer blogger I felt that I’d “arrived,” it was the little things back then, when things were bright and new and even innocent.

So I was quite happy to hear that they were opening their own tap-room.

64 Chapeltown Street Manchester M1 2WQ.

The third floor of Crusader Mill.

Given that I’d walked from The Smithfield (and Crown & Kettle) and was coming from an unfamiliar and unplanned route I was happy that I stumbled upon it so easily and that it was well enough signposted (within the mill complex) when I got there.

Built into an area that struck me as a modern and posh version of back-to-back housing for the easily impressed, after what was about a mile of walking I was then faced with the interminable hike up narrow, short-spaced stairs.

Still, I knew that while there would be no cask (and Track cask is rather good), their keg can be just as rewarding.

The floor was reached, the smell of street food hit my nostrils and the warm heat and sound of a fair few people all gassing away greeted my senses.

The drink area was fairly bright, a bit industrial-chic but pleasant and it is a mill so to be expected.  Seating was very much long tables, like a beer hall.

I walked over to the bar it was wooden, naturally, and the list of beers was clearly written as was the pricing.

I studied the list and made my choice.

 

I then saw “THIS IS A CASHLESS VENUE”

 

I went to another pub.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

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“Pub Bans Dictionary Definitions”

 

Daily Mirror Link

Daily Mail Link

Well, no one comes out of this covered in glory.  So here let me rail against these idiots and let my own prejudices shine.

Ms Wershbale, a mother-of-one, had gone last Sunday with her girlfriend to play board games at the pub where she has been a regular for three years.

Pubs are for drinking, maybe some darts, dominoes, billiards and a bit of shove ha’penny but if you want to pretend you’re still a child, play you’re board games with your kid(s), at home.

On the same day Mr Johnson – the pub goer Ms Wershbale had offended – took to Twitter to talk about his distress. He wrote: ‘When you’re trying to relax in your fave pub and there is a TERF [trans exclusionary radical feminist] wearing an anti-trans T-shirt… it’s disgusting and I’m so upset by it.’

Grassing wimp.

The manager of Five Clouds Tom Lewis said Ms Wershbale is not permanently barred but she must ‘have a discussion with staff so she understands the situation’ before she is allowed back in.

Tom lad, use this opportunity to mansplain wisely, it is the only time those liberal twats in the beer world will make an exception, when you are defending a lesser minority against a slightly greater minority – please consult you victim-hood flowchart for all other occasions when this can be used.

I look forward to a debate between Wershbale and Jan at Marble (purveyor of rules like this) – maybe make it part of Manchester Beer Week 2019, a logical step from the unnecessary use of identity politics that were so prevalent in the 2018 saga.  There is a title for this epic clash just ready and waiting.

Also; Five Clouds is a bar, not a pub, I’ve been a half dozen time, a nice place, not the best in Macc but at least it has, good staff, limited exposed brickwork, no industrial-chic and doesn’t look like an Ikea catalogue vomited the furnishings.

——————

Lets cut to the chase.  Ms Wershbale hasn’t been “banned for wearing a t-shirt” – she has been barred for being an antagonistic twat.

Christ, when I was in college I borrowed my mates Cradle of Filth t-shirt just to wind-up my biology teacher who’d already banned numerous t-shirts I’d worn.  I was 17, I hated Cradle of Filth (I still do, or rather I just don’t get them) and I was being a dick.

 

 

This is where we are at with political discourse, it has been reduced to the level of teenage name calling.

Dictionary definitions are wonderful when used for causes and labels you wish to attach (incorrectly) to people; how many times do people you don’t agree with have to be called fascist before that word loses all meaning?  Facts don’t care about your feelings.  Deal with it.

Likewise, when it comes to the mantra “private businesses can set there own rules” – again this only applies when it suits a narrative.

All this against a back drop of words, a lack of maturity, running to a safe space to claim victim points and general wazzock behaviour.

I still get pissed off with the amount of signs pubs and bars have to carry by order of their licenses

  • no drugs
  • no smoking (or vaping)
  • are you 25?
  • please leave quietly
  • line cleaning
  • PRS music approval
  • Numerous posters for up coming events

Not only are you bombarded with information that in most cases is entirely irrelevant to your enjoyment of a beer, in some establishments we now have to see prominent virtual signals to, as if it were necessary, let us know the victualler is as far away from being a Nazi as is possible.

Well, their interpretation of a Nazi.

And if you don’t agree with their way of thinking…

 

Thanks for reading.

The Pointlessness of Beer Vials

Inspired by this post by “Retired Martin” not due to any reason other than the first picture in it.  It has been a while since I visited The Beer School in Westhoughton and I noted on said picture that they are now using 100mL conical flasks with rubber bungs to show off their cask beer.

The scientist in me loves that little quirk, fitting in well with the school theme the micropub actually has.

The drinker in me questions the whole entire need for it.

For starters, I can’t even recall if they used what I’m dubbing beer vials previously (if there is another more common or proper term, please let me know and I’ll actually change the title of the piece) as I never noticed before.

If you walk into quite a few pubs many seem to think that these little vessels, usually small Kilner jars (TM – other brands are available) that putting a small amount of each beer in them and putting them in and around the specific beer engine is helpful.

Maybe it is but not to me it isn’t and I’ve yet to see any good reason why they would be to anyone else.

First of all they create unnecessary clutter on a bar top.

Secondly, that is extra washing up for the staff, assuming they are cleaned.

Thirdly, are they filled each day the beer is available or just sit around as long as the beer is on, because if they are about showing of the clarity of each cask then I’ve seen plenty with more sediment in them that the usual Kernel bottle.*

My fourth point would be if it is to show the colour to prospective punters then, again it would seem like a dreadful waste of beer and effort for little reward; it would also seem to be there so as to not give the customer chance to engage in a chat about each beer with the server, which at busy times is probably useful, but if you are confronted by someone who can’t gauge what colour a beer is from the pump clip, assuming the style is mentioned on the thing, then perhaps writing it on the blackboard is probably the best option.  Or using funny little drawing depicting the colour of each beer, which I like, again assuming many things, first and foremost that your bar is well-lit enough.

When it comes to colour, just how much can you gauge from a small sample of each beer, I refer to the rather ironically named Beer-Lambert law, which, if I remember correctly, relates to the fact that the small volume of liquid in a compact area will make it appear more concentrated than it actually is, i.e. the darker it will appear.

Also let us not forget apart from colour and clarity, sitting on a bar top at ambient conditions isn’t exactly akin to a well-managed cellar temperature.

 

So taking all that into account, really, what are they for?

 

The final poser is; they are only ever used for cask beer, why aren’t these vials ever used to show off keg beers?

 

 

Thanks for reading and despite planning another post, if I don’t before, have a Merry Christmas.

 

*I love Kernel beers, don’t ever think sediment is a “bad thing”

 

Beer Gets Another 10 Commandments

 

Beer in general got its own 10 Commandments issued in July of this year, curated by those that know better than everyone else who drinks.

And now our betters; those that write communicate beer to the public; in such a way that they needed to form their own club with their own private invite system.  Those that sometimes getting to flash their knowledgeable heads on Sunday morning Channel 4 toff programmes now get to dictate to not only their members but plebs like me who may wish to blog about beer every so often.

 

Of course this may sound like sour grapes but that long-standing quote by Groucho Marx seems most appropriate for this situation…

“The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them.”

 

I suppose where CAMRA led with it Revitalisation Project so too all other off shoots of the beer bubble must follow.  Everyone “in” beer has an image to portray and this must be upheld at all times.  Even if they are preaching to the converted of an ever decreasing congregation.

The less said about the scruffy oiks that drink the stuff the best.

It is a brave new world.

Viva Le Schism.

 

Thanks for reading.

P.S. Apologies if you were expecting NPC-meme related content, it is a disposable as each passing beer fad is.

Lets Drink – To the Beat (nikz Republic) & Northern Monk MCR

Well that was an interesting day out in Manchester and so now let your favourite performing monkey and conduit for your own negative opinions vent so you don’t have to.

I like Beatnikz Republic and I like Northern Monk.  I’ve been to the NM refectory in Leeds and visited the tap at Red Bank that is Beatnikz’s gaff.

The places themselves are OK.  Despite one my friends describing it as “like Terminus from Walking Dead” I preferred BR’s space.  Clean and simple, still with far to much “industrial chic” that makes it look like every other place that opened an IKEA catalogue and stuck pens in items while wearing a blindfold, I thought that it was well laid out and, most importantly, the board was bright, easy to read and straight forward.  It shares it’s space with Idle Hands – a coffee house.

Oh and the beer was good too but I’ll come to that later.

Northern Monks gaff was a bit more, meh.  It was never going to recreate the school canteen surrounding of the Leeds branch and to be fair the staff, bar one I recognised previously from Piccadilly Tap, showed very much nous about service.  Then again I was never a big fan of Kosmonaut, which itself fell is standards massively after what would appear the main man that ran it so well went over to run the then newly reopened Smithfield.

Northern Monk Manchester is about 30 seconds from Beatnikz and it next door to Takk – a coffee house.

NM’s beer list is small and though clear a bit too far away for the size of the letter used in the spelling out of the beers on sale.  Couple that with a vibrating bar floor (hi-vis jackets were seen so I assume this was short term building work) and glasses that were like the stupid butt-plug one but without the base (the glass of choice if you ordered 2/3rds) again the beer could not really be faulted, but I’ll come to that later.

It was then off to the all Caucasian, racially pure paradise that is Grub.  I can’t comment on the beer as such but I will say, if you are going to serve anything in semi-darkness on a high blackboard please, for the sake of sanity…

WRITE THE SALE ITEMS IN FUCKING BLOCK CAPITALS.

I then raced around to try out Ol Nano Brewery on Oxford Road.  Its in an area under the Mancunian Way that became a bit of a tent city, so thankfully all of the scruffs and bums have been moved on to be replaced by card payment only wooden enclosures – and a coffee house.

I then went in The Salisbury, had a nice pint of well kept but typical Robinson’s fare to the tunes of Pantera & Megadeth and all seemed right with the world.  I was away from the zombie hordes of students and no cash places, of wood and metal and twatty glassware and dicks who think coming into Manchester to spend money on tat from Christmas market stalls that aren’t even from the local area is a brilliant way to spend a Saturday.  I don’t know how far I was from a coffee house.

I then went round to The Brink, was treated to the last remaining cask and kegs of Cloudwater’s takeover (takeovers – pointless) and then settled down with a nice cask pint of something from Pomona brewery.

Beer Thoughts

I’ve written before about keg beer sometimes (most of the time) being too cold for certain beer styles and this day proved to have no deviation from that train of thought.

Or rather, all the cask beer I had pissed on it quality wise, which should in fact speak highly for all the places mentioned who did indeed present their cask beer very well.

Case and point was the Torrside Dogs of War presented on keg at Grub.  A solid drink, kindly bought by one of my friends and at 10% it isn’t something you can put on cask and hope to sell in a 12 hour period (maybe a pin perhaps) so keg makes sense financially but stylistically it did a disservice to the beer which no amount of hand warming could help.

Also, for the record, I’m wasn’t all that taken by the Cloudwater India porter on cask, preferred their keg offerings, speaking from the point of view of a lover, not an authority, of porters.

 

“A brewery bar, a brewery bar, wood and metal and a brewery bar

Coffee House, Coffee House

Wood and metal and a brewery bar.”

 

Thanks for reading.