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.
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.