Burnage to The Heatons – A Crawl of MicroBar Bottle Shops

Burnage (Pronounced: Bur-ni-d-g; or Bur-n-arrr-ge if you want to sound posh) always registered in my young mind as one of those places you don’t want to get caught out being in after dark.  Not quite as ominous of Longsight, Broughton or the infamous Moss Side but still just an “avoid” place.

All titles are links.

So you get the train out of Piccadilly for 2 stops, about 10 minutes, get off at Burnage Station and walk 1 minute to…

Reasons To Be Cheerful (@R2BCBeerCafe)


Of course I never had any reason to go to Burnage until the news was announced that this place was opening (it opened in January 2017) and I needed to do a recce to gauge roughly where it would be located and what this crawl would be like.

There is cider, 6 keg fonts and 3 casks (cellared) and most importantly…coat hooks on the bar…


Lovely little venue with a guy serving the beer, at the time of calling, called Dave who was very friendly and talkative.

The only odd thing about the place is its frontage is kind of subdued next to the ramp way of the take-away next door.


You then walk back passed the train station and continue over Kingsways in a straight line for about a quarter of an hour, passed the sign the lets you know you’re entering Stockport, you can tell this too because they’ve still got Co-Op stores, and you’ll end up at…

The Beer Shop

Which was closed on this occasion…but I had been before…


Beer Shop opened in 2011, and the place acts more like an off-license with a great range of beer bottle AND that happens to have a couple of casks (jacket chillers) that an actual micro boozery.  With its TV usually showing sports and its location in the middle of a housing estate it also feels more like someone’s front room, so overall it is a bit of a unique experience in the realms of drinking in Greater Manchester.

It is a bit of a windy 15 minute walk (that’s wind as in the movement that isn’t of the bowels) to Shaw Road which it the venue of the next place, which is…

Bottle Stockport


Opened in 2015, recently extended opening hours make this place more likely to be open when visiting these days, it is all keg and bottles and the seating and tables are those high, posing ones but its a nice little place with a good and varied range of beers.


Beers Manchester wrote a more detailed blog about Bottle here.

Then all you have to do is get up and take a left on to Heaton Moor Road which merges into School Lane when it crosses the A6 and you have reached…

Heaton Hops

There isn’t much more to be said about this place seeing as since its opening in 2015 it won award after award and the only time I’ve been able to get a seat is if I get there just as the shutters open.

2 cask, 8 keg, loads of bottles, a downstairs I’ve still never visited and the 70% chance you’ll get ranted at (and can join in with) by Jimmy from Malay Street Food  which is always good fun, though not as much fun as his food.

Once again, Beers Manchester writes more on this place, here.

After you’ve sampled the delights of Heaton Hops you can then walk back on yourself to Heaton Chapel train station and take the train back the Manchester (passé) or go via Stockport way and onward to where the drinking delights of Cheshire await.

Of course, other beer outlets are available


Thanks for reading.

The 28th Stockport Beer Festival 2014

This is a review for the 28th (and my first) Stockport beer festival.

It took place between the 29th – 31st May 2014, at Edgeley Park – the home of Stockport F.C, and as anyone will tell you, is the closest football stadium to the River Mersey.

Entry was generally £2, though free on the Friday afternoon and £5 for the Friday evening (CAMRA members get £2 discount on all session, well except the free one).

Oddly, this was my first (and second) ever time in Stockport. Driven through it many times, but through it on the train probably even more times, but never set foot on terra firma.

Easy enough to get to from Manchester centre with regular bus and train services. I obviously got the train, then it is a mere 10 minute walk to the ground.

The programme was an additional £1, the glasses were your standard returnable £2 deposit.

Cash bars.

Stockport Beer Festival Itinerary
Stockport Beer Festival Itinerary

Glasses came in the pint (marked for halves), the 1/2 pint tankard (also marked for thirds) and those ever so posh glasses that probably have a proper name but I’m not going to look it up (also marked at 1/2 and 1/3 pint).

Lots of good, good food on offer here. Standards were Chicken Curry, Beef Lasagne and Beef Stew in Giant Yorkshire pudding (my choice). There were special foods on each day.

Seemed to be a lack of a veggie option, which given how most beers these days are even suitable for vegans, was the only bit of the festival I thought was lacking. Yes there were crisps and snacks, but I didn’t note anything hot for non-meat eaters, which I’m not one of, so didn’t look, so I may well be completely wrong.

And no, the sides of vegetables and rice would not be a suitable replacement. Veggie Chilli, there sorted. Few jacket potatoes (for all of course), Veggie sausages.

I got the feeling the best was chips for the van outside near the stand.

Talking of the stand, you’d think I would now provide a photo. I didn’t take one. I was too busy enjoying the beer, the planes going overhead and, that how this must be the only time adults in this ground can be trusted with glass.

The Beers…

Bar Nouveau

Oh to be a Manc. When we have such strong brewers in the area (I’d say County but boundaries are moveable) and this bar went to showcase that with 10 brand new beers for local brewers, with an additional two from other counties. I tried all 12.

BlackJack Beers had provided the Calypso IPA (5.2%) a straight-forward no-nonsense pale ale.

Deeply Vale Brewery had provided a 4.2% red ale, rather obviously called Deeply Red and a good example of a red ale it was too.

Fool Hardy Ales brought along Radical Brew No.1 a 4.0%, slightly cloudy brew utilising elderflower, leaf tea and the dominating, though not over-powering root ginger. A very refreshing pint.

Next up is Gibble Gabble a mellow 4.6% golden beer by Rochdale’s Green Mill Brewery. Rather nice.

The wonderfully named Mouselow Farm Brewery (Glossop) had produced a 3.7% light and drinkable session ale called Acting The Goat.

The Nook BrewHouse (Holmfirth) caught my attention, if not entirely my taste buds with their 5.2% Liquorish Stout, the added star anise detracting from the usual warmth of a stout, not bad though.

Quantum Brewing had provided yet another antipodean influenced brew with their 3.6% Aussie Light. They are Quantum, they seldom disappoint.

Another of Stockport’s own was Ringway Brewery and their OK 4.0% Reddish Ruby.

What can I say about ShinDigger Brewing that doesn’t involve a seemingly ubiquitous mention of how young the are. Easy when they now have 3 very good beers to their name, with the addition of a Black IPA which was dangerously drinkable at 5.5%, despite meeting with some consternation from the older set with these “mixed-up” drinks. It was also nice to be able to get this drink at the first go and not have to chase it around the area like I did in search of their West Coast Pale.

I also tried the latest beer from Squawk Brewing Co. A 4.0% Pomegranate Porter. A good enough porter, but no taste of pomegranates, but this is me, so don’t take it as a slight against the brewer.

Tickety Brew’s new one was also a Black IPA and at 4.3% a far less daunting prospect that the Shindigger, though nonetheless tasty.

Finally, alphabetically were the ladies of Wilson Potter and their very lovely, fruity 4.0% pale ale called Dreaming Dreams.

Take note mega-corp brewers, the field of play is changing, slowly, but it is changing.

CAMRA Says...

Other beers enjoyed at the festival were:

More from Black Jack in the shape of the Farmhouse Brown (4.8%), not really my thing but drinkable and their Red Rye Saison (which came in at merely £3 a pint for 7.2%) and was a joint winner for my beer of the festival.

The other joint winner was from Kirkstall Brewery (yes, from Leeds, forgive me) with their wonderful 5.5% Black Band Porter. I had previously had this on keg at the Leeds Beer Festival but this was on cask and only goes further for me to continue blaming coldness for the lessening of flavours in a beer.

The new Stockport Brewing Company (no further info at this time) had clearly had a good time, with only the 3.9% Citra remaining of the 4 the programme mentioned. A good crisp, citrusy pale beer. Only wish I’d remembered to go to their brewery after I left on the Saturday (Arch 14, opposite The Crown Inn, if you are interested).

Oddly I didn’t have much of anything else, quite a lot had gone on the Saturday afternoon (a good sign as far as I’m concerned), though I did get my tastebuds around 3 of Six O’Clock Beer Company’s offerings. The 4.2% Overtime I had had a few times, still a nice hoppy, pale session beer. The Special was the 5.2% bigger brother of Overtime, a bigger hit of the previous flavours. Finally was their Bolt. A tasty yet confusing 5.6% beer. Probably another of them Black IPAs.

After that it was a walk to (the derelict looking, not my words, exterior only) Ye Olde Vic, which is just down the road from the probably derelict Bluebell Hotel, opposite the Edgeley exit from the station. Pop along. I can’t remember what I had, but I know it was well-kept and pale.

That concludes this write-up.

Bollocks to O2 for making the ground a dead zone for me.

Thanks to all the staff, cooks, volunteers and anyone else associated with bringing this to the people again.