I was in the great city of Stoke as a cheap base for my latest trip to the Etihad, watching City reserves play that Glasgow team supported by professional drinkers. These days, it’s more a case of watching the day-trippers taking selfies and continually standing up to let latecomers take their seats.
Having already ticked off the central Manchester GBG entries, I’m now free to choose a pre-match pint from the world’s second best collection of pubs. Places like this;
Unless I’m heading to the north of town for my occasional healthy lunch here,
I tend to end up in the Piccadilly Tap, which some might say is a lazy choice. But unless you know the secret word* to get you into The Jolly Angler, the Tap is the closest real ale to the Etihad on my half-hour walk from the station. They also serve beer in aglass, even when Celtic are playing.
*QUIZ TIME – WHAT IS THE SECRET WORD ?
Perhaps it’s because of the scaffolding, but the Tap never seems quite as packed as you’d expect, which means you can always get a seat. I rather like the communal tables upstairs, a good place to annoy total strangers by asking them what they’re drinking.
But mainly I like getting a good beer quickly, and the Tap has really got its act together this year as far as range and quality are concerned. The well-priced Adnams beers here are always as good as my benchmark in Cambridge, served at what I regard as an ideal temperature.
Lately this has been the reliable place for Cloudwater, albeit a changing beer each time. That Session IPA (NBSS 3.5) was hazy as described, but I was warned.
All it lacks is proper chips and curry. Fortunately they’re only ten minutes walk away.