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 a glass, 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.
4 thoughts on “TOP PRE-MATCH PUBS No.1 – THE PICCADILLY TAP”
I have been in the Jolly Angler and did not use a secret pass word to get in,or do they let you in when you have had a few too many like i had when i did it at the end of a large Manchester crawl.
I have been in pre-football but they draw the curtains now so presume it’s regulars only, even though not many fans actually walk past I these days.
Not sure about the secret word, but Ray the landlord always lets me in even after leaving Manchester five years ago although I think he thinks that I’m someone from Bury CAMRA. There must two devilishly handsome stocky guys with brown hair in their late 30’s walking around Manchester.
Around 15-20 years, a couple of friends arrived at the Angler at 11am. Finding the doors locked, they hammered on the front door. To his credit, Ray’s father (who is sadly no longer with us), was rather disheveled but still let them in. These being the glory days of widespread 11am opening on Saturday’s. It’s quite difficult to find a pint in Manchester before 12pm unless you go to Wetherspoon’s or one of the Nicholson’s pubs.
I suspect the magic word is just Please, but I doubt any of the Asian half-and-half scarfers will be trying that soon (no offence – all welcome at the Etihad).