Two competing blog posts to finish today; the monthly review and my annual reflection on Indy Man Beer Con, which at least this year I can remember.
Once more, the Bath’s the Star. One of the great venues anywhere, and the main reason I come back each year despite telling you consistently that beer festivals are killing pubs.
I touched the fish mosaic, a bit like touching the “This is Anfield” sign, I think.
I would have touched the Chris Tavaré window too, but it was too high up and you can get arrested for Tavaré worship round here.
Following the pattern of last year, my first with Mrs RM, the good lady made straight for what I think of as the “music room” at 11.33 on Friday morning, claiming a table for her own while I was sent off to fetch beer and beer food like the hunter/gatherer I am.
And there sat Mrs RM for the next 4 hours,
providing me with blog material enjoying the finest craft beer in Longsight.
Richard from Wolverhampton joined us, and great company he was too, having not yet read my blog post slagging off the new craft place in West Brom. These sort of festivals are always better with a bit of company.
Mrs RM and I shared the beer tokens (£25 for 11 thirds) almost equally; I fear Richard may have had to had to drink more himself, given his performance of this classic standing on the Siren bar at the end of the session.
Just kidding, the Stop Making Sense DJs didn’t play any Slade.
My appreciation of the music isn’t shared by Mrs RM. “It’s weird” she said, not entirely unfairly. I’m not even sure she recognised “Bankrobber“.
Others will write about the beer, I just went round looking for the murkiest stuff so I could write about Manchester Murk on my blog and get cheap laughs.
Everyone else’s beer was murkier than mine, so I had to borrow Richard’s glass (top).
Learning from last year, we worked through beers in the wimpy 6 to 7% range, enjoying nearly all of them, and finished on Track’s Skyway, which (as they say) drank it’s 9 % strength.
I stuck largely to the breweries I’d enjoyed on cask in the last year; Atom, Left Handed giant, Northern Monk, Squawk and Burning Sky, with a sole cask offer from Wild Beer (their silky smooth barley wine).
Not for the first time, a Squawk win for me, ahead by a beak.
As with my music festival of choice, the food is a big draw an Indy Man. Chips and pork belly from Nasi Lemak and Dim Sum Su, cherry pie doughnuts and coffee from Idle Hands, all decently priced and consumed in seconds by Mrs RM.
Not a cheap day out (though cheaper than an evening in Mikkeller), and of course all those beers would be better in a pint glass, but still an unmissable date in the Manchester calendar. The rest of the day was a bit of a write-off, mind.