This years GBG is a curate’s egg.  Some places. including perhaps our greatest beer town, see a revolution as longstanding trad pubs get replaced by micros and brewery taps open barely a year into their life.  Other parts of the country, including much of central and North West London, see almost no change year on year.

I’m not fussy what gets in the Guide as long as it reflects an honest local assessment of what beer quality is like consistently.  Just because I’ve always had great beer in, say, the Coopers Tavern doesn’t mean it should always be in the Guide.


But central Manchester never lets me down when the new GBG arrives.

OS extract helpfully shows only football team in Manchester on right

New entries for beer exhibitions at Cafe Beermoth and the new look Smithfield, a welcome return for the Hare & Hounds, award winning Brink, and one I’ve both never heard of or noticed on my many strolls along Thomas St.

Terrace hides its merits under an inauspicious bushel.

The shy Terrace

In fact it’s been here nearly 5 years, so I can assume I’ve thought it was Marble’s 57 Thomas St, so similar is the design, or put it in that big box called “interesting Manc cafes with proper beer”.

It would be very lazy to say Terrace is a very “Northern Quarter Café”, but even Mrs RM can identify that she’s not in Kansas Stockport anymore.



Long bar, roof terrace, exposed ceiling, dangling lights that Mr RM bangs his head on, and an array of craft keg taps to make Mrs RM happy.

But more importantly, because it’s Manchester, you get recognition of your entrance, cheery service, water on your table and a sense of being welcome, even if you are double the age of their target customer.

A bit dark for me, but that might only be because it didn’t suit my photos.


A sensible cask range meant the Jaipur was top notch and a cool NBSS 3.5. To be contrary, I went for the Gipsy Hill Cherry Sour, which was just weird.


Pizza (“You’ll only need one“) and salt & pepper squid made a superb cheapish lunch, accompanied by the sort of American Disco Paul du Noyer was pushing in the NME in 1981 (Fatback Band, Sharon Redd).  Quality stuff all round.

As was the toilet graffiti, which may well have been imported especially from Hamburg.




So yet more evidence of the strength in depth of Manchester’s Beer Guide scene, with the Pilcrow and Bundobust (and possibly the Piccadilly Tap) still to come.

At last year’s Revitalisation meeting, one CAMRA member made a (too) impassioned argument for more GBG entries for the city and Greater Manchester.  A clumsily put, but valid argument.





  1. On allocations of GBG numbers by area, I remain puzzled e.g. Leicestershire has 67 entries (pub doesn’t seem to an accurate term this year) with a population of 1.03 million but Lincolnshire has 110 for a population of 1.07 million.

    On the Burton front what about the Dev? No more curries with a choice of 2 perfect pubs to get your beer from!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I still have a copy of the 1984 spreadsheet used to revise the GBG allocations. It applies weighting factors for:

        (a) average distance between pubs
        (b) population per pub
        (c) number of visitor nights

        Also it takes as its starting point the number of pubs, not the total population.

        Lincolnshire, as you would expect, benefits considerably from both (a) and (c).

        This results in the old county of Lincolnshire, excluding the parts that were in Humberside, receiving 91 entries compared with Leicestershire’s 78, despite having a considerably smaller population.

        I’m not aware it’s ever been redone going back to first principles since then – AFAIK further cuts have just been applied pro-rata.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ve asked the question on Discourse, and the response is that, no, there hasn’t been any kind of “rational” root-and-branch reallocation of GBG entries since 1984. To my mind, the formula that was applied then seemed pretty sensible.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I take it you like the hat that woman was wearing since you posted that photo twice (albeit one with and one without the cheery sour ale).

    Was the roof terrace open? Because the photo listing the bottled beers (and the “regulars”) shows “NO TERRACE” (plus the WiFi password). 🙂



      1. “You’re observant tonight.”

        Chalk it up to being out of town. I’m more vigilant when I’m not in my natural habitat.😉


        Liked by 1 person

      1. In a word, no. I think each branch simply lost the average number of city centre entries it had included over the past five years, or something along those lines, which is hard to argue with.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Seems a fair solution. Be interesting to see if the few older trad pubs in the Guide (inc. Robbie’s Castle) hold on in face of ever increasing modern bars. Hard to lose the National Inventory pubs, though sentiment hasn’t saved the Peveril, which would walk into the Guide elsewhere).


    1. Well, if the NI pubs don’t come up with the goods beer-wise they don’t go in. I’ve not been in for years, but I’ve heard a few reports of indifferent beer and service in the Peveril.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. i was last in the Pev a couple of years ago, it was quiet, the staff looked distinctly uninterested and the beer quality was average. Far better alternatives locally. Glad the Hare & Hounds is back though.

        Liked by 1 person

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