His Highness Sheikh Mansour recently wrote to me to highlight the progress made under his stewardship of Manchester City over the last decade. 40 points in every season, half-and-half scarf sellers for every game, folk who turn up in Colin Bell Stand 15 minutes after kick off looking for Row R etc. etc.
No mention of beer. You’ll get a better selection at the closed pubs on the way to the Etihad.
Anyway, a routine 3-0 win against the courageous Cottagers on Saturday afternoon. I stayed to the end, as I always do because I like seeing the pattern of empty seats at the Etihad.
Despite being the fastest walker in east Manchester (unless Pubmeister was there) I was never going to catch the 17:18 back to Sheffield, and my cheaper return restricted me to Trans Pennine trains, so I had time for a wander.
There’s approximately 3.2 million different routes you can take from Piccadilly to the Etihad and back, you know.
Not much new pubwise round here, and my closest new GBG entry was in Failsworth, which sounds like fun. So I beat the football crowds to the trading estates.
Stumbling across a little factory unit with the words “beer for sale” on the door, I followed the crowds up the stairs.
Yes, it’s the Cloudwater Tap.
Not that you’d have known it with the low-key signage.
I know I’m a bit late to this party, but brewery sheds rank only just above micro pubs in my league table of best places to drink. And this keg-only place is never getting in the Beer Guide, of course.
Their Tap feels a bit like a mini IndyMan, with deep house soundtrack, long tables and a lack of pint glasses.
It’s packed at 5.30pm, and there’s a lack of football scarves, half-and-half or otherwise.
I’d rather drink in the Blue Bell in Levenshulme, just down the A6, but I like it. It’s spotlessly clean (tables wiped every few seconds, note), people move up to give you a seat, and the pricing is simple.
I had the IPL Cashmere and the Rainy City IPA. Pub Curmudgeon will be delighted to know they were murky and looked like grapefruit juice.
But they were both smooth, complex and beery. As enjoyable an experience as the Norrebro craft places at half the price.
Oh, take your credit card, Mudgie. They don’t accept cash.