I arrived in Manchester just as City were winning their 8th domestic trophy out of 9. My disinterest in the Caribou Cup is such I can’t even spell it. The only cup that matters to City fans is any cup Liverpool fail to win.
My bed for the night was in a flat, shared with studentz, overlooking the Velodrome and the Etihad, which was celebrating the latest trophy with a magical light show.
£21.68 is a bargain, even by my frugal standards. Just don’t look in the communal sink.
Feeling oddly knackered, I took the tram to Piccadilly, something I’d never do on matchday, and had an early tea at a place you hipsters will recognise.
Why was I in Manchester tonight? No haircut, no shot-shy City, no pub crawl round Salford.
No, tonight it was Big Thief, and a first ever visit to the Albert Hall, which I’d never noticed tucked between the bright lights of BrewDog and Albert’s Schloss on Peter St.
That’s why Manchester is the world’s great city. You’ll always find something new, often at less than £3.50 a pint, which is what CAMRA seems to define as fair these days.
I had 20 minutes before the support to pay a return visit to Brink and admire their own tribute to the city that draws folk in from as far away as Chicago and Stockport.
To be honest, Brink is a bit small for my liking, and I prefer my drinking at ground level. But the staff are friendly, the company civilised and the beer excellent. Who wants that though?
Back at the Albert Hall the options weren’t as good as the hype.
Two standard Brewdog pumps, £6 a pint. Stick to the pubs.
The Albert is a gorgeous venue though, similar to Liverpool’s Epstein Theatre.
Big Thief are the sort of delicate weird Americana you associate me with, so support Ithica were a bit of a culture clash.
Matt would have liked it, I thought. I was wrong.