BACK IN MANCHESTER; BEER, CURRY AND V.A.R.

Today’s Word Press post idea – “Tell us one thing you hope never say about you“.

Tricky one. How about “He’s that bloke who thought he’d completed the Beer Guide but missed one out, never knew there were TWO (2) pubs called the Globe in Marylebone“.

5th November 2022.

The obligatory map.

Yes, back in Manchester, the day after arriving home from Cologne. It never stops.

And Manchester never rests, either. Loads of new housing developments around the city, but the streets between Thomas Street and the Arndale remain a maze of lanes alive with graffiti, gig posters and the smell of curry.

Some famous Americans stayed here in 2019, but despite meeting them in the Abel Heywood I failed to have a beer, reasoning it would never grace the Guide as it was described as “a boutique hotel”,

and served those “dull” beers by family brewers that the CAMRAs detest.

But here we are, proving that the 2023 GBG is a shining example that CAMRA volunteers really do put beer quality first, and I’m 100% serious on that point.

Rather sadly, the Abel (sort of) takes over from the Jolly Angler (R.I.P.) in the Guide, and you couldn’t find a bigger contrast.

It’s very definitely a hotel/diner, but on match days like today you get a smart 30s crowd wearing cleanly ironed scarves, happy to use the mixed but rarely comfy seating.

I’ll be honest, after 3 days in Cologne I was glad to get back to queueing standing at the bar, pointing at hand pumps.

It’s a shock to come back from a choice of one (Alt or Kolsch) to a cask range of five Hyde’s plus endless lagers, and I can’t see much real ale pulled, but a 3.5% Dark Ruby scores an NBSS of (coincidentally) 3.5.

Of course, if you want proper seating you’ve got the Hare & Hounds yards away.

But it’s lunchtime, and my first visit to This & That in 3 years, just because how can you resist this alleyway (even if you expect to see a dead body behind those bins).

It might never change, but there’s far more self-conscious tourists than local traders than when Manchester CAMRA used to devote 4 pages to the Northern Quarter’s Curry Caffs 30 years ago. Spinach, daal, and beef, with about a kilogram of onion.

£7 your Rice & Three. Still a bargain, still tasty, but not the very best in town.

Cask, curry and now culture, as I nipped in the Art Gallery to admire “The Sirens“, an underrated work showing micropub owners on a remote Orkney island luring pre-emptive tickers to their doom (bar).

A great day concluded with an afternoon of VAR drama at the Etihad, which saw City steal 3 points off a “valiant” Fulham with an injury time penalty.

Sorry, Fulham.

3 thoughts on “BACK IN MANCHESTER; BEER, CURRY AND V.A.R.

  1. The only other pub I can think of named after a former mayor of Manchester apart from the Abel Heywood is the James Watts in Cheadle (although there was also a mayor called Matthew Curtis, which is a sort of beer connection).

    Liked by 1 person

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