Sunday 27th January 2013
I've visited this bar once before, a year previously, on a Saturday afternoon and it was absolutely packed, a testament to its popularity, no doubt. I figured that it wouldn't be the same on a Sunday afternoon and so it proved; just a few groups quietly drinking.
Although it is not a new concept, the Beer House is a bit of an innovation for Manchester. The outside view indicates no more than a typical café-bar but once inside a different perspective is obtained, mainly provided by observing the array of seven hand pumps.
Linda and I were visiting on or around the bar's second birthday and the progress made in just two years can be charted by the number of pump clips of beers served, now proudly displayed on the walls.
From the outside it has a rather unprepossessing frontage. However once you have found Port Street, the rest should be easy. If you have reached to beautiful facade of the Crown & Anchor, the Beer House is almost opposite. The bar is on the ground floor and there is a lounge on the floor above, where the toilets are also to be found. Out the back is a small beer garden.
As is the nature of the beast, there are a number of keg beers from abroad but sadly, also some keg products from independent UK breweries. As is always the case you will pay more for these than an equivalent cask beer. There was an extremely good range of cask beers, although some of these weren't exactly cheap.
The selection offered to us was: Magic Rock (Huddersfield, Yorks) Rapture (4.6%); Kirkstall (Leeds, Yorks) Three Swords (4.5%); Thornbridge (Bakewell, Derbys) Sequoia (4.5%); Moor (Pitney, Soms) Somerland Gold (5.0%); Dark Star (Partridge Green) American Pale Ale (4.7%) and Winter Meltdown (5.0%) and finally, a collaboration between Magic Rock and Hand Drawn Monkey (both Huddersfield, Yorks); Saison.
They don't do food but all the normal things like nuts, Bombay Mix and also Wasabi Peas. Maybe they should import some Wasabi Beer from the Basta brewery in Prague when they next brew it and hold a Beer and Peas evening!
So a good bar to visit for some interesting beer although it may possibly come with a wallet warning.
The Port Street Beer House, 39-41 Port Street, Manchester M1 2EQ. Tel: 0161 237 9949
Open: Tuesday to Thursday 16.00-24.00; Friday: 14.00-24.00;
Saturday 12.00-01.00; Sunday 12.00-24.00. Monday: Closed.
It is about ten minutes from Manchester Piccadilly station and around fifteen from Manchester Victoria. The nearest Metrolink (Tram) stop is Piccadilly Gardens, where a large number of bus routes also converge, and that's less than five minutes away.