Thursday 28th March 2013
I approached Cask along Liverpool Road and although I noticed the bright blue exterior of this one-time shop, I wasn't sure if it was open, as I could so no interior lights. There was a freezing cold wind coming from the east and I didn't want to have to turn around and face it straightaway. I needn't have worried as the narrow door opened with a push and I wriggled inside. I was further cheered when I was immediately confronted by four hand pumps, each with a decent beer displayed.
I got a pint and found a perch on a stall with a shelf and took a look around. There was a limited amount of seating in what was the front window of the former shop. I couldn't find very much information about the building or even when it reopened as a bar, although I believe that occurred during the early to mid 2000s.
The walls are covered with brewery advertising, mostly from continental breweries, a speciality of the pub, and upcoming musical events in the city.
The bar is very colourful and I noticed a room at the back where most of the seating is to be found. There is a jukebox on the wall that specialises in Mancunian artists.
I believe there is a small outside drinking area at the rear, but there was no way I was going to venture out there, with it blowing a freezing a wind.
I mentioned the international selection and there is a very large range of beers, draught and bottled, from around the globe. The draught offerings were, or course, keg beers. One did catch my eye though and that was Budvar unpasteurized, the first time I've seen it in the UK, and it got me wondering how long it lasted before it went off.
Anyway, the real reason for being here was for the cask ales and these were Facers (Tan y Coed, Flint, North Wales) North Star Porter (4.0%); Phoenix (Heywood, Gtr Manchester) Hopsack (3.8%); Pictish Brewing (Rochdale, Gtr Manchester) Brewer's Gold (3.8%) and Acorn (Barnsley) Sovereign (4.4%). I don't think they sold traditional cider, I could see no evidence of it, although there was good range of bottled varieties.
The bar does not do food but does offer a large range of snacks. However, it is possible to bring food in and the Fish and Chip shop next door is said to be one of the best in the city.
The pub is in the Castlefield district and is almost opposite the world-famous Museum of Science and Industry and not very far from Granada studios, New Bridgewater Hall and the Manchester Central exhibition centre, you may well be in the area for other reasons. Whatever, it is a great place to visit at any time.
Cask, 29 Liverpool Road, Manchester M3 4NQ. Tel: 0161 819 2527
Open: Monday to Saturday 12.00-23.00; Sunday 17.00-22.30
The bar is around five minutes walk from the Castlefield-Deansgate station of the Metrolink tram. It's about the same from Deansgate station which is served by trains of Northern Rail. Deansgate is a short distance away and has many bus routes.