Thursday 28th March 2013
Like several other pubs in the city this has an entrance on two streets. The main way in is from Queen Street which looks out onto Lincoln Square with its statue of the American President. The rear access is from Lloyd Street. I arrived through the front door, so to speak, and observed that it is a long narrow pub with lots of comfortable seating. The bar counter is at the other end, on the right. Facing this are three high wooden tables with seats.
There is a lot of confusion regarding the origins of this pub. Several sources indicate that it opened in 1684 when William of Orange acceded to the throne and that the name somehow alluded to this.
When I read this I didn't buy it, as the building doesn't look that old. This was confirmed when I read that Queen Street was not built until around the 1830s. This was when there was a vast amount of pub building going on, mostly smaller premises, like the Rising Sun. The large pubs mostly came later during Victoria's reign. So, it looks like this pub dates from about that time.
During the 1960s it was a Threlfall's pub. That company, originally from Liverpool, built a second brewery in Salford in 1860. In 1961 it merged with Chesters. They had a brewery in Ardwick that was then closed in 1966. Thereafter all the beers came from the joint brewery in Salford and the company was known as Threlfall-Chester.
By 1967 it had become part of the Whitbread empire who closed the Salford plant in 1988. The brewery is still there and forms an imposing-looking business centre. Chester's beers were brewed under contract until 1999. Ironically, the Whitbread company exited the brewing business shortly afterwards.
One thing I noticed was that it was a very clean pub. I have since found out that it had a refurbishment in early 2012 and the furnishings date from them. As befitting its location in the business district, food is served at lunchtimes on weekdays. There are some televisions so I suppose it is likely to change its character in the evenings and at weekends.
One very commendable thing is that they have brewery evenings when a single producer takes over a number of the hand pumps and often a brewer or someone else from the company comes along and talks about the beers and there is a tutored tasting session with free food such as cheese.
Known to have done this before are Moorhouse's, Timothy Taylor, Lancaster Brewery, along with others. And, what's more, there was one that evening with a presentation from the Green Mill Brewery of Rochdale, and the beers were on sale from 12.00. They opened in 2007 with a new brewery in the former brew house of McGuinness, situated behind the Cask & Feather pub. I well remember visiting this pub with Linda and drinking those beers in the 1990s.
So, I was lucky to have the choice of the following brews from Green Mill and they were Stellar (4.0%) a new beer mad with an Australian hop of the same name; Old Git (4.2%), a golden ale with US and Slovakian hops; Chief (4.2%), a single malt bitter with a lot of US hops; Gold (3.6%), light session beer; Citrus Snap (4.2%), a pale beer made with Citra hops and Pot Black Porter (4.4%) which has a complex malt taste.
There was one other beer on hand pump and that was Moorhouse's, of Burnley, Broomstick Bitter (4.0%) a brewery blend. The eighth pump was occupied by Thatcher's (Sandford, Somerset) Cheddar Valley Cider (6.0%).
Even if you don't happen to hit on a tasting, this pub is well worth visiting as it always has a good selection of beers.
The Rising Sun, 22 Queen Street, Manchester M2 5HX (just off upper end of Deansgate)
Tel: 0161 834 1193
Open: Monday to Thursday 12.00-23.00; Friday and Saturday 12.00-24.00;
The pub is in the financial centre of the city. A number of bus routes run along Deansgate.
It is less than five minutes away from St Peters Square station on the Metrolink tram.
Walking times to the nearest National Rail stations are: Salford Central, 10 minutes; Deansgate, 12 minutes; Oxford Road, 15 minutes; Manchester Victoria, 15 minutes and Manchester Piccadilly: 20 minutes.