This weekend saw another visit to Manchester for the day, it being 6 weeks since my birthday trip to the same city. The girls of my family were going to see Frozen on Ice at the arena, so myself and my parents decided to kill time over a few drinks in the city centre. I had wanted to visit Beermoth, just off the main Arndale centre corridor, on my last trip. However having the family with me precluded us from the venue due to the level of custom. This time there was no such issues, the bar filling nicely but not crowded, although we ended up sharing a table with a solo drinker (who’s wife was at the theatre) and enjoying some good conversation with him for an hour or two.
The Beermoth started as a beer shop in the Northern Quarter of the cit y, with the bar opening at the end of last year. The bar, on Brown Street sits at the base of of an office block as most new venues seem to in city centres and from the outside would be pretty non descript if it wasn’t for the window size prints on the side announcing the bar. Inside the bar there is a soft area at the far end with large booths along the front window, stooled natural wood tables in front of the bar (watch out for the natural kinks in the wood) and an additional upstairs area with extra seating. The design is modern and somewhat stripped back, clean wood, exposed venting, uncluttered. Nice touches include hop vines wrapped around the top of the bar and booth areas.
The bar extends most the length of the building with the bar being kept clear of pumps and keg machinery, the operational end of the business being located against the back wall. The pumps and keg lines are non marked with the beers detailed on sheets above, of which there are 17, 7 on pump and 10 on keg. Prices start from around 3.10 for beers like Roosters Italian Job (4.7%) and Track Ozark (4.4%), moving up to 4.20 a pint for beer from Magic Rock and Quantum with top end rarer imported beers coming in at 6.20 per ? of a pint. There is also an extensive selection of bottled beers, again with a similar price range. Me and my dad stayed on the real ale for our visit and all the beer was really well kept and the customer service was excellent.
Normally my mum is the loser in these places as she only drinks the occasional wine or half a lager, but these also sell excellent coffee and tea so all parties were kept happy. Between us on the table we sampled the aforementioned Roosters Italian Job, and Track Ozark, the latter of which went down rather well. We also tried Dark Star Revelation (5.7%) and The Tiny Rebel Full Nelson (4.8%). All arrived at the table in top condition, the main thing you can ask from a real ale serving bar. A very different bar to my last recommendation of Wharf in the Castlefield area, but equally worth of it, with a good atmosphere, informed and friendly staff and good beer, if you get all three life can’t be too bad for you.
After this we intended to go for a drink at Mr Thomas’s Chop House, but the girls were on their way to meet us and it was looking rather busy, so we headed down to the Avenue leisure complex at Spinningfields (off Deansgate) and to the Oast House, which takes up the central area of the complex with a permanent wood / brick main building and over winter the large open area to the front gets filled with two large tee pee style tents to give customers some respite from the British weather, although in summer it’s filled with tables and cushions for the large steps which make up the boundary of its operating area, which is where we located ourselves.
The real ale selection numbers four with two regular strength session ales and two stronger ales in the 5-6% range. They also serve a range of good bottles, cocktails (which started my wife on the sangria for the rest of the night) and a good range of European beers. We arrived on the cusp between the shopping crowd and the Saturday night revellers, but the security staff were good and allowed us in as a family with kids and I must say the busy crowd were no hassle either with them. Being flexible when it comes to interpreting licensing is something you appreciate when visiting big cities and local pubs alike. The two session strength beers were kept well and tasted good, although a little lively on the pour initially.
Our last stop of the night was Dmitri’s Taverna on Deansgate, a place I’d recommend any day for the food from starters to meze to puddings plus they serve 3 ales, Bombardier and two Charles Wells beers, more than you usually get at such restaurants.