This Manchester boozer (and that's what it is) has a somewhat legendary status among tickers, scoopers and scratchers. What are these I hear you ask? Well these guys (and girls) "collect" the number of beers drunk, though it isn't as straightforward as that. Scooping has its own sub culture which will probably make for a good post on a later blog.
But back to the Smithfield. It is a fairly small, somewhat scruffy little pub in Ancoats which sells a lot of unusual and rare (see above) beers, in very good condition. It has to me at least, improved immensely since the smoking ban. It was often truly hellish previously; real iron lung territory. I was there on Saturday with some CAMRA bods following a Regional Meeting. There was about seven beers on offer, though I neither counted them, nor wrote down what they were. No scooper me! I did though have excellent and delightfully named Ossett Madeleine Lily, a pale, citrus hoppy and surprisingly full bodied number and tastes of several others, including Salopian Wild Card, which went off before I could try it properly and Silver Tally from Prospect Brewery of Standish. Both were good, though only the Wild Card would have tempted me away from the Ossett.
So, if you are in Manchester, go there. It might be down at heel, but it's a must visit and very handy for Victoria Station and other Northern Quarter pubs.
I forgot to take a photo on my way out, so have nicked this one from "Beer In the Evening". Hope they don't mind!
The Smithfield is at 37 Swan Street, Manchester, M4 5JZ
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, local CAMRA Chairman and activist, beer writer, beer reviewer and pursuer of all things good in beer. He lives in the North West of England and London. Despite his CAMRA membership, he does not limit himself to cask conditioned beer, though he believes that cask conditioning, when done correctly and appropriately, brings a quality to beer that is hard to equal by any other kind of presentation. He is a strong supporter of Northern methods of beer dispense and avidly detests poorly presented beer and dislikes pasteurisation. He regularly visits Germany, has conducted corporate British and German beer tastings for CAMRA at the Great British Beer Festival where he has worked for years on Biere Sans Frontieres and was Deputy Organiser at CAMRA's very successful National Winter Ales Festival in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and at the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival from 2013 to date. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink.
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