Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Dark Day - Almost

CAMRA business took me to the centre of Manchester yesterday. That meant having a couple of drinks. Two unusual things for me there. One, I don't normally have a drink on a Monday and two, I am almost never in the centre of Manchester on a Monday.

Business done and a comfort break needed I went into a pub I've never been in. Guess what the Bank was before? It is all on one level though and sold three cask beers. A look at the pump clip attachments put one immediate thought into my mind "Nicolsons". Yes it was run by the M&B subsidiary. My last experience of them was in Glasgow where I had a frosty reception. Not so here. The young barmaid was chatty, bright and a real ray of sunshine on a gloomy Manchester day. It makes a real difference you know. The beer choice wasn't so appealing. I dismissed the Rosey Nosey and something else so mundane, I can't even recall what it was and had a half of Ginger Tosser from Skinners. It wasn't bad and it wasn't ginger tasting. A closer look at the pump clip revealed that there is honey in it - one of my least liked ingredients in beer or, indeed, anything. It wasn't that bad is all I'll say, but I'd have left out the honey and put in some ginger.

Walking to the Northern part of the city I nipped into the Angel. A half of Green Mill Dark Side, a mild, was just as good as it was in Rochdale last week in a pub with one other customer. Then the Marble Arch where two halves finished things off. Prospect Brewery of Wigan's Nutty Slack has been getting good reviews recently. Well deserved too, for this fine dark mild, with sweetish undertones, a full body and an appropriate coal dust finish. Marble Chocolate was dark, rich and satisfying and was just enough to lift the experience of being in a very empty pub.

So I'm not missing much on Mondays, but good mild is easy to come by and all beers were in tip top condition. It's great up North. It takes a lot of the guesswork out of pub going when you can depend on the beer.

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