Thursday, 30 April 2009

Micro Bar




The Food Court of Manchester's massive and eponymous Arndale Centre is a little haven from the lookalike chain stores that infest such places. Among stalls selling Chinese, Lebanese, Indian and other foods, facing the tramlines on Church St, is that most blessed and rare of beasts, a beer stall.

For some years it meandered along in a haphazard fashion selling mediocre beer from a Welsh micro in plastic glasses. Recently the lease was taken over by ambitious Manchester Micro Brewer, Boggart. Now Boggart beers aren't to everyone's taste, so is there cause for celebration? An emphatic yes. While Boggart beers do feature, it is the other arm of their operation that provides the real interest. Boggart factors beer for other brewers. It is a major supplier of cask beer to the free trade and to beer festivals. The fruits of this labour feature as guests on the stall. Despite its typical market size, it sports three handpumps for beer, plus Kupper's Koelsch on draught, as well as a handpumped cask cider. It sells a decent range of bottled beers too, including more or less, the full Brew Dog Range.

Yesterday it had a new guest. Thornbridge Cocoa Dance, a chocolate and mandarin mild. This 3.5% dark beer was correctly conditioned, cool and sparkled. Served in glass now - what an improvement - the beer was full bodied and luscious, with just the merest hint of Terry's Chocolate Orange running through it. A very good and interesting beer indeed, served by a charming and chatty barmaid, who made a change from her grumpy and monosyllabic predecessors.


Spot the error in the price list?

14 comments:

ChrisM said...

It's been a while since I last visited - it was still the 'Paradise Brewery Bar' and was serving luke warm Shaw's beers at the time, although I did get it in a dimple pot! Next time I'm home I shall make an effort to revisit the place.

I noticed the error straight away, having had the beer before (very nice, too!) but I can see the similarity with pump clips...

Paul Garrard said...

"Spot the error in the price list? "

Would that be Kupper's Koelsch?
It is an ale not a lager me thinks (might be wrong there).

Tandleman said...

No Paul. That's not it. (-;

RedNev said...

I can see the error too, though it took me a while to work it out.

That microbar sounds interesting; I hope to go there some time. I'd never go into the likes of the Arndale Centre otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Is it that the cider is (obscenely) underpriced, albeit Moonshine is an obscenely overrated cider...

Tandleman said...

Nope.

The Beer Justice said...

Kolsch not really a continental lager ?

Tandleman said...

C'mon Guys. It isn't that and it is easy!

John B. said...

Now I wonder who really makes Cocoa Dance?

RedNev said...

Oh, what a tease you are, TM!

Tandleman said...

If I was unkind RedNev, which you know I'm not, I could say what a lot of thickos. But I'm not. This blog exudes kindness, as well as milk and honey and turns the other cheek incomparably.

Will someone state the answer categorically please? Or shall I?

ChrisM said...

Thornbridge Cocoa Dance, please.

Tandleman said...

Indeed Chris!

Darren said...

Haven't set foot in the Arndale food court for about eight years - always assumed it was nothing but junk food.

The Paradise beer bar has moved to the Arndale Market, btw.