Wednesday, 14 January 2015

A Few Minor Things



Given that Manchester Beer and Cider Festival is for us that are seriously involved in it, a constant companion, I am likely to have even less time to blog, considering the beer deliveries start this Friday.  However, as I'm waiting for yet another festival related phone call, here's a few beery matters that have caught my interest this week.

Firstly, readers may remember this post from September 2010 where I complained that I dislike being greeted at the bar when approaching by "You all right there?" in lieu of actually saying something along the lines of  "What can I get you?".  Despite it grating for the last two years since I first wrote that it got on my nerves (allowing things to get on your nerves is one of the few joys of growing old by the way) I have borne repeated manifestations of it with dignity, forbearance and patience.  I tried a new tactic though in a well known local hostelry last Friday night.  It was the same one mentioned in the original post where it has become endemic.  When asked this I responded "I'm fine thanks. How are you?"  The slightly taken aback barmaid responded with "I'm great thanks. What can I get you?"   It was a victory of sorts and I may try it again or just lapse back into unspoken resentment. Not sure which.

On Saturday I was in rather a nice pub to chair the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival Organising Meeting. The Deansgate had very pleasant staff, a good atmosphere, lots of nooks, crannies and distinct drinking areas and the beer was spot on temperature and condition wise. I rather liked it, but since other comments on the web indicate it is a free house, I wonder why there was just three Thwaites beers on at a rather hefty £3.70 a pint.  Incidentally, talking of Thwaites, has anyone else found that the Banks' brewed Wainwright is rather an improvement on the Wainwright that Thwaites brewed in Blackburn when they brewed it themselves?  I know from conversations with the now retired Head Brewer who designed it, that it was meant to have a degree of sweetness throughout. My findings are that Banks has dried the beer out somewhat giving a much more refreshing drink.  For me at least, it is improved - which is rarely the case when a beer is contract brewed - but then again, I regard Banks' as one of the best breweries in the Marstons Group.

Another pub I hadn't been to for ages was the Knott Bar more less across the road. This is under a railway arch and is a mix of traditional and trendy which is evolutionary rather than contrived. It works well and I'd forgotten just how good it is. Excellent beer there from a number of breweries (I enjoyed Acorn Blonde but Marble Ginger less so). All comfortably under £3.70 a pop too.  I'll be back. Of course no trip to Manchester is complete without a trip to the Marble Arch.  It wasn't my idea, as we'd really enjoyed a stout (can't remember whose) in the Angel and I would have liked another, but I was dragged there by companions.  A singer was just setting up, which I found odd as I'd never known it to be a place that has live music. It was jammed - though whether that was the attraction of the singer or not I don't know.

None of us enjoyed the beer that much though. Maybe we'd just had enough? I'll try it again soon and report back.

It was good to see all the pubs I visited on Saturday so busy. Dry January? Not on this evidence.

10 comments:

py said...

My god, the horrors of having a barman greeting your in a friendly manner rather than simply cutting straight to the business transaction. Anyone would think pubs were places people went to socialise.

Tandleman said...

Idiot.

Anonymous said...

Didn't realise that about Wainwright. I sent a pint back on Sunday; not because it was off but because I thought they'd poured me the wrong beer.

Anonymous said...

So that is the reason for the change in Wainwright. I thought they had simply chosen to make the beer lighter and blander and unlikely to offend anyone.

Curmudgeon said...

IMV "You all right there?" comes across as brusque and offhand. I wrote about this here (third piece down).

Stono said...

thats an interesting one because over in the wilds of East Anglia, "you alright there?" would be considered a friendly greeting, and yes you reply back "yeah you alright?" in return its essentially just a different way of saying hello in this part of the world :)

though funnily enough,you wouldnt get it in pubs,the bar staff generally just stand there and wait for you to place your order before anyone even says anything.

whioh can be more frustrating sometimes, even if you expect it as you get that pregnant pause of are you serving me or not kind of thing going on

Jeff Pickthall said...

I had a pint of Wainwright the other day. I noticed it was different to my memory of it. Not better, not worse. Your description - "dried the beer out" - sums it up.

Cooking Lager said...

I shall fill in a staff form for the beardy piss up and greet every punter with "You all right there?"

Tyson said...

There's a lot of chatter in town that Marble aren't the go-to beers that they used to be.

Erlangernick said...

I've honestly never liked Marble's beers as much as their guests, nor what you can get just down the road. And that from me, with my deep, long history of maybe a dozen visits going back at least a half-dozen years!

*Really* like the format of the spreadsheet list of beers they've done.