Sunday, 13 January 2008

The Smithfield Hotel

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


NickB said...

LOVED this place. Pity you dragged me away from it, actually...nice that it's just down the street from the Fringe Bar, too. One can do a dangerous bit of drinking between these two places.

maeib said...

Top, top pub. Haven't been there for about four years sadly as I don't get to Manchester any more.

Certainly not inviting from the outside but warm and friendly inside with great beer in great nick as you say.

NickB said...

Eh, thought I had a better photo of the place, but no, I don't. Just this one from behind the bar:

What are all those white things on the ends of the beer engine spouts, I wonder...

a swift one... said...

Madeleine Lily is certainly one of the better 'occassional' Ossetts to hit the streets. The beer is named after Bob Lawson's second grand-daughter (Bob is the founder & original head brewer at Ossett) - also look out for Elizabeth Rose on your travels, named after ML's big sister!

Alex said...

Somewhat scruffy indeed! Immeasurably improved by the smoke ban. When you think what we use to endure in there, it's amazing that we ever went in there. However, I did encounter the downside during the NWAF. Picture the scene-packed full of cockney scoopers, the place was oppressively warm and stank of stale beer and wet kagools. And that was before the fat flatulent guy cleared the bar! Still on a normal day, well worth a visit.