Home to two of the world’s most gargantuan football clubs, i.e. Manchester United and Manchester City, it’s no great revelation that Manchester is awash with pubs. (For those who are apathetic to football: fans customarily adhere to the ritual of congregating in pubs to either watch the game or to pre-game; to get in the spirit before the match and to then march from pubs to the stadium. This customs works well for all sports. If you find yourself in Manchester for the ICC Cricket World Cup, you know where to go.)
Whether it be an atypical, pleasant, sunny day and you’re on the lookout for a pint in a beer garden or whether it be a grim, frosty day and your idea is to curl up next to a fireplace. Or your principal agenda may simply be good beer and you seek beer specialists, fret not, Manchester will not dissatisfy. Thus, here goes a roundup of some old school favourites as well as some new-age pubs that are fashioning quite the stir.
The Castle Hotel
The ambience: Initially founded in 1776 and having undergone refurbishment in 2009, The Castle Hotel is one of Northern Quarter’s most adored pubs. Skillfully undertaken restoration work has reinstated original features and conserved the 200-year-old heritage of the pub. This in turn has safeguarded its clientele of old-time patrons along with a blend of the younger crowd.
The Castle Hotel is also well documented in the indie rock circles as the pub formed the backdrop to a legendary interview between John Peel and Ian Curtis in 1979, paying heed to its musical heritage, there are weekly gigs in its own charismatic little music hall.
What to order: Anything from the selection of the well-kept real ales
Address: 66 Oldham St, Manchester M4 1LE, UK
The Briton’s Protection
The ambience: Don’t be deterred by the name, sounding more like a haven for the nationalistically disposed, in actuality, it’s a far cry from that. More akin to a reminder from a bygone era, the pub has occupied the same corner of the busy junction across from the Bridgewater Hall since 1795!
Connoisseurs will be ecstatic to know that Briton’s Protection boasts over 300 whiskies, an inclusive space, its taps also drip with ciders, international lagers and northern ales as well. When you decide its time to mix song and drink, head to the upstairs function room that hosts bands and oftentimes play’s and comedy as well.
What to order: Hosting whiskeys from Ireland, Scotland, Japan and US. A favourite is the Midleton Very rare, or try the unusual and go for a tot of Cu Dhub, a black whiskey with a trace of honey and coffee
Address: 50 Great Bridgewater St, Manchester M1 5LE, UK
Sinclair’s Oyster Bar
The ambience: Regrettably, the undisclosed information is well and truly out, as soon as the first rays of the sun shine bright you can be assured that this boozer will be more cramped than public transport during rush hour. Accommodated in an exquisite Tudor style building, Sinclair’s Oyster Bar is the largest beer garden in Manchester and more than that, you’ll find that lager here is half the price in comparison to some of the other pubs just down the street.
Having subsisted the blitz of WWII and the IRA bombings, unlike some of the neighbouring buildings. The pub was relocated brick by painstaking brick 300 metres away in order to permit the revival of Manchester City Centre.
What to order: A Sam Smith’s pub, their own line of ales and stouts are extremely well priced and worth a try
Address: 2 Cathedral Gates, Manchester M3 1SW, UK
Read about Suresh Raina's guide to Manchester