Sunday, 2 September 2012

BrewDog and the Lass o' Gowrie - Manchester

'On the 6th day, God created Manchester' - so reads the famous inscription outside Afflex's Palace. If true, a large portion of that day was taken up building the cities pubs. The choice in Manchester is over-whelming: stay in the central districts of Piccadilly, Canal Street, or Deansgate; crawl down Oxford Road; or venture out to the suburbs. As expected, dominating the main roads, with their garish fronts and bright lights, the bad stick out; whilst hidden down the many darkened alleys not often ventured, the good tend to hide.
An exception to this rule is BrewDog Manchester. A new arrival in the city, BrewDog sits a short walk from St Peter's Square and the impressive Central Library, directly opposite the site of the infamous Peterloo Massacre. Full glass windows, tall bar stools, and minimalist concrete decor make this a cool, clean spot for a drink. BrewDog - a Scottish brewery - are well known for pushing the delights of high strength ale. However, their crowning achievement has to be their promotion of taste and range in beer - not just ABV. A pint of Dead Pony Club (3.8%) sits alongside the mainstays of Punk IPA (5.6%) and 5am Saint (5.6%), as well as the super strong home-brew and guest ales. Beer is here for every, and any, time of day and occasion. And if you're new to craft beer, a taster menu is a great option.

The idea of a good selection of tasty beers isn't a totally new concept, just one mainstream drinkers have forgotten. Located to the south of the city centre, behind BBC Manchester, the Lass o' Gowrie is an award winning pub - and an institution for many Mancunians. With a strong list of core ales, supplemented by guests, this is as a traditional pub should be. Dark wood, low tables, big screen football, friendly staff, and (seemingly) an event every night of the week. This place is a gem, easily missed by those who don't turn off the Oxford Road or venture from the centre. But at only a fifteen minute walk from Piccadilly, or a couple of quid train ride to Oxford Road Station, 'The Lass' should not be missed.

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