Like kids in a sweetshop!
You will enjoy the Port St Beer House if you value quality. You won’t find any beer swilling louts amongst the clientele of a bar like this! What you will find is top notch beer and wine in a convivial atmosphere, staff who care, and comfortable surroundings. The folks of Manchester are really spoiled: there are so many great pubs and bars, and the Port St Beer House is amongst the best.
Finding the place took a little longer than expected. Taking it for granted that the bar would be closer to Piccadilly Gardens end of Portland Street, we spent some time tucked in doorways sheltering from torrential rain trying to get a signal on our gps. You won’t stumble across it by accident either. About ten minutes walk going north out of town on Newton Street, then right on Hilton Street then left on Port Street. And, whatever you do – don’t go (like we did for our return visit) on a Monday because it’s closed all day.
We have only been lucky enough to come across a handful of bars that can offer something similar: I’m thinking of places like Cask in London or The Grove in Huddersfield. Getting that perfect combination of ambience and dedication to quality is something that several people attempt but few get right. I think it’s all down to complete conviction in what you are trying to achieve. Allow one line of cooking lager or smoothflow and you’re sunk!
I’m getting a little fed up of bars and pubs that proclaim proudly that they have 16 handpulls. What is the point if they all taste uniformly bland or like farty homebrew? Once you get the concept and get hooked on fine beer, you will start to seek it out and, there’s just no going back.
The highlight of our visit was the Summer Wine Brewery “Half Wit”. Wheat beer isn’t normally my first choice of beer, but I took a particular liking to this strong, well-rounded 8% beer. It was perfect choice to end a fantastic albeit rain-soaked day in Manchester before we headed for our hotel via the excellent East Z East curry house!