As I rattled the handle, I found the door you want to go through at the front of the premises is actually locked. It can’t be closed at this time, surely not? Didn’t look like there was anyone in though.
I should have read the sign saying, ‘Fire Exit Only’. Then Mrs C informs me the entrance to Port Street Beer House is actually what should have been the side door.
A reedy looking kid with a bit of a beard, smoking a roll up whilst propping up the front wall, smirks and says, ‘I thought you’d found a new way in?’ He shouldn’t have said that.
I’d heard Port Street Beer House mentioned regularly in conversations about where to go in Manchester. Obviously no one else has, because it’s near 3pm on a Thursday and there’s only two other people in.
To be fair, apart from the lunchtime rush of office workers pouring out onto the streets in search of vittles, I found Manchester on a mid-February Thursday to be surprisingly quiet.
The cask list behind the bar was reasonable, without there being anything to make you go, Wow! Interestingly there were two low ABV Table Beers. Maybe they’d had a recent table beer tap takeover?
Obviously I hadn’t come over to Manchester to try Ilkley beers, of which there were two, so I went for Macclesfield’s Red Willow Headless. I like this brewery, they fall into that ‘modern brewing that suits the traditionalist too’ category. When well kept, I’ve always found their beers to be excellent, and it was, maybe a bit above NBSS 3.5, say 3.75. £3.60 for a pint.
Mrs C plumped for a Salty Kiss, one of several Magic Rock keg beers on. In fact I thought the keg selection much more interesting than the cask line up. The bottled beer line up is also exceptional. I can see why the bar is GBG listed.
Looking round, it’s neither pub nor bar, almost a grand micro-pub. Nothing wrong with it, clean and nicely, if not simply, decorated, toilets spot on. I’m not too sure if it was the absence of customers or what, but it wasn’t doing it for me. The only addition to the un-throng, since we’d entered, was a group of lads and suitcases, waiting for trains back to Scotland.
I was thinking about moving on. Then the reedy kid who’d taken the micky out of me came in, walked behind the bar, said something to the nice lass in the Sloppy Joe and started emptying the glass washer.
I’m not surprised there weren’t many people in if the staff don’t help drinkers find their way inside, instead proactively taking the piss out of paying customers. So, on that note, I supped up sharpish and did one. I won’t be going back.