“Down on Sheffield Street, Something is Stirring….”

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Manchester rarely makes me do other than smile. And there are days when it brings me out in a grin that makes me look like an overfed Cheshire Feline.

Saturday was one of those days.

Why? Because I was in the midst of a multitude of Mancunians. In one of Manchester’s finest breweries drinking beer from both it and one of the others. By which I mean Track & Squawk.

This was only the second time that Sam & Oli had done this. And they had learned the only lesson that they needed to. To spread the load and not try to do too much. With that in mind, they sacked doing the food themselves (and it was GORGEOUS last time) and got Manchester’s own Street Food mavens in, in their Arepa Arepa Arepa guise. Baliey & Jules.

Walking in, I forgot why I was there with the lovely Atilla. The first people I saw were Dan & Gareth from the mighty Pubs of Manchester blog and we spent 2 or 3 minutes bemoaning City getting soundly shellacked by Leicester. Where would we be in Manchester without something to moan about eh? But where’s my beer?

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I grabbed an unctuously smooth Toba by Track just before I was bear hugged by Mr Beer Nouveau….

This place proved to be a bit of a brewer magnet with Mallinsons, Black Jack, Beer Nouveau, Track and Cloudwater all present and correctly drinking damn fine beer whilst soaking in some superb tuneage….. “Under The Pressure” by War on Drugs had me almost pining for (busy in the Alps) Jeff !

It’s always a pleasure to see good people and chat about beer and more important stuff – like music and Tara Mallinson and Elaine Yendall never fail to make me chuckle. Great to see Mr Beerfinder General and Alan – Mr Beardosaurus (Cheers for bringing the Bearded Lady pal!), my Bolton comrades Linda & Pete…..too many good people!

But what drew them here? Track & Squawk beers. Two of the locality’s finest. And they were AWESOME (just for you Elaine!). The Mallinsons ladies put me onto the Squawk Pale on keg. And a bloody fine lemony shout that was. Elaine was spot on with the lemon sherbet aroma!

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Suffice to say, it was RAMMED! And justly so. And here was what puzzled me. That Sam and Oli seriously didn’t expect it to be as busy as it was. That it was, was testament to their first effort which had people babbling excitedly on Twitter for a whole week beforehand. I could have sworn that Oli’s tagine had its own Twitter account at one point! The love was out there for this. And the people piled in.

If you build it….

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(Bailey & Jules were WELL busy!)

This Brewtap has serious legs. Great atmosphere, seriously good food and beer with tunes to match. Good times with good people.

And BRAVO to Sam, Oli, Leah, Bailey, Jules and evryone else involved. Onwards and upwards….

One more thing

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“Tinseltown in the rain…….” Isn’t Manchester a beautiful place to be?

Back soon.

J

2 comments on ““Down on Sheffield Street, Something is Stirring….”

  1. But surely it’s going to look a bit grisly when yet more “me too” breweries open over the the next few months? The microbrewers of central Manchester are already struggling (a crowded tap room once in a while isn’t enough). Now they’re about to start cannibalising each other. They already take a swipe at one another – barring a few tactical alliances – whenever they can.

    Only two will be truly immune from it. Cloudwater have built a market outside of Manchester. Chorlton doesn’t have a market at all, he just works for free and keeps putting his savings in.

    The rest are relying on the local market and when the new players come in there’ll be less for everyone. Smaller slices of a pie that really can’t get any bigger, Manchester having reached “peak beer geek” about now.

    I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this. It’s seems to be the elephant in the room in Manchester’s puffed up beer scene.

    • It will certainly be interesting when they finally get their combined acts together and restart the misnomered “Piccadilly Beer Mile”!

      I’m not seeing/hearing what you are saying about taking swipes at each other. Maybe I’m myopic, or just not well connected enough.

      I do believe that there will be a drop off in numbers soon, but that doesn’t seem to put off some of the newer efforts. They are going to need to be exceptionally good to make an impact locally.

      Disagree with the sentiment re: Cloudwater & Chorlton though. There are some breweries built on strong foundations that will be fine and it never ceases to irritate me how many people disregard Marble. Still (for me) Manchester’s marquee brewery.

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