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Manchester What's On, Entertainment, Tickets and Eating Out Guide

Monday 27 May 2024

[@]Manchester’s Ale, Beer and Cocktail Bars

Manchester ABC Drinks - Ales, Beers and Cocktails
Dusk till Pawn

Published: Guide No.18 - August '23

It seems unlikely that you have not spotted the huge growth brewing with so many small and specialist breweries creating amazing tipples to tantalise our taste buds. Hops are being drafted in from across the UK and further afield from places such as New Zealand and the Americas.

Manchester brewing has exploded too rivalling the quality and number of breweries in London. It is not just contained to good quality beer or ale, but here too Gin is being distilled right under mainline railway arches!

Have a peek around a few Manchester corners and visit some of our favourite and quirky bars to sample these drinks and quality imported European beers.

Manchester has some amazing bars, even some hidden ones, where you can discover not only the finest classic mixes and specially created Mixologist signature cocktails.

The choice is to say the least astounding and all within walking distance; possibly a good thing too!

Cocktails make excellent ice-breaking social opportunities and are ideal for pre-dinner or theatre experiences.

We recommend checking out the following places, if you have a spare hour on your hands. Get ready to indulge in some great tasting, visually enviable cocktails and the bars where you’ll find them are a treat in themselves.

Jump to Manchester Cocktails

Manchester Bars and Beers Recomendations

Alberts Schloss

The Schloss is an Alpine inspired bar and restaurant and is a regular host to live music. Offering an up-market experience of a beer house where you will find quality European beers. The menus cover breakfast, lunch and dinner including classic crowd pleasing burgers

Address: 27 Peter St, Manchester M2 5QR

Web: albertsschloss.co.uk

Twitter: @albertsschloss


Alphabet Brewing Company

The ABC is a very established Manchester brewer and their on-site taproom, open on Saturdays 12-10pm, serves up to 10 lines of the freshest ABC beers, with a fridge full of our cans for you to drink-in or takeaway. You can also book in for their 1 hour brewery tour

Address: 99 North Western St, Manchester M12 6JL

Web: alphabetbrewing.co.uk

Twitter: @alphabetbrewing



Sort of hidden in an old Victorian basement this bar has style written across it with open brick work private tables and high bars seats. Here you will find a cosy, but lively late night bar serving great beers plus a handsome selection of cocktails too.

Address: 2 South King St, Manchester M2 6DQ

Web: cocktailbarmanchester.com

Twitter: @arcanebar


Bar Fringe

Located on the fringe (pun intended) of Manchester’s NQ. Bar Fringe is a Belgian inspired bar that offers a great option for drinkers keen on authenticity and a huge variety of quality drinks and is usually full of regulars quaffing. It’s down at hand styling feels marvellous and it has a real jukebox

Address: 10 Swan St, Manchester M4 5JN

Twitter: @barfringe1996



Cask, Liverpool Rd, is a real find a small bar with a even small beer garden and their larger recent opening at Islington Wharf. It bar is stocking with an excellent selection of Europeans beers in pumps and the such a bottle collection to keep you busy for hours, oh and the juke box in great

Address: 29 Liverpool Rd, Manchester M3 4NQ

Twitter: @caskmcr


Port St Beer House

PSBH was possibly one of Manchester first ‘new wave’ bars celebrating niche and artisan brewers. This fresh, clean and modern bar regularly offers over one hundred carefully selected bottled and cask ales from across the world for you to savour

Address: 39-41 Port Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 2EQ

Web: portstreetbeerhouse.co.uk

Twitter: @portstreetbeer


The City Arms

The City Arms was one of Manchester’s first ‘real ale’ pubs and it’s fast approaching its 200 anniversary. . Its atmosphere is very inviting as is the beer selection and its two smallish rooms feel very relaxed and snug with the appeal of an open fire to keep the winter cold at bay

Address: 46-48 Kennedy St, Manchester M2 4BQ

Twitter: @cityarmsmcr


The Crown & Anchor

The Crown and Anchor has established itself as a must see on the real ale trail in Manchester. The bar is worth a visit if only to check out the amazing ceilings, however very quickly you’ll notice the carefully curated beer selection, which on sunny days is best enjoyed on its small roof terrace

Address: 41 Hilton Street, Manchester, M1 2EE

Web: crownandanchormanchester.co.uk

Twitter: @TheCrownAnchor


The Gas Lamp

Housed the basement of a Victorian Children’s Missions building this quirky bar is an interesting experience. Its beer selection is formed from small and interesting breweries, many not seen at all in Manchester. With its ‘light dwell’ beer garden and long wide staircase this bar is a must see

Address: 50A Bridge St, Manchester M3 3BW

Web: thegaslampmanchester.co.uk

Twitter: @The_Gaslamp


The Oast House

Possibly not the widest selection of Beers to choose from however, the building is a real oast house moved brick by brick to the middle of Spinningfields. Its sits like an oasis in the centre of the high rise and bustle of this smart Manchester district. Its covered outdoor area is always busy and adds to the experience

Address: The Avenue Courtyard, Manchester M3 3AY

Web: theoasthouse.uk.com

Twitter: @theoasthousemcr


The Temple

A converted toilet you say? Well yes. This is the very definition of a ‘dive’ bar, even the beer garden is the Ladies loo steps... It’s super small, always busy and sometimes even has live music. But the attraction is its amazing selection of European beers both hand-pump and bottled – give it a go

Address: 100 Great Bridgewater St, Manchester M1 5JW



TROF is actually spread across three floors and this appealing bar offers a small selection of excellent beers. Possibly best known in Manchester for its Sunday Roasts, and its daily good food menus, it can be difficult to get seated. That said it’s worth the wait and its cocktails are excellent too

Address: 8 Thomas St, Greater, Manchester M4 1EU

Web: trofnq.co.uk

Twitter: @trofnq


Manchester Cocktail Recommendations

Atlas Bar

Simply put Atlas Bar really is a Gin drinkers palace and here you will find over 500 specialist gins from around the world. The bar, at the end of Deansgate, is housed in a railway arch, it is a stylish place to be it even has a small garden

Address: 376 Deansgate, Manchester M3 4LY

Web: atlasbarmanchester.com

Twitter: @theatlasbar



Nestled in the Corn Exchange by day Banyan is a coffee and cake refuge however, by night the vibe changes. Its modern styles transform the space into beacon for ambient drinking and dining which can be accompanied by cocktails from their mixologists

Address: Exchange Square, High St, Manchester M3 1BD

Web: banyanbar.co.uk

Twitter: @Banyan_UK



As cocktail bars go Cloud23 is slightly different. Not only are you in one of the city’s most stylish bars, not to mention the afternoon teas, as you relax with your drink you are presented with a vast vista across Manchester, all from the 23rd floor of the Hilton Hotel

Address: 23rd Floor, Beetham Tower, 303 Deansgate, Manchester M3 4LQ

Web: cloud23bar.com


Dirty Martini

Opened in 2018 Dirty Martini managed to create a real buzz just before the lockdowns hit. Designed for the glitterarty with its glamorous interiors, bespoke cocktails and even late DJ sets. Certainly one to dress smart for and be seen at

Address: 1 Peter St, Manchester M2 5QR

Web: dirtymartini.uk.com

Twitter: @Dirtymartiniuk


Dusk till Pawn

Sort of hidden behind a Pawn Shop front, this small intimate bar has been on the list of best cocktails bars in Manchester for years. Honestly, it still deserves that accolade even if the fitment is a bit, well basic in comparison other venues, because the drinks are well just lush

Address: Stevenson Square, Manchester M1 1DN

Web: dusktilpawn.co.uk

Twitter: @dusktilpawn



Impossible is all about theatre, glamour and style not to mention the cocktails. Always busy, always different, we recommend heading up stairs to balconied seating area. It is very luxurious and feels like a place to be on very cold snowy nights

Address: 36 Peter St, Manchester M2 5QR

Web: be-impossible.com

Twitter: @IMPOSSIBLE_Mcr



Look this place is not subtle, it has calmed down since its 2016 launch, even-so it is still on the Manchester Wow list. Popular with the famous and the food is good too. This could be the place to start your celebrity spotting sipping a great cocktail at one of its bars

Address: New Bailey, Ground One, New Bailey St, Salford M3 5JL

Web: menagerierestaurant.co.uk

Twitter: @menageriemcr



Get your arcade head on at these bars, one in the NQ and the other on Peter Street, both have a large collection of great arcade machines (ideal first dates for sure). While your jumping, shooting or dancing you can try one of their many arcade themed cocktails, fun and great drinks all in one

Address: 9 Short St, Manchester M4 1AA

Web: nq64.co.uk


The Fitzgerald

Its entrance is a little hidden on a side street of Quarter House. this NQ speakeasy offers classic mixes and champagne to a slightly discreet audience. Its low light atmosphere, cut glasswear and low sofas enhance the bars hidden vibe.

Address: 11 Stevenson Square, Manchester M1 1DB

Web: thefitzgerald.co.uk


Speak in Code

Very New York Industrial is possibly the best way to describe this Cocktail Narnia. Sort of hidden on Jackson’s Row expect this drinking den to deliver some of the best cocktails creations around. Many mixers are homemade and they have worked hard to make new twists from classic cocktails

Address: 7 Jackson’s Row, Manchester M2 5ND


The Whiskey Jar

Not strictly a cocktail bar, but they do make some crackers. This bar really does feel off-the-track with a good hint of prohibition era design. It main attraction is it world leading selection of distilled Whiskeys. Expect a vast choice from countries like Ireland, America, Japan and even Scotland

Address: 14 Tariff St, Manchester M1 2FF

Web: thewhiskeyjar.com

Twitter: @WhiskeyJarNQ

Manchester a City of ‘Quarters’

Bury - Part of Historic Manchester


Only 30 minutes by Tram from the City Centre, Bury and its attractions make a good day trip



Nestled between the Irwell and Medloack rivers Castlefield is where the Romans established 'Mamucium'. Experience the old and modern and explore its attractions

China Town - City Centre

China Town

China Town, a stone's throw from Piccadilly Gardens, offers restaurants, specialist supermarkets and entertainment all in one space



Connecting most parts of the city, this mile-long road is worth a stroll along and offers some great shops and places to eat

Read About All Manchester‘s Quarters