Tuesday 05 Dec 2023
[@]Manchester’s Ale, Beer and Cocktail Bars
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.
Manchester Bars and Beers Recomendations
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Manchester Cocktail Recommendations
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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