Pubs of Manchester

All pubs within the city centre and beyond.
A history of Manchester's hundreds of lost pubs.

Monday, 19 April 2010

063. Angel / Beer House / Weavers Arms, Angel Street


Angel, Angel Street. (c) beerintheevening.

Taking its name from the nearby infamous Angel Meadow, arguably Manchester's worst slum during the Industrial Revolution, it's great to see the Angel open regularly in this unheralded but historical part of town. Originally the Weavers Arms, then more famously the institution that was the Beer House (for a time a Tetley's house), this boozer was a real ale geeks' paradise in the '80s and '90s along with the Marble Arch up the road.

Beer House, Angel Street (off Rochdale Road), 1990. (c) deltrems at flickr.

The Beer House shut its door seemingly for the last time (as it looked like it was about to fall down) in around 2005 along with its neighbour, the Pot of Beer. I must have just caught it before it bowed out as I distinctly recall being amazed that this odd little pub was so thriving, early on a week night in what must have been 2004.

Beer House, Angel Street, 2006. (c) scoopergen.

But, pleasingly, we were all wrong. When it first re-opened it was as The Angel, a gastropub complete with renowned local chef (Robert Owen-Brown) and impressive menus, aiming for the discerning diner more so than the casual drinker. Not surprisingly over this side of town, it never really took off, despite selling some fine ales, and the chef has since moved onto pastures new at the now impressive Mark Addy, just over the River Irwell in Salford.

Beer House, Angel Street, 2006. (c) scoopergen.

The Angel has since had a spruce up and reinvented itself as primarily a seller of fine beers, and has really stepped up to the mantle in this regard, with a huge and varied selection of ales, cider and lagers, all of which appear excellently kept and well priced, at £2.40ish a pint. They still do food upstairs, which although is not the price (or standard?) of Mr Owen-Brown's, has received kind words recently. Upon our arrival yesterday, it was interesting to see that they had opened the side wall out with a patio door and turned the back yard into a makeshift beer garden, overlooking the delights of Rochdale Road, weather-permitting. The landlord also had a bit of a BBQ going which was a nice touch. Opening on Sundays might not be a bad idea either!

These two photos looking up Angel Street towards the pub (top of the hill on the left) show how this area has changed since Engels described 1840s Angel Meadow as "Hell on Earth".


Angel Street, 1890 and 2009. (c) Both camm33 at flickr.

Nowadays, this forgotten part of Manchester is anything but a Hell on Earth for the beer lover, what with the Crown & Kettle, Fringe, Crown & Cushion and Marble Arch within a short stagger... with the Hat & Feathers (RIP) and Pot of Beer (rumours abound but don't hold your breath) sadly missed.

The Angel has won the North Manchester CAMRA Pub of the Year 2010. Congratulations, it is well deserved (any excuse to post the below picture of their fine pumps)!

Angel, Anget Street, 2010. (c) North Manchester CAMRA.

3 comments:

  1. Love this blog! Just to be nerdy though Engels didn't describe Angel Meadow as 'hell on earth' in the 1890s - he wrote the Condition of the Working Classes in England in the 1840s. By the 1890s Angel Meadow was probably much improved.

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  2. Sorry that's too geeky for us

    (corrected)

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  3. Used to frequent the Beer House on lunch breaks when a guy called Simon first opened it. A big stocky lad who certainly loved his ale and looked after it. Always a great line up at the bar and friendly atmosphere. Great to hear it is still doing well. Must pay a visit soon.

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