Hula Tiki Lounge, Stevenson Square. (c) manchesterbars.
Yet another themed bar, and one that if I'm honest, we didn't hold out much hope for. However, Hula, a cocktail bar owned by the folk from Walrus, was much better than we expected. The bartenders knew their beers and whilst unsurprisingly there was no real ale, there was a good selection of bottled beer from America (not just the usual Bud and Coors rubbish). A couple were tried - the Goose Island Honkers Ale from Chicago was a lovely bitter and hoppy ale, whilst the other we tried was blander but neckable lager and still a step up from generic yank light beers. As the best beers are imports, it isn't cheap, so you'd need deep pockets for a session here, which might be perhaps taking things a bit far.
Hula Tiki Lounge, Stevenson Square. (c) www.hulabar.co.uk.
We suggested to the barman that maybe a selection of Mancunian beers might be added, for example Marble Brewery ales, and he did say this would be taken up with the owner to see what the possibilities were. The premises itself is situated in a basement bar in the corner of Stevenson Square and it could be easy to miss if you don't know where it is. It's a single roomed bar and is cosy enough although the whole Hawaiian thing is very un-Mancunian. Definitely worth calling in though and enjoy a bottle or two of some unusual foreign ales that you probably won't find anywhere else in town.