Port Street Beer House, Port Street. (c) Tyson's Beer Blog.
When word reached us that a new beerhouse was to open at the other quieter end of the Northern Quarter from the people at Common, it was with a mixture of excitement with some slight disappointment, as this had long been an idea harboured by ourselves. Indeed we even knew where we would like to have positioned it (a prime spot not far from here!). Alas our finances were such that this was never likely to be a reality, so we looked forward greatly to seeing the newest addition to the Manchester real ale (beer boffins might say 'craft ale') drinking scene. And it didn't let us down!
Port Street Beer House itself is situated a couple of doors up from the Crown & Anchor and next door to Cuba Café (the former Stage & Radio Club), and is probably one of those places that you would never know existed unless you walked right past it, were seeking it especially, or have followed the hype about this place since its opening was rumoured back in summer 2010. Its off-the-beaten-track location indeed adds to the charm, and means people who frequent this place want to be there and haven't just stumbled across it. Set on two floors with a yard for the smokers or fresh air and sun seekers in the summer, it's very roomy, but still with plenty of seating areas without looking cluttered. The bar is on one side and is sizeable and more importantly is staffed with knowledgeable folk who know their beer and what a punter is looking for. Indeed, the chap we were talking to went out of his way to let us have tasters of all the availble brews, to see which we preferred - a nice touch!
Port Street Beer House, Port Street. (c) City Life.
A good selection of beer caters for all palates from the likes of Brew Dog, Dark Star and Prospect. Everything from light and pale, to the very deepest strongest brews are imaginable in cask, keg and bottled form. All draught ales we sampled were in tip top form, though the Alpha Dog from the punks of Aberdeen was, quite frankly, a rather dull and savoury affair. Keg Hardcore IPA was sampled from halves, wisely, as it's a 9.2% hop monster. Port Street Beer House, being the newest kid on the block so to speak, may take a little while to fully take off, but it was busy enough when we were there on a Saturday evening, and is a fine improvement on some of the other nearby bars. I can see this one becoming a favourite of ours for years to come like the Castle, and judging by the reaction of Manchester's NQ crowd, so can they.