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If you blink in Manchester these days there’s every chance you’ll miss a new restaurant or bar pop up. Though most recent openings have been so boring you might be doing yourself a favour. One that I was eagerly anticipating for much of last year, however, was Cafe Beermoth.
The long rumoured bar from the guys behind Northern Quarter bottleshop Beermoth finally opened its doors in December, in a slightly odd location.
I don’t know about you but a modern office block behind Spring Gardens Post Office wasn’t exactly where I expected the latest craft beer mecca to turn up.
Located between King Street and Market Street you’re unlikely to stumble upon it accidently, it’s not that easy to find even when you’re trying.
It’s definitely worth finding, though.
Inside looks great, much bigger than it appears from the outside, with a long bar down one side and fancy booths that easily seat six to eight people opposite. There are smaller tables at one end and even a little enclosed seating area upstairs.
But the best thing for me is the range of beers. There really is something for everybody on the 17 taps; both keg and cask and an entire spectrum of breweries, styles, ABVs and prices.
I’ve visited many times since December and never seen the same beer twice, nor struggled for something great to drink. The turnover of beers is pretty high too, there’s usually a couple of changes whilst I’m there.
Breweries I remember seeing on draft include locals Cloudwater, Squawk and Quantum; top UK breweries Buxton, Magic Rock, Kernel and Siren; a variety of the best beer America has to offer from Sierra Nevada, Evil Twin and Against The Grain and a number of European breweries too, particularly Belgian.
Besides the location, I was also concerned it would be overly expensive. I appreciate good beer costs money but whilst I’m a huge fan of their bottle shop it’s definitely not the cheapest.
Luckily I had nothing to fear as everything seemed very sensibly priced. With the cheapest cask beers starting at a very reasonable £3/pint and even more surprisingly most of the crazy, high ABV or fancy foreign stuff is well priced.
A great example is Mikkeller’s collaboration with Three Floyds ‘Blå Spøgelse’ which costs upwards of £15 a bottle and was an eye-watering £6 a third at last year’s Indy Man Beer Con. It was a far more acceptable £3.90/third at Cafe Beermoth.
The bottle menu is similarly excellent – albeit with a strong bias to sour beers, mainly American and Belgian – and also well priced.
I was genuinely surprised that most of the prices don’t seem much higher than they’re selling for in the bottleshop and compare favourably with other bars in the city selling beer of this standard, in fact, I’d say they’re possibly cheaper than many.
There was a snide comment from a writer of Manchester’s least respectful online food & drink publication about a £38 bottle. Completely ignorant of the fact that it’s an imported vintage beer that’s been aged in various barrels for two years, the second on tons of fresh fruit. I’m fairly certain that many of the bars and restaurants they represent will have far more expensive bottles of wine on their menus without ridicule.
On one visit we actually bought the aforementioned beer – not to spite him, Cascade are a brewery that’s interested us for a while – and needless to say, it was absolutely worth every penny.
Cafe Beermoth isn’t just about beer though. There’s what looks like a decent selection of wine and spirits too. And as the name suggests coffee also features. They open from 8am weekdays and 10am Saturdays with alcohol not available until midday.
I’ve not eaten there yet but have been tempted by their seemingly very good value cheeseboard. It’s only a matter of time.
I only really have two complaints. The first is fairly minor but it’d be great if the otherwise very informative beer labels above the taps included the style of beer along with name, brewery, location, ABV etc.
Secondly, my phone signal (EE 4G) is terrible almost everywhere in the building. To check-in on Untappd, I have to virtually do a handstand at a certain angle in a very specific spot at the end of the bar, not ideal for health & safety. But missed check-ins are even worse for my OCD.
All in all Cafe Beermoth has quickly become one of my favourite places to drink in Manchester, its fantastic variety and central location means it’s certain to feature in almost any pub/bar crawl I make from now on.Follow @BeerGeekBlog Follow @FoodGeekUK