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Posts Tagged ‘chorlton-cum-hardy’

Hardy Boys and Girls: Chorlton Beer Festival, Manchester

July 10, 2011 11 comments

I do like beer festivals.  CAMRA are subject to a lot of criticism (some of which is justified) and stereotyping (some of which is hard to disprove), but the organisation and volunteering behind local beer festivals is a testament to a common interest that these people are willing to sacrifice their time pursuing and promoting.

So, in Chorlton-Cum-Hardy at the weekend, I went to a beer festival in a churchyard and tried a lot of nice beers, the best of which (to my mind, and of those that happened to be still on in the four hours I was there) was Moor Illusion, a nice hoppy porter/black IPA (Who knows?  It smelled great and tasted really good).

I sat outside on garden furniture; chatted with my brother and his girlfriend; listened to some live light jazz; witnessed a dramatic moment when a plastic gazebo was destroyed by the wind; ate a roast pork sandwich; saw two friendly vicars; used a chemical toilet of only moderate eurgh-ness; and was surrounded by people who were having a good time.

Chorlton-Cum-Hardy seems very Nigel Slater: jute bags; yummy mummies; designer cupcakes; and yoga.  I live in a not-dissimilar (but not quite as marvellous) area of Leeds.  Days like this, and the Chapel Allerton festival in Leeds (not strictly a beer festival, but usually served by a Roosters stall) help us think that we live in villages even though we don’t: we live in cities and arguably, in both cases cited, unrepresentative middle class enclaves inside those cities.

We actually live in a massively complex  overlapping Venn diagram comprised of electronically-connected diasporas of shared social and economic interests, rather than simply geographically proximite communities.  As such mutual interests go (knitting; yoga; accountancy; battle reenacting; comics; medicine; death metal; crown green bowls; dogging), beer is a good one for me, and I’m very grateful for the volunteers that allow us to enjoy and share such an interest, in the sunshine with friends, on days like this. Because we all need to feel like we belong, and a good beer or four helps that process immensely.

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The Cream Of Manchester Part 2: Marble Beer House, Chorlton

April 4, 2011 4 comments

After visiting The Port Street Beer House on Saturday afternoon a couple of weeks ago, we stayed the night in Chorlton-cum-Hardy with my brother and his girlfriend.  Chorlton seems to be a relatively affluent, but also young and alternative suburb with elements of places like Chapel Allerton, Stoke Newington and Hebden Bridge.

As such, it has a range of pubs from tapas bars to more traditional ones, and even a brewpub in the slightly unlikely mock-Tudor The Horse And Jockey.  The Marble Arch pub on the Rochdale Road, famous for its own fantastic beers and beautiful listed exterior and interior, also has a spin-off pub here in The Marble Beer House.

I really like Marble beers and it makes sense to have an outlet in what appears to be quite a buzzy residential suburb.  The Beer House is decked out more like a cafe bar than the more traditional Marble Arch.  However it’s still a very nice pub, with a frontage displaying Marble’s simple and iconic logo and an interior with bookshelves and some appropriately Mancunian photos of urban decay and smartarse grafitti. All of which lends itself to chatting with friends or a drink over the paper in the afternoon.

The beers on offer were naturally great, including the fantastic Manchester Bitter and Pint.  My brother enjoyed Marble Chocolate and I couldn’t resist buying a bagful of beers to take back to Leeds, including Lagonda IPA, Dobber and Utility Special.  Guests included Hartington Ale from Whim, who recently collaborated on an IPA with Marble.

My brother tells me that the place does get quite busy in the evenings and I can see why.  However my only criticism is that on the particular quiet, suburban Sunday afternoon we visited, some music would have done a lot to cut through the slightly nervous, hungover silence. 

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