The Northern Quarter is probably best known for its bars, which are now starting to spill over into the quieter zone behind Piccadilly. Open since early 2011, Port Street’s Beer House has attracted a loyal clientèle of ‘craft beer’ fans; who seem happy to wander off the beaten track to enjoy its cosy charms.
Painted in a pea soup green that oozes homeliness and tradition, Port Street convincingly evokes the Victorian beer house which was actually housed here in the 1860s. It now consists of a ground floor bar, a small outside space and an upstairs lounge to which you can (carefully) carry your pint.
What its friendly and knowledgeable staff do serve, in abundance, is beer: from myriad bottled American options to the best Belgium, Germany and Denmark have to offer. Refreshingly, if you’ll pardon the pun, there are as many British beers on offer as there are Belgian; including Brewdog’s Punk IPA and Trashy Blonde and a comprehensive range of IPAs – including coffee – from Kernal.
Three resident breweries and four guests (all British) are offered from the cask, with around 12 further draught options. Wines, supplied by Manchester merchant Hanging Ditch, are also available by the glass and bottle, and there are short but good lists of cider and spirits. If you like a strong snifter, though, beer is still an option: Brewdog’s “uber” imperial stout, Tactical Nuclear Penguin, comes in at a radioactive 32% ABV.