A few weeks back, my best mate turned to me and asked if we could have an ‘Ancoats Day’ which got me thinking… Does Ancoats have enough places for a pub crawl and if so, where would we go?
So if you feel like you’re up for the challenge, take our Ancoats Bar Crawl for spin and let us know what you think
Beer with a view at Cask
Just imagine the sun beaming, children cycling around on bikes and a warm breeze blowing through your hair. This would be a lovely scenario if it was realistic, but I think we can all agree Manchester’s weather is diabolical so I wouldn’t get your hopes up with that. That being said, there’s still no better place than Ancoats’ marina to start a weekend pub crawl, even if the weather isn’t as picturesque as we’d like. Straddling the canal between Ancoats and New Islington, Cask has one of the prettiest views in the city with an equally attractive selection of ales and locally and internationally crafted beers. From Belgium Cherry beers to Dry Irish Stouts, Oakwood aged cider to Citrus Ales, you may just have to sack off the pub crawl altogether and make your way through their diverse menu, to be honest. The variety is nearly as good as their canal-side outdoor seating.
Cask, Cottonfield Wharf, 2 New Union Street New Islington Marina, Manchester M4 6FQ
Chocolate Cocktails at Cocoa Cabana
Cocoa Cabana is one of the new kids on the block but despite its short time in Ancoats, it’s the talk of the town for one reason in particular- chocolate. The iconic chocolatier- originally founded in Didsbury- is home to a mouth-watering selection of cakes, homemade chocolates and treats but most of all, it is the creator of some of the most enticing cocktails you’ll probably ever get your hands on. Their innovative cocktail menu includes a host of delicious drinks but the best of them all has to be the Salted Caramel Martini and Chocolate Martini. It may not be the most conventional location for a typically British pub crawl, but where else are you going to find a chocolate-based drink at a reasonable price? It’s an alcoholic beverage and dessert rolled into one- how could you possibly resist?
Cocoa Cabana, 7 Murray St, Manchester M4 6HS
Wine and nibbles at Erst
By this point, you might be a little peckish so our next pit-stop is one of interest to you all. Wine bar and restaurant, Erst, is another newbie having been launched by the team at Trove earlier this year. Their vintage selection of wine is sourced from around the world, made using biodynamic and organic practices that makes their stock pretty special. As well as craft beers, Erst’s bar menu is also sensational- hosting a wide range of delicious bites including smoked almonds, wild fennel saucisson and anchovy za’atar and Bergamot. Posh nibbles, I know, but who says you can’t push the boat out on a bar crawl? You make the rules!
Erst, 9 Murray St, Manchester M4 6HS
Gin at Elnecot
Now that you’ve soaked up some of the booze, let’s quit messing about and get back to business. Elnecot is the dream location for a piss-up because it has pretty much every drink you could possibly imagine. For beer drinkers, they have everything from local Schindigger to Menabrea draught. Their wine list includes a lavish selection of white, red, Rose and fizz and their cocktails, well, the list is endless. However, the highlight for me is their ‘Supersonics’ Gin and Tonic menu; debuting a colourful collection of vibrant fruity concoctions. Their ‘Didsbury Raspberry and Elderflower’ drink has really got my heart racing.
Elnecot, Cutting Room Square, 41 Blossom St, Manchester M4 6AJ
‘Sippers’ at Second City
Are you even on a boozer if you don’t stop at a sports bar? Obviously not- hence why Ancoats’ American-inspired resident, Second City, is next on our list. Equipped with Sky Sports, BT Sport and FIFA on a PS4, there are many things that make this place unique- but that is just the start of it because the drinks menu is pretty unusual too. Their ‘Sippers’ drink selection is American-inspired and offers a host of jazzy drinks including the ‘Frat Party Punch’ (served in a classic red cup), a ’21 Float’ made from Jack Daniels, Root Beer, Vanilla ice cream and cherry and the ‘Cheerleader’- an awesome blend of Finlandia Vodka, Giffard Apple Liquer, Bubblegum, Strawberry Syrup, Lemon and Candy.
Second City, 37 Blossom St, Manchester M4 6AJ
Local Beers at The Jane Eyre
Winners of multiple awards since opening, The Jane Eyre is a cracking little boozer on the edge of Cutting Room Square. It’s a place that’s perfect for a nice quiet drink with friends or equally a big messy one that ends up with you in a gutter at 2am. They’ve got an excellent range of beers on offer in here, as well as a rather impressive cocktail list that changes regularly. Their food is also pretty on point too – so if you’re hungry – get involved with some of their small plates.
The Jane Eyre, 14 Hood St, Manchester M4 6WX
Healthy Cocktails at The Counter House
A big Ancoats favourite and almost always busy, The Counter House is a fantastic place to sit and relax with a cocktail or a beer, so it’s on this list. There’s an impressive array of drinks on the menu, many of which are made with fruit, so you can get merry and still tick some of your 5-a-day off the list. By this point you’ll have certainly had a fair few drinks so you can soak it all up with a bit of food too – as The Counter House offer up an impressive range of plates from their menu – most of which are super-healthy for you too.
The Counter House, 35 Blossom St, Manchester M4 6AJ
Beer at Seven Bro7hers
We’ve all heard the phrase, ‘save the best till last’ and although I don’t necessarily agree with that on this occasion, I can’t help but feeling our last destination is the perfect end to a perfect day. Next door to The Counter House, you’ll have no issues stumbling through the doors of one of Manchester’s best breweries and ordering yourself a home-made beer from their ridiculous menu. Their seemingly endless selection includes: Citrus and Grapefruit IPA, Roasted Coffee Stout, Tropical Fruits Pilsner, Red IPA, a classic Lager and three cracking new creations using Kellogg’s cereal! Even if beer isn’t really your thing, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to cider, wine and fizz because they’ve got everything you could possibly want and more. Come back to when you’ve found a better place to end the Ancoats Bar Crawl… I’ll be waiting.
Seven Bro7hers, 39 Blossom St, Manchester M4 5AF