As a lifelong Manchester United fan, the city of Manchester should be somewhere I frequent quite regularly. If not just for the football, but more so that it’s only down the M62 and not that far away at all. But, strangely, Manchester is one of those places that always sounds like it’s too much effort to get to and I don’t tend to visit all too often.
As part of my ongoing challenge to visit new places, and continued effort of educating friend of the blog Martyn, we decided to head over one Saturday afternoon. After getting lost several times in the city centre (despite following the sat nav at all times) we eventually ended up at the car park we intended to be at. By some divine miracle, and no prior planning, this was across the street from The Marble Arch; Marble Breweries flagship pub.
Now when I say no prior planning, I mean that I had no idea this car park was as strategically located as it was. The Marble Arch, however, was a planned visit and had been for some time now. As a fan of their beers, it was only a matter of time before I made the trip over.
The first thing you realise when you step into Marble Arch is that it is not another trendy craft brewery tap room. There’s no industrial inspired decor or trendy/hipster artwork hanging from the walls. This is a pub. This is how pubs used to be and, in my eyes, still should be. Marble need to be applauded for keeping the spirit and character of this place alive. It’s almost like stepping back in time or onto a real-life Peaky Blinders set minus the violence, swearing and Brummies.
I recalled listening to an episode of the Beer O’clock show from within the pub, so I knew roughly what to expect when it came to the split between cask and keg. Being a keg fiend, I veered towards these first but stopped in for a couple of cask outings along the way too. The pick of the day for me was Hopoplata (West Coast IPA) on keg which blew me away again like it did when I first tried it last year.
One omission from my visit was the food (barring some very good bread and butter) which I will have to rectify when I inevitably go back in the future. The menu sounded incredible and, looking at pictures across social media, it certainly looked very appetising. The pub also has a separate dining area to keep the business of pub away from diners coming just for the food.
The Marble Arch is a credit to the craft beer scene and should be congratulated for keeping the traditional pub vibe going. Pubs are closing far too quickly these days so to maintain one with such character, whilst delivering top notch beer and food menus, is truly a sight to behold. For those who class this as their local, I am very jealous indeed!