Our ‘crafty’ guide to enjoying summer
“Right! We’re off to the pub for a few summer ales!” Fortunately we have some local specialists who can help out. There’s something for all tastes, from light, hoppy bitters and fruit or ginger beers, to locally brewed ciders, and even real lager!
Hopefully we’ll be seeing a bit more of Mr Sunshine, in which case what better British way to enjoy it than by drinking a glass of ale or cider in a beer garden? At Bottle, they’ve a lovely little sun trap at the back of the bar that gets the sun from opening at mid-day till sundown. Sheltered from the breeze by four walls, it’s a great place to relax and enjoy an afternoon, or post-work beer, and with more than 300 varieties of craft beer on the shelves and seven ever-changing craft beers on tap, you’ll be spoilt for choice. A particular favourite of ours is the Effortless Grapefruit Session IPA from Captain Lawrence – bursting full of citrus flavours it’s a ‘totally tropical taste’. But at Bottle it’s not just beer in the garden, they have a great range of artisan spirits too, including the ever-popular Zymurgorium range of gins – perfect on their own, with a quality tonic, or even topped up with Prosecco for a very bubbly sensation!
For those who prefer grape to grain, Bottle also has a rotating selection of wines by the glass. And don’t forget their Bottle Cocktails – the Gin Fizz (which tastes like Drumstick Lollies) is a winner! So whatever your tipple, there’s always something on offer at Bottle to give you a sunny disposition.
If you you’re up for a short stroll down the A6, another great choice for the summer is The Magnet on Wellington Road. This hugely popular local pub offers a cosy, multi-room, intimate and friendly atmosphere. And to cater for those sunny summer days, the upstairs function room has now been transformed into an inviting, comfortable lounge which leads out onto the “Top Deck” outside seating area. The outdoor, multi-level, beer garden, is now much bigger, offering more space to relax, enjoy the summer sun and watch the trains and planes go by.
The Magnet remains a bastion of our already well-established real ale scene. Extremely popular with locals who love their ale and who have discovered its superb offering of real ales, craft keg beers and continental lagers, the pub has now become a national attraction with its many awards and accolades. It continues to offer an unrivalled range of quality beers including 14 cask beers from around the UK, 12 craft beers, plus a wide selection of bottled and canned beers from around the world. To accompany all that lovely beer, at The Magnet you can now enjoy a delicious wood-fired pizza. The ‘Pizza Maker’ sets up at the pub every Friday evening from 5.30pm and his ‘artisan’ pizzas are hugely popular with the regulars.
Just a short stroll back up the A6 is another great favourite watering house with specialist ale drinkers. Since opening four years ago, The Hope Inn has become an iconic pub and brewery on the local pub scene, winning many awards for both the pub and its beer, otherwise known as Fool Hardy Ales. Martin and Sam opened this, their first brewhouse, in February 2013, and with its spectacularly tasty ales, (brewed in the on-site Fool Hardy brewery), and a knowledgeable selection of ‘craft’ ales and lagers from around the world, it very soon became a destination for the discerning drinker. The Hope Inn also offers an extensive bottle and draught range – all of which are highlighted in its beer bible. Martin has recently trained up an assistant brewer, Katie (Shmatie) Bromley who not only helps with the day-to-day running of the brewery, but also has her own ‘Shmatie Signature Series’ range of beers, which have proved a popular choice with the regulars.
More recently, Martin and Sam opened their second outlet, The Spring Gardens in Marple Bridge. The Spring Gardens is family and dog friendly pub with a large car park and huge beer garden.
There is something of a revival going on in the old heart of Stockport. Yes, ‘times they are a changing’ for the better and Real Ale is totally at the heart of Stockport’s revitalisation.
The most recent addition, the Petersgate Tap, is a new, family run project, owned by husband and wife Alan and Carol Gent, and their son Chris. This spacious and comfortable bar, with interesting recycled furniture, is a welcome addition to Stockport’s ever-expanding bar and restaurant scene. Here the accent is clearly on the real ale with six hand pumped cask beers, (Windermere Pale providing the house regular), and five ever-changing guest ales. In addition, there are three keg beers, four traditional ciders and a good selection of bottled and canned beers. An additional room upstairs offers an intimately-lit and comfortable lounge, perfect for busy weekend nights. More recently Chris has been using the space to host ‘Pop up Kitchens’ on occasional Saturdays. These have proven to be popular with his regulars and so he will be looking to expand on these in the coming months. Equally popular are the ‘Tap’s’ live music nights, which correspond with Stockport Market’s ‘Foodie Fridays’, and their bi-monthly poetry nights. So the next time you’re down in the Town Centre why not pay them a visit… tell them ‘MOOR’ sent you!
Back to The Heatons, and you can’t find a more comprehensive range of world beers than at the Beer Shop on Kingsleigh Road (just off Mauldeth Road, opposite Heaton Moor Golf Club). Owner Dean will offer expert guidance to help you choose the right beer for your taste. He also has up to six real ales available on draught that can be taken away as ‘bag in a box’, in quantities from 3 to 20 litres (perfect for summer get-togethers!).
These are all local places to relax, sit in the afternoon or evening sun, or meet new people whilst savouring a variety of top quality real ales from near and far – cheers