As readers of this blog will know the writers try to search out the best pubs and beers around, and this week we have found one of the very best ales of the year. 1425(v2) at 5.9% is brewed by Marble of Manchester and has been available at the Star for £2.60 a pint.
The beer is wonderful, with an aggressive mix of three New Zealand hop varieties, and as expected did not last long. This led one of my more enthusiastic drinking companions to make the trip across to the Marble Arch to continue sampling its undoubted delights.
Luckily he found some on the bar at the brewery's tap but what diluted his pleasure was the additional 60p (that's £3.20 a pint!) he paid for the privilege - he was so amazed he even brought the till receipt back as confirmation!
This seems totally bewildering. The beer prices in Manchester, although not cheap, are normally nowhere near the £3 a pint mark as in some other parts of the country. This beer after all has only to travel from the cellar of the pub to the bar, and therefore accrues no carriage or distribution costs as it does to cross the Pennines.
Is this the shape of things to come? I for one will think hard about visiting the Marble Arch if this is to become their norm. The pub is a must visit on the Manchester drinking circuit but at these prices may end up being an occassional treat. A real shame since the beer and the pub are both excellent, but if this is the start of the big increases we drinkers have been concerned about then it really is time to start worrying.
(with thanks to Tim Wright for the information)