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Showing posts from April, 2015

My Right to a Pint

I knew a friend of a friend a few years back whose nickname was “Half-Pint.” The story behind Half-Pint’s nickname was predictable. When he was around 19 he was on a night out with his friends. With fifteen minutes left before they were moving on from a bar, but with empty glasses in front of him, Half-Pint asked a simple question: ‘Shall we just get halves since we’re going in fifteen?’ The idea was so remarkable, so scornful, so unbelievable that some six years later the name still stuck. The idea was laughable and of course the origin story concluded with the group buying full pints and drinking them quickly.  In a time of schooners, thirds and beers served in Bombay Sapphire glasses, I was reminded of Half-Pint’s tale by a work colleague last week. He’s the sort that refers to my drink preferences as weird, fancy shit . I caught the tail end of a proclamation he was making to somebody else. “I just can’t bring myself to order a half. I just can’t do it. Occassionall

A Place More Common

Somewhere in this post, I feel the need to place the phrase “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The real truth is that the heading for the revitalisation of the already-great Common Bar in Manchester’s Northern Quarter should be “Evolve or Die.”  Since its opening ten years ago Common has provided a unique space that has defined the Northern Quarter's evolution into infamy. Common’s quirky layout, ever-changing dedication to wall artwork and impressive line-up of drinks has made this a favourite for beers on a lazy Tuesday afternoon or cocktails on a Friday night. It had perfected that rare mixture between creating an area that satisfies beer enthusiasts, post-work drinkers, night-out party people, solo Mac Book wankers or cocktail-wanting socialites. Common that was as uncommon as they came.  My mate Lewis would often say, “It’s not my favourite bar – it’s my favourite place” and thus we visited Common often.  Hence the fear when Common announced it was to close

How Cans turned Craft into Crass

I said I wouldn't write about it but you made me do it. I’m in the York Tap pre-midday on a Saturday. I’ve had a lovely evening in York but it’s time for me to get the train to Huddersfield for today’s home football match versus Fulham. I’m used to travelling to the home games via train, albeit usually the shorter journey from Stalybridge. Having time to sup a couple of beers in this great station pub in a different city before I embark on my journey is a nice novelty. But soon it will be time for the train so I can make my fortnightly trip to The Grove for pre-match beers. And I’ll be thirsty on the train. It comes in less than ten minutes. Will there be time to queue for a takeaway coffee for the journey or shall I just nip into the newsagents for a bottle of water instead? I won’t get a beer for the train. I never do. Or at least, I never did. Match days usually begin at Stalybridge Buffet Bar, but I'm never tempted to take one of the bottles from the fridge f