For those who don't know, Mary and Archie is a craft beer bar based in Didsbury, a slightly up-market part of Manchester. It isn't all that often I get to visit quality beer outlets outside Newcastle or even Alnwick so this had to be worth a post. Right? From memory the last beer hunting adventure after a day's cricket landed me at the The Rake.
To start, I would note that myself, my old man and uncle were among the few only non-hipsters in the vicinity. The interior and ambiance is quirky, laid back and individual. It reminded me of a half-way point between the now closed 3 Wise Monkeys and some of the crazy craft beer bars of Rome. The food available was top notch and good value.
More importantly the beer range on the whole is very good. Enough to keep you interested for a day but not the ocean of choice approach some bars employ. Dark Star was leading the pack on the hand pulls whilst Camden and Brew Dog highlighted keg options. The bottle/can range was equally as contemporary but with a nice balance of classics such as Augustiner Helles and, Duvel and Rochefort 10. Tripel Karmeliet seemed a tad cold for my liking yet still a great brew. I've concluded that most Beavertown beer is very aggressively hopped, and that Brew Dog Mashtag 2014 tastes a bit like a really strong 5AM Saint with other bits like blood orange in the mix.
Overall I would recommend Mary and Archie to any beer fan passing the West Didsbury area. A quality boozer unique to anything I've encountered in the Toon.