By Jo Cooksey
I quite like a glass of wine but given the choice, I’m a beer girl. So, the chance to sample a £7 beer flight, as part of Store Street’s Beer Month, was a no brainer.
I went along to Store Street Craft Bar, part of the Double Tree Hilton at Piccadilly, one Saturday afternoon. I was going to meet up with my best friend and catch up on the gossip. When we walked in the place was buzzing. We found ourselves a sofa with a low table and had a look at the beer flight menu.
All the beers were locally brewed by JW Lees and Brightside Brewing. There were 6 different beers, of which you chose 4 and they are served in a third of a pint glasses, presented on a wooden plank. My pal, who also likes a beer, and I have very similar tastes so we ended up choosing the same four. We both had the Manchester Craft Lager 4.7% and the Bohemia Regent 5% from JW Lees and the 5% IPA and Helles Crisp Pale Lager 4.8% from Brightside.
At the end of the flight we both agreed that the Manchester Craft lager was our fave. It is a small batch session lager, that was very easy on the palate. In second place was the Brightside IPA, which was bursting with passionfruit and other tropical flavours. A close third was the Helles Crisp Pale Lager, which was clean tasting. Very fresh. The Bohemia Regent was last on our list. It was a bit too complex and bitter for us. All in all, we really enjoyed this flight, it was great to experiment with different beers and find new ones to enjoy and after it we both had another glass of our favourite Manchester Craft Lager.
There was also the food menu to contemplate. I love the Store Street menus because they are made to look like newspapers. The Store Street Craft Bar offers a selection of small plates, larger plates, sandwiches, burgers and sides. We chose 3 small plates each on the 3 for £12 offer, to go with our beer flight. Now one thing I can say straight away is that these were very generous small plates.
My friend had the Calamari with Lemon Aioli which she said was good and I had a very lavish portion of Rotisserie Buffalo Wings, smothered in a spicy Barbecue Sauce that made my lips go numb. We both chose the Chicken Kofta balls with yoghurt and slaw and the Focaccia with aged balsamic & rapeseed oil to dip into. We agreed that although the kofta’s were very nice but that they did remind in shape, size and texture of the meatballs that you get at a certain Swedish furniture store and could have done with more Middle Eastern or Indian spices. The focaccia was lovely, spongy and oily, lightly chargrilled and scattered with rosemary and sea salt.
As well as the Craft Bar, which is at the front of the hotel, there is also the Store Street Exchange at the rear, which is their more formal dining experience and when the weather is good there is a great outdoor terrace area.
Being right next to Piccadilly train station and connected to Victoria by the free Metroshuttle bus, Store Street is the perfect place to meet friends and have a catch up whilst eating and drinking. It is also right near the Northern Quarter, so is an ideal meeting point or somewhere to finish off the evening. My friend and I have already agreed to meet there again in a few weeks’ time.
We were guests of the Store Street Craft Bar but as always, the review and opinions are our own and unbiased.