I once read a news story about a bunch of elephants in South Africa who decided to get drunk off some fermented, manky fruits, went absolutely mental and rampaged through some villages. I could easily make a joke here questioning whether they could remember what happened when they woke up in the morning, but I won’t. What I will do is seamlessly link from that story to this one. With even elephants making their own booze and with Real Ale taking over boozers all over the world, we should welcome to Manchester The Gasworks Brew House on First St, with their very own in house brewery.
Upon entering The Gasworks (or even walking past) you will notice the space is dominated by 6 huge stainless steel barrels piping, steaming and fermenting away; installed by those lovely people at Stockport Brewing Co. at the cost of £60,000. The bar prides itself on a rather extensive real ale selection, including those made in-house by local brewers Luke Wilson and Matt Boylan. The barrels are capable of producing both cask and keg beer and deposits “ready to drink beer” directly into the serving tanks by the side of the bar.
Matt and Luke began by talking us through the main ingredients used to make their first in-house, house beer called Refractory Pale Ale – described as a lightly hopped, easy drinking, 4.5% session ale. We had a sniff at the types of barley used (Maris Otter, with Vienna and Caramel), to create a Pale Ale that they hoped would be unique but also feel familiar to all those who enjoy Ales. So recently after opening, The Gasworks is primarily brewing their Refractory Pale Ale, however Matt and Luke will be widening this range over the next couple of months, including an IPA and a porter, always a good opportunity to pop in and have a look at what they’ve come up with.
I was once sat in Platt Fields Park, probably the sunniest day of the year, but also probably at my skintest. Without the money to buy a good amount of beer for the park, I resorted to some homemade stuff that I had made a couple of months prior. My attempts at home-brewing was a disaster – t’was absolutely vile. As I watched Matt and Luke ‘mashing’ away in the brewery, I was taken back to that sunny day in the park. Anyone who has tried to make their own brew at home should be able to understand just how complex and demanding the brewery process can be – the fact that these lads do it while surrounded by loads of people drinking and bantering is even more of a testament to their devotion to the craft.
As mentioned, The Gasworks also offers a great selection of food and drink, including some delicious ‘Refractory Pale Ale’ beer battered chicken wings I was lucky enough to get my gob around. They also sell a fantastic selection of bottled beers and ciders, most noticeably my favourite – Delirium Tremens. Which happens to have an elephant on the bottle – seamless.
The Gasworks Brewbar,
5 Jack Rosenthal Street,
Manchester, M15 4RA