Well you don’t have to rely on what the supermarkets are forcing down your neck with this lot – they pride themselves on supplying a unique and eclectic range of beers, ales, ciders, spirits and more…
Slap bang in the middle of the NQ, Beermoth took over the old Oi Polloi site and turned it into a haven of beers and ciders, a collection of which even George Best would have marvelled at, had he not snuffed it before they arrived. They stock stuff from all over the world as well as, as you’d expect, stuff much closer to home. If you’re a fan of Carling or Fosters it’s probably a good idea to give this place a miss – there’s some world class beers in here and the blokes who work in there are always proper friendly and will answer any questions – no matter how stupid they are.
Beermoth, 70 Tib St, Manchester M4 1LG
0161 222 4001
New Zealand Wines
A proper Fallowfield institution (since Gaff’s closed anyway), New Zealand Wines has a very impressive range of beers, ciders and various super-strong ‘tramp juices’ such as White Lightning, Magnum and everyone’s favourite – Buckfast. Head right to the back of the shop though, into the little back room and you’ll be greeted by a very impressive selection of spirits and wines, the likes of which you wouldn’t expect to find in such a shop in Fallowfield. They even have a huge 3 litre bottle of Jack Daniels in here, well they did when I went in last – some legend might have bought it by now.
New Zealand Wines, 214-216 Wilmslow Rd, Manchester M14 6LF
0161 224 2174
Head on up the escalators to the food market of Harvey Nics and you’re in for a lovely booze-filled surprise. Right at the back they have quite possibly the best selection of unique and obscure spirits and wines in the city. Are you looking for a Ugandan Vodka that’s been filtered through the urinary tract of a disgruntled leopard? They’ve got it. Are you looking for a Gin that’s been hand poured through an old woman’s cardigan in a ginnel in Blackley? They’ll have that too. It’s perfect for birthday or Christmas presents or whatever holiday you celebrate.
Harvey Nichols, 21 New Cathedral St, Manchester M1 1AD
0161 828 8888
Prairie Schooner Taphouse
Doubling up as both a bar and a shop, the Prairie Schooner Taphouse has everything the budding alcoholic needs, including an always impressive range of pints on tap and a big wall full of bevvies you can buy and either drink inside or take home to help cry yourself to sleep with. Looking at what they have in stock on their website is an absolute chore – there’s so much going on that it all just becomes meaningless words. Instead just head on down and get stuck in mouth first – that’s my advice.
Prairie Schooner Taphouse, 33 Flixton Rd, Urmston, Manchester M41 5AW
An absolute institution in Didsbury, word on the street is that the Epicurean looking to open in Heaton Moor too so if you’re thirsty down that end – you’re in luck. Their range of cans and bottles is very, very impressive and they’re always getting brand new stuff in that’s usually proper fucking weird. For example, I’ve just found a Caribbean Chocolate Cake Stout from Wokingham brewers Siren on their site – and now I really want to bloody try it. They also have a great selection of sour beers, which are also a favourite of mine, and something that are usually pretty hard to get hold of.
The Epicurean, 226 Burton Rd, Manchester M20 2LW
0161 434 2549
Great for alliteration, Heaton Chapel is home to Heaton Hops, a beer shop that ticks pretty much all the boxes when it comes to getting hold of something wet and boozy. They serve up some proper pints like any pub would do but they also serve up Flagons of ale – basically a big glass jar that holds around 3.5 pints which keeps fresh for up to 6 weeks. As well as the flagons they also stock an impressive range of bottled ales and beers – mostly from around the many breweries in the North.
Heaton Hops, 7 School Ln, Stockport SK4 5DE
0161 442 3541
The Whisky Shop
Do you like whisky? How about whiskey? How about bourbon? To me they’re all pretty manky but if you like a bit of the brown (not heroin) then you seriously can’t go wrong with the Whisky Shop in St Anne’s Square. They stock a staggering range of the stuff and I suppose that their staff get trained up sufficiently to help you should you need any assistance on which one to buy for your dad for his 60th birthday. Be prepared to drop a fair whack of bunce though – these bottles don’t come cheap.
The Whisky Shop, 3 Exchange St, Manchester M2 7EA
0161 832 6110
Ancoats General Store
Up in the General Store of Ancoats they’ve dedicated almost an entire wall to booze, be it beers, ciders, wines or the stronger stuff that is safely tucked away behind the tills. It must be said that they have an excellent selection of commercial foreign lagers including Mythos, Quilmes and those small 330ml cans of Hoegaarden that you only find in Belgium. Their spirits are excellent too with loads of artisan gins, more vodka than a Russian corner shop and some belting rums. Class.
Ancoats General Store, 57 Great Ancoats Street, Manchester M4 5AB
0161 236 7897
Specialising in wines, if you’re looking for a nice romantic evening in with a loved one – you can’t go wrong with Tiny’s Tipple in Chorlton. Sure, they have an Oddbins and a pretty good Co-op but if you want something proper special then it should be Tiny’s all the way. They stock over 350 wines, coming from all over the world – including some weird little places that you’d never expect to even grow grapes never mind make it into wine. They also stock a pretty decent range of spirits and beers to keep any non-wino’s happy.
Tiny’s Tipple, 510 Wilbraham Rd, Manchester M21 9AW
0161 882 0005
A staple part of the Didsbury Village high street bit for many a year, Carrington’s have moved to Chorlton now offering a multi-pronged attack for any thirsty South Manchester residents out there. They pretty much rule the roost when it comes to wine, as well as impressing anyone who pops in for a weird can of beer from one of those trendy breweries that are popping up in every industrial estate and basement across the country.
Carringtons, 322 Barlow Moor Rd, Manchester M21 8AY
0161 881 0099
There’s always a steady stream of ‘characters’ sat at the MicroBar in the food bit of the Arndale and usually with good reason. They serve up some cracking ales and beers from their pumps and it’s a proper good place to sit and watch the world go by. Naturally they also have a range of bottles and cans for sale and they’re usually pretty special including some great little Belgian numbers.
Unit FC16, Arndale Food Market, Manchester, Manchester M4 3AH