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Ape and Apple, Manchester

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user reviews of the Ape and Apple, Manchester

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

My second visit here after swearing never to return after an unpleasant visit in 2014. Not a man of my word then. It really is a pleasant pub when not populated by noisy drunks, with plenty of space and good service, and I had a nice pint of Holt's Mild (2.75) to set up my day.
Queenslander - 12 Sep 2016 22:58
I'm obviously a forgetful bloke because I swore after last year's visit never to return here. And I nearly didn't, but I was passing & it was open at 11.45am on a Sunday, unusual enough in my experience to give it another go. Much more pleasant than last year, a friendly bar man and a scattering of tourists & regulars quietly enjoying themselves. My pint of Holt's Two Hoots (2.56) was excellent, though the odd pricing is a bit of a worry.
Queenslander - 12 Sep 2015 23:12
Decent pint of Holts and also new guest beers. Quite a big recent refurb which has changed it from being a boozers pub to a frilly seated boozers pub....
EdgarBriggsMI5 - 11 Feb 2015 16:31
Standard city centre Holts pub. Had the Mild, which was ok. Place was dead around 5ish.

Visited as they were part of the Mild Magic this year but have no reason to return here again.
georgefox - 28 Sep 2014 16:26
Visited last year, liked it & was keen enough to return. What a difference a year makes! Though the bar person was polite & efficient he must have forgotten some aspects of responsible service of alcohol, for most customers were sloshed; some staring into space & others loudly arguing sport/politics/sex. The bar area was quite dark in mid afternoon, but sadly not sound proofed. A pint of Holt's was 2.43 and meant the excursion didn't cost much, but I doubt I'll include this place on the 2015 crawl.
Queenslander - 13 Sep 2014 22:57
has always been one of my favourite watering holes in manchester, not any more! sure nice decor etc, but the bar staff havent got a clue when it comes to serving. 3 of them behind the bar yesterday pottering about only us waiting to be served, next minute guy comes up to the bar served before us! thats bad service, and as for the moretti (for the other half) its not been on for the last 3 visits. love holts but will not be going in here anymore.
LUNGSTER - 9 Dec 2013 08:58
Visited here one Saturday evening in August - was busy enough but there were seats available. Quite a large pub, inexpensive, no complaints with the ale.
RealAleRobUK - 22 Oct 2013 18:16
Large central pub with cheap and excellent quality Holt's ales. Visited on two lunch times over the bank holiday. Quiet and customers were older gents. One sat in the same spot reading his newspaper did not even say a word to get another pint in. Scotsman in a wheelchair in the same spot too. Another old chancer was selling cheap cigarettes from a large holdall. Trade was not brisk though.

I would use this pub if I lived locally. Excellent quality beer for the price.
ArhurPint - 30 Aug 2012 15:34
Holt's bitter everytime I've been has been to a 'good' standard. Can be very quiet at certain times otherwise a decent city centre boozer. I keep meaning to try their comedy night but have yet to do so.
realalerules1983 - 12 Jun 2012 10:15
A Holts pub... ok very cheep, just over 2 a pint. the staff looked a bit tired, as if they couldnt be bothered, The ale was ok and a couple of us had the mild which was ok. this place was full of old men in there 70's. I suppose they need to wach there pennies!! nothing special here but would go back.
manchesterale2011 - 20 Sep 2011 16:16
I love the Ape. The staff are very friendly; they always remember you (and what you drink!). Service is excellent, even when its packed. Even if you've not been in for a while you're made to feel like you were in yesterday.
It does have problems with the toilets (old drains apparently). However, the beer is consistently excellent, and they now have a seasonal pump with monthly changes as well as the bitter, mild, smooth and black. The bottled Holt's ales are worth a dabble too.
Atmosphere is always spot-on. Its at its busiest at lunchtime and after work but its always relaxing and never pretentious. A real mix of people, no trouble and cosy to boot. A real (ale) gem!
mancdan - 15 May 2011 20:04
Great condition Mild and Bitter on visits last two years. It retains character for the area and era when it was built, not always great as a local but refreshing as a visitor.
steve.hill4 - 24 Jan 2011 13:39
Large but quiet Holts pub. Bitter, Mild and Maplemoon were the 3 real ales available. The interior does have some nice traditional features. But it really lacked any kind of atmosphere on my Sunday evening visit.
blue_scrumpy - 21 Jan 2011 22:40
I found the Holts Bitter on this visit drinkable (and only 2.02 for a pint) but not worthy of the 'Good' epithet. The pub itself was furnished in an identkit style like so many others and lacked any character. Not somewhere I'll be rushing back to.
Snarling_Mallard - 27 Sep 2010 20:27
Why on earth is this in the Good Beer Guide? Lacking any character or atmosphere, there's just a choice between Holt's Bitter and Mild.
malone - 31 Aug 2010 14:41
Concur with JonW999. This pub was never the best Holts establishment and when i was last in it seemed particularly depressing. Beer generally is fair although stick to the bottled ales. Toilets were always poorly maintained and the pub itself could be cleaner but then it is Holts.....................

nokegthanks - 3 May 2010 17:41
My first encounter with Holts beer and it wasn't a great one. Couldn't finish the second pint of the Bitter and the mild was off. Would like to compare elsewhere. Pub varied between loud lairy men and then completely quiet afterwards. I would reserve judgement until another trip to Manchester.
JonW999 - 3 May 2010 17:03
The Ape and Apple hosts the longest running free comedy night in Manchester. The Comedy Balloon is every Wednesday at 8pm. Its a friendly night, so don't worry about hiding at the back, you won't get picked on!
We also have a quiz every Thursday at 8(ish). First prize is a gallon of whatever you fancy and second prize is a bottle of wine. Last placed get to choose a subject for one of the following week's rounds. Everyone's a winner!
ssaunders - 22 Jan 2010 15:17
Hi, I'm the manager of the Ape and Apple and I'd just like to say that our Mild and Bitter are on top form, in fact we are currently in the Good Beer Guide for the second year running. Apologies to anyone who has had a pint not to their taste.
ssaunders - 22 Jan 2010 15:04
Great traditional feel, and really friendly. Dropped in oearlu sunday evening while on a day out in town and the locals were really welcoming. Both the bitter and Maple Moon were really well kept. People always seem to compare London prices, but a pint and a decent glass of wine was 2 cheaper than most of my local Derbyshire country pubs as well. I'll certainly be back.
Scratchycat - 18 Jan 2010 23:58
Nice pub this - pleasant interior and cheap. Shame the beer wasn't up to scratch. The Mild was in pretty abysmal nick, as was the bitter. Our group beat a hasty retreat, a shame as with a bit more attention this could be one where we stayed all evening.
ChrisP87 - 24 Oct 2009 12:22
Further to my view from March, I must update. I went in a couple of weeks ago - this time I drank the Holts Mild. I am a big fan of the mild normally (and the price), but I didn't enjoy this pint at all. The bitter was no better. Watch out.
Sharp - 21 Oct 2009 13:52
Was in here early Saturday evening. Decent city centre pub, good atmosphere, normal people, good bar staff. First time I've had Holts. Bit wishy washy to be honest. Preferred the bottled Maplemoon.


porcus_volans - 25 May 2009 10:44
I thought that this pub was excellent. Enjoyed my sampling of Holts - all at somewhere under 2 a pint which is something if you are used to London prices and particularly in the case of the 5% seasonal that they had on. I will be sure to return when next in the city.
MeurglysIII - 9 May 2009 17:25
Larger than average Holts pub that was pretty busy with the after work crowd on Friday. Usual Holts selection available to enjoy in a pleasant environment with plenty of seating. Got chatting to a few friendly locals who also gave me directions to the next pub. Nice.
Sharp - 7 Mar 2009 13:06
Typically basic Holts's small town street corner boozer, except that it's not on a corner and it's slap bang in the middle of the city. Sells Holts's Mild & Bitter along with the Seasonal offering at times. Has a real mix of people from city suits to smelly drifters. Efficient staff who are always welcoming. Expensive for a Holts's pub but cheap for the city centre. Has an upstairs bar that opens at busy times. It's OK in here.
ROBCamra - 27 Jan 2009 11:31
Tidy pub with great ale and a good welcome. Wide range of Holts and plenty punters in at 1pm on a Saturday. 3 nice barmaids,one for every preference......heh heh. Well worth visiting if in Manc centre.
an_ecunemical_matter - 30 Nov 2008 10:39
we've now just been put in the camra 'good beer guide' for 2009. It's the first time ever that we have been in the guide.
cantonacantona - 12 Oct 2008 16:18
We have just been voted pub of the week by Manchester Evening News which complemented us on our "friendly and effiecient service", and our homemade food from the specials board.
cantonacantona - 24 Aug 2008 19:17
The pub is under new manangement but the prices are still as cheap as ever. We still have the longest running comedy night in Manchester every Wednesday night, quiz night on Thursdays and we're starting a live music/open mic night around September. Come on in and say hello!
cantonacantona - 1 Aug 2008 19:47
It's a decent boozer, typical holts pub.
the smell of sewers cometimes lets it down

a heartbeat of Manchester pub
gunninm - 16 Jul 2008 13:12
OK pub. Busy for the Thursday night quiz. Mild unexceptional but the special - Fifth Sense was pretty good.
doncaosdelanada - 2 May 2008 14:07
"..the "regulars" were, for the most part, nasty perverts who would make their orders with literally a stream of snot dripping into their mouths"

Canuck, you were probably working there when the Tories were holding their national conference in the place. That's why it's called the Ape and Apple! You remember one of their right wing, family values types being found in the toilets in a compromising position with a bowl of fruit and a simian buddy in silk lingerie. Fu--ing outrageous! Happened right here in the heart of Manchester. PETA were fuming and wanted to string him up from the nearest lamp post. You wouldn't believe it, though. The barrow boys at Smithfield market had a whip round and set up a defense fund for the bast-rd, he got off with it, and then received a pound of Granny Smiths as compensation for having his name besmirched.

Regardless, it's a pretty good pub. Cheap, decent beer. No chav aristocracy infesting the place or students from Surrey going on about their gap year in Kenya.
cohenst - 19 Sep 2007 04:09
Good comfy pub, the holts pioneer was in top nick and at 1.69 a pint for a 5% beer not to be grumbled at.
bellevueace - 27 Aug 2007 01:05
As a reqular visitor to this pub can vouch for it being an ace place. Superb pint of Holts, several varieties served and so reasonable prices for a quality and well kept selection of ales.
AlRobis - 25 Jun 2007 21:50
Great place. A proper pub in a sea of mediocrity.
anonymous - 18 Jun 2007 11:03
I liked this pub because it was full of men doing their shopping and putting their bet on. The carrier bags and betting slips made it so homely.
GeorgeXXIII - 7 Apr 2007 16:23
Apparently, despite the appearance of the pub both internally and on the outside, it only opened around 1993. Typical Holt's pub attracting an older crowd. Above average quality ales.
fairport79 - 16 Feb 2007 00:26
Proper pub, good pint of holts, good atmosphere
anonymous - 27 May 2006 19:26
A proper pub! - Good cheap ale...what do you expect?
bensonby - 7 Feb 2006 00:58
Decent pint of Holts.Usual holts clientele of middle aged geezers who like a beer or two.....If you`re from outside Manchester then the usual rule applies...ie stick to the bitter as the lager in these pubs aint wot its about!
kierandinan - 12 Feb 2005 13:53
i currently work here!!!!!!!!!! it's not that bad, i've worked in worse!! the diamond is better than the cristal. the food is well good, better than the printworks atleast, (thats not saying much i admit!) the clietel varies from locals ??????? to everyday, the atmosphere is what you expect from a joey holts, it's about the drink not the expectations. it's not a bar!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
kev - 30 Oct 2004 01:56
The draught lager here is rank!
Pete K - 19 May 2004 18:23
Bernards got to a relative of the landlord because this bar is usually full of old men (who frankly smell a bit) the best Holt bar in the city is the one that does look like a typical holt pub the Crown and Anchor the beer is a bit dearer but the bar is worth it.
gary - 2 Mar 2004 16:59
Probably the best Holt's pub in ccentre of town (Not a lot of competition, though). Good mix of regulars and weekend pub crawlers. Pretty typical pub food.
Bernard - 24 Feb 2004 11:53
I'd expect that from someone who doesnt live in manchester and fully "appreciate" the holt's tradition of cheap beer and spit and sawdust on the floor. Inevitably you get that sort of clientele she's mentioned but on the up side you also get a load of non alcoholics, or at least only fledgling ones in there getting steaming on diamond lager for less than 2 quid a pint. food here is ace, and if you go on a weekday or lunch its full of suits. a top pub
tone - 3 Jul 2003 17:02
My God!!! I worked here for a while whilst visiting from Canada...what a god-awful place...the "regulars" were, for the most part, nasty perverts who would make their orders with literally a stream of snot dripping into their mouths (I'm not bull shitting!!). Then again, there were some really nice people, too. To their credit, the kitchen was immaculate and the food was incredible!!!
Me - 20 Apr 2003 02:42

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