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Cask Bar, Castlefield

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user reviews of the Cask Bar, Castlefield

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

The sort of stylish alternative bar that is very quickly becoming somewhat ubiquitous across the land. No doubt there are dozens of this type of hipsters bar in Manchester where you can be reasonably confident that the bushier the ovular beard the more you have to pay. For the record this modestly sized slightly cramped bar sported three cask and ales and other fashionable beer dispensers that resemble ice sculpture. The bar staff were adequate but not overly welcoming. My pint of Pictish (can't remember exactly what if was called) was quite excellent though.6/10.
ILooklikeme - 27 Apr 2016 10:13
I'd say this bar is in the wrong position and possibly better suited to Didsbury. But just an opinion. In terms of real ale I found it to be a bit warm possibly because I was first in and to my knowledge they hadn't pulled any off beforehand. If I was to suggest a better place to go it would be the Knott bar.
T.Jones - 6 Oct 2015 18:22
Small bar not too far from Deansgate station with knowledgeable bar staff and 3 real ales. 2 Welsh beers from Facers - This Splendid Ale & Winter Porter were on alongside Pictish Brewer's Gold. There was no real cider. Although there is a decent selection of bottled ciders in the fridges. Worth combining with the nearby Knott Bar.
blue_scrumpy - 11 Feb 2013 19:57
Yes fine, couple of beers in very good nick, expensive though and only three handpumps on. Worth a call, it's cosy and welcoming. Big choice of bottled beers.
(Wonder how “poor” students (below) can afford £4 for a bottle of Rochefort)?
Richardhuddleston - 29 Dec 2011 10:56
My normal passion is real ale but I was doing a search for Belgian beers on Google, looking to broaden my tastes and came across this place. I've tried Duvel, Chimay Blue and Red but not much else and figured a bar is going to have more choice than a shop. I read a few reviews and wanted to come here thinking it sounded my sort of pub and when I entered it felt like my type of pub!

The bar is tucked away like a corner-shop and even with a full rucksack after a hard day of Uni felt very welcome, I had a bottle of Rochefort 8 at £4.40, I've read prices £1 more for places in Sheffield and felt it was off to a good start. Its a small pub and I managed to share a table with two Spanish women, there was a definite mix of people in here, young and old and it just felt a very relaxing place to have a drink.

I had a half of Titanic - Lifeboat afterwards which was in good condition, £1.50 for that and I was again impressed. Its tucked out of the way and I think I'm going to definitely return next week instead of my usual Friday trip to Spoons. It certainly won't be my last visit!
tommotraveller - 27 Nov 2011 13:27
Funny place, much better inside than the outside suggests. Popped in on a Sunday evening on our way to a tv recording at Granada for a quick pint, 2 Titanics and one other, forgotten the name but it was the one we had, very happy with it. Great music on the jukebox, worst thing was the toilets but you don't spend more than a minute down there anyway!!


phill1110 - 21 Nov 2011 20:32
A much better choice in my opinion than the nearby White Lion, a very affable atmosphere and overall a good modern bar conversion. The only slight issue I would have is that the cask ales - two York and one Titanic one my visit - were too chilled for my liking.
rabdes - 13 Nov 2011 10:36
Smashing little bar. Good range of beers and great jukebox. Nice staff too. Ideal stop-off between castlefield and Deansgate.
dry_riser_inlet - 9 Oct 2011 13:24
Due to some unforeseen delays in our journey round the Cheshire Ring, our planned overnight stop in Manchester was cruelly but necessarily curtailed to just an hour's stop mid-afternoon. So most of the city's classic cask ale haunts went omitted, with the singular exception of the Cask, which was not only close to where we'd moored but also a new entry to the Good Beer Guide 2012. I'm in accord with one of the reviewers who opined that the pub is nothing special, with its apparent pretensions to contemporary 'bar' design, complete with loud exterior colours and comfy furniture. That said, it is in keeping with the aspirations towards being a continental style venue, with its extensive keg and bottled Belgian and German beers. These looked intriguing, but given such a tight turnaround we needed to focus on the more immediate joys of the pub's name: Cask beer. Only 3 featured on pump, but they were unconventional choices and found in splendid nick. All offerings came from local or regional brewers, which was a pleasure to see. We worked quickly, and polished off a good 3 pints apiece - there were 8 of us - so we must've been content. Mention is made previously of the jukebox; the music was prominent but in a quiet afternoon spell this didn't hurt. Moreover, all tracks appealed to me so I rather got into it. Clientele appeared mixed; a working class couple were already in, and 3 besuited lawyer types arrived shortly after. Altogether not a bad option although there's plenty of more appealing choices not far away. Convenient not just for canal users but also visitors to the Science & Transport Museum and Granada Tv Studios.
TWG - 18 Sep 2011 18:01
I came in here with high hopes and expectations with the name of the place suggesting a real ale paradise but was somewhat discontented with the lousy 3 handpumps on offer. O.K the one that I did sample was more than adequate (Titanic) Lifeboat.

A greater influence of Belgian and German beers are the main staple diet of this place which as expected comes at a very high cost. The people in here just reminded me very much of the 'yuppies' that delboy out of fools and horses used to call the trendy crowd.

Be warned to get your bank loan before entering!
realalerules1983 - 1 Sep 2011 13:28
An atmospheric little bar, positioned on a corner of Liverpool Road, near to Deansgate and a two minute walk from MOSI.

Consisting of one main room (with an outside patio area at the back) it's "tardis" like. On first arrival it seems nothing special & it's rather quirky interior is pretty basic with traditional pub tables & chairs adjacent the entrance, leading into a much more relaxed & comfy section at the rear (leather suites)
A lot of the walls are adorned with beer adverts/posters but strangely this helps to give it it's on unique character. As someone already mentioned, it is reminiscent of a pub you'd expect to find in the Northern quarter.

On my visit, the place was clean, but I have to say looking a bit tired. In my opinion it's in need of a "make over" OK, nothing drastic that would diminish it's character, but more a general titivating.

Jukebox? Yes they have one, personally I'm not a big fan, but apparently this is supposed to be one of the best in Manchester? For me, as long as it doesn't kill the conversation I can live with it and to be fair, it didn't.

I'm told it can get packed here at night, so unless you like crowds it's probably a good idea to avoid it at peak times. Luckily Saturday afternoons are fine, so if you enjoy a quiet relaxed pint this is a good time to visit.

The real ale on offer was limited to just two, Facers~Clwyd Gold & Northern~Nine Tenths Below. Both were in great condition however, with the latter going on to win my "beer of the day"
Note: They also have a good selection of both cask & bottled German/Belgium beers, so if this is your forte you won't be disappointed!

The gentleman who served me was knowledgeable, friendly & courteous with not a short measure in site, so no problems on that score.

Alas, the toilets are most pubs/bars Achilles heal and this was no exception. Situated downstairs in the basement they are tiny. How they've managed to squeeze a full size urinal adjacent the only toilet is beyond me, so having to share a space on it must be an intimate affair to say the least. In the bars defence, they were at least clean & fresh smelling, but they are tatty & graffiti strewn. It's obvious they're doing their best within the confines of the building, but for me, this is the bar weak point.

To summarise, this is a great little bar, OK, limited in terms of the number of "real ales" available, but in a good spot, quirky, comfortable and full of character, just a shame about the loo's. Still worth a visit though.

Les Walker
Pub/Beer Critic
(BeerNorthWestUK) - Twitter


lwalker101 - 27 Jul 2011 08:39
Don't know if its still open but i Liked the look of this bar when i went in and had a feel of a bar around the northern quarter. Unfortunately had a terrible pint which was sour and too warm. I took it back to the Irish guy behind the bar and he pulled a face and poured it into a half glass and tried it then said there was nowt wrong with it. So i said well i don't think it is so he was a bit reluctant changing it. Im not one to take beer back but i think everyone with a taste of real ale knows a bad pint.
Caskales - 1 May 2011 09:37
Visited this little bar on a couple of occasions recently. Found to serve 2 ales - both usually from the same brewer. On both visits the Phoenix & Abbeydale beers were in good order. Good foreign beer/lager selection.
Good atmosphere & friendly staff.
bloomfieldjpm - 20 Jul 2010 05:10
Very pleasant bar off Deansgate which always has one or two local ales on tap - on my most recent visit, Lancaster Blonde which was in good nick and perfect for a balmy May afternoon. On previous visits I've chosen to mainly partake in the lagers on offer, of which there are plenty, and this was my first visit to take advantage of the shaded outdoor patio area with a few pals. Nothing world-beating in terms of interior or beer range but well worth a stop if in the area.
ChrisP87 - 28 May 2010 09:28
Small trendy bar in the Castlefield area of town, practically opposite the Museum of Science and Industry and in the long shadow of the Hilton Tower. It's one big, unremarkable room with two slightly separate styles, the front area where the bar is has traditional furnishings, whilst the rear has sofas and other 'comfortable' furnshings, albeit ones that are becoming slightly careworn. Slightly bohemian feel, but nothing compared to, say, the Odd bar. Usually quiet on my weekday visits, there is an emphasis on Continental beers with a wide selection from Belgium and Germany etc, plus two handpumps which have always been dispensing microbrewery ales. Only one in operation last night- Pictish Alchemist Ale, which was excellent. Usually a local CAMRA rag plus newspapers to peruse so I quite enjoy coming here whilst waiting for a train from the nearby Deansgate station. Not usually my cup of tea as it's hardly a traditional pub environment, but the beer is always spot on and it's relaxing. If you've only time for one pint in this area you'll probably want to get to the Knott or the Briton's Protection but for a change this place is certainly worth a visit .
Carlurmston - 24 Nov 2009 12:12
PS my spelling is awful. FEW TABLES.
Sharp - 21 Oct 2009 13:50
Cask Bar is one of my favourite bars in Manchester, and I was gutted to read the review from March that this place had closed. Me and several drinking colleagues slipped in for a sly one on a Saturday evening - I was expecting it to be heaving, but it was in fact pleasantly busy, and we scored one of the view tables available. My heretic lager drinking associates informed me that the Cruzcampo was on top form. I was enjoying the Abbeydale Brimstone, a beer I am very familiar with, and I can happily say that it was tip top, and I was distraught when it ran out, only to be replaced by Abbeydale Absolution. Great bar - also, there is a chippy next door - it might not look amazing but the food is decent and you can eat it inside the pub. 10/10.
Sharp - 21 Oct 2009 13:50
Went in last Friday after work and at the start of a bit of a session. Great pub. Never too crowded, good atmosphere, the outdoor area is great and the jukebox is excellent. Drinking Cruz Campo makes me feel like I'm holiday too, one of my favourite Manchester city centre bars.
whatsoever - 2 Jul 2009 10:04
Pub closed Saturday 14 March do not know if this is permenant no notice
largemick - 23 Mar 2009 18:25
Very pleasing little bar. Huge range of bottled Belgian Beers, Cruzcampo and a few German Beers. There were 2 guest ales on, mine was lovely and at £2.40, a very reasonable price. This place feels very continental and is quite small but at the same time intimate. Friendly barstaff, only downside is the toilets are ridiculously small (but not a problem).
Sharp - 7 Mar 2009 12:58
Excellent pub. Superb range of beers, best atmosphere in town and a good crowd who're up for a party. Best pub in town imo.
Sebo - 29 Sep 2008 17:23
Excellent pub. Superb range of beers, best atmosphere in town and a good crowd who're up for a party. Best pub in town imo.
Sebo - 29 Sep 2008 17:23
A First class real drinking pub. Not only do they have a large range of real ales of which we sampled many on a recent visit, they also cater for the lager drinkers diverting them away from the usual fosters, calsberg rubbish with an array of foreign brews. Also a hugh choice of bottles beers to keep anyone happy. A real drinkers delight!!!
briwuk - 21 Jun 2008 13:46
Cracking pub - class range of beer served by a sexy South African who has filled the beefcake/eye-candy role behind the bar since the hot Irish barman left. Great atmosphere at the weekend, and a nice break from the be-shirted chavs on Deansgate. Recommended girls!
anonymous - 16 Oct 2007 20:36
Best place for a drink in Manchester and hardly anyone knows about it. Very friendly bar staff, great collection of beers (including Superbock!!!)and a superb jukebox. Real shame about the flats behind it now block the sunlight on the small beer garden. Had many happy memories in this place 10 out of 10.
superbocksuperstar - 4 Nov 2006 19:42
Definitely one of the hidden gems of Manchester, we always gravitate here after a night on the ale. Friendly bar staff, ace jukebox, usually plenty of room to sit. Highly recommended but maybe I shouldn't or else everyone'll be there. Avoid the black Budvar though, it's lethal!
stainto - 3 Oct 2006 14:54
Used to have the excellent JOhn Smiths Magnet ale on, kept very well, the bottled largers are also good, but the highlight has to be the Jukebox!
Hammer99 - 19 Jul 2006 12:05
Opposite the Science & Industry Museum, this is a great small bar attracting a diverse crowd. Great German & Belgian beers on tap and bottled. One of the best jukeboxes in Manchester to boot.
kball68 - 26 Feb 2006 19:31
Quite unique little pub near the Science & Industry Museum. Popular with Spanish community in Manchester as next to Cervantes Institute. Hard to get a seat and a bit smokey, but a good stop off on a Castlefield pub crawl.
kball68 - 11 Dec 2005 16:20
One of my favourite bars in Manchester. Three really good lagers on, including a dark budvar which is excellant. Brilliant juke box as well.
natrev - 25 Aug 2005 16:20
Not been here myself yet, but it sounds interesting - apparantly quite new with some real ales. Might head there this afternoon if the rain holds off!
Andy - 3 Jun 2005 14:17

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