The Mancunion

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Oxford Road Pub Guide

Find out what the best drinks are and where to find them, be you fresher or veteran

By and

Font – Bartender’s favourite: Screwball cocktail, a drink based on our favourite childhood ice cream – Cheapest pint: £3.50 Font is not just the place to find the cheapest cocktail in the world (they’re £2-£4). Over 100 craft beers are available in the Font closer to the city centre. It’s nice to have so many breweries represented under one roof – whether you’re a beer lover or just like to collect the cool bottles. The big Font is also home to Sorachi Ace, a very rare and expensive Brooklyn ale, with an unusually lemony aroma.

Check out Sorachi Ace, a rare beer that only comes in a massive bottle. Photo: William Couch

Black Dog Ballroom

– Bartender’s favourite: Try the Weekend Rockstar cocktail, which is made from Jack Daniel’s, Jagermeister, caramel and cherry bitters – Cheapest pint: £3.50 This branch on New Wakefield Street is younger sister to its very successful Northern Quarter counterpart, but by no means plays the juvenile. Emanating the slick elegance of a New York speakeasy, Black Dog sprawls across three floors, including a roof terrace and basement. The interiors are decadent and the lighting moody, making it a perfect place for (very) late night boozing or a game of pool. Also look out for Dogbowl, another Black Dog Ballroom set to open in October – this time complete with bowling lanes. Trof at The Deaf Institute -Bartender’s favourite: ‘Blueberry and Amaretto Smash’ combining Disaronno amaretto, cranberry juice, lemon juice and blueberry purée – Cheapest pint: £3.50 Trof homebrew There are several branches of Trof round these parts, all of which boast an impressive range of continental beers. But I would opt to drink from the cocktail menu which differs in each branch. Invented by the barmen, these are creative and inexpensive tipples – the same price as their own Trof lager, which I would not be so quick to recommend. Happy hour is from 5pm to 8pm every day.

Refuel at Trof with a Blueberry and Amaretto Smash. Photo: Effervescing Elephant @Flickr



– Bartender’s favourite: Go for the Augustiner Helles; apparently Sandbar is the only place outside of Munich to have this on tap – Cheapest pint: £2.90 By far one of our favourites, Sandbar specialises in Belgian and German beer. The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly, with plenty of nooks and crannies to enjoy a drink or bite to eat (the food is also worth a mention). The staff are lovely, and if beer’s not your thing, Sandbar also has one of the most impressive whisky selections we have ever seen.

What Sandbar’s barman prefers to sip: a rarely sold Augustiner Helles on tap. Photo: Timmmmmmm @Flickr


Big Hands

– Bartender’s favourite: Krombacher on tap – Cheapest pint: £3.40 I swear I once saw Rasputin here. It’s exactly the kind of perpetually nocturnal and noisy bar where one would expect to find a Russian faith healer. Big Hands stocks lots of unusual beers with a bit of a price tag. Whilst this isn’t the only place to find those beers, the atmosphere is perhaps worth a little extra money anyway.

Just an idea of the type of person you might expect to find in Big Hands. Photo: paukrus @Flickr


Hardy’s Well

– Bartender’s favourite: Timothy Taylor Landlord pale ale – Cheapest pint: Strongbow is £2.32!

This bar bridges the gap between university and Fallowfield. Hardy’s Well is famous for featuring a verse of local poet Lemn Sissay on the side of the building – ‘Whoever walks to the well will wade into a wondrous world’. There’s a fair few beers on tap and a parrot, apparently.

‘Wade into a wondrous world’. Photo: kh1234567890 @Flickr



– Bartender’s favourite: For something really fresh and unusual try the Gin and Lemon Mojito, or for something that ‘blows your head off’ go for a Dangerous Zombie – Cheapest pint: £2.80 Relatively new on the Fallowfield drinking scene, Wählbar has already gained a pretty good reputation. After the closure of The Corner (RIP), it stepped in to fill the void of our favourite bar in the area thanks to an extensive drinks list, friendly staff and cool décor. Outside seats serve well for smokers and sun-worshippers alike. Expect big things throughout the year as the fan base grows. The Friendship Inn – Bartender’s favourite: Have a go at any of the eight local beers on tap; Hyde’s Original is the most popular but the selection is changed regularly – Cheapest pint: £2.32 Here you will find a pleasant mix of students and locals, all wanting little more than a contented bevvy. The Friendship is welcoming, drinks are chep, and there is plenty of outside seating for some al fresco thirst-quenching. They’ve also got a dozen television screens, so there’s no better place to watch sport. Swigging and slurping aside, The Friendship is good purely because it reminds you not only of life outside of Studentville, but also of that simple little place at home that your Dad is so fond of.

When the beer is so cheap, it’s easy to love your friends. Photo: Adam Bruderer