Our guru of the Corn Exchange Sarah Lambert heads to Bierkeller for the annual ale-fuelled Christmas party
The Bierkeller bar and restaurant chain has branches in Manchester, Leeds, and Liverpool, with a new addition launched in Cardiff earlier this year. The Manchester Bierkeller located in The Printworks city centre complex has four rooms, each with a different theme.
The Shooters Sports Bar boasts an Xbox gaming area, pool tables and giant TV screens airing live sports and entertainment, ideal for catering for the footie fans on game night. Decorated in the style of a ski chalet, the cosy booths of the ground floor Ski Lodge Bar offer a more relaxed post-work drinking atmosphere, while the Around the World in 80 Beers Bar provides a range of over 150 draft and bottled beers from all over the globe.
The main attraction, the Bierkeller cellar bar, has huge wooden tables and long bench-style seating begging to be danced on after one stein too many. Which is just as well, considering that’s the main aim of the majority of guests. The waitresses in lederhosen brought a playful element and catered to our every whim.
Famed for their German beers and party atmosphere, I had high expectations for a great night. The Christmas Party Platinum Package promised entry to the live Oompah band along with a shot, a stein, and an authentic sausage meal, usually sold for £30. When I was invited to review my first experience at Bierkeller, I expected a rowdy bash with lots of beer, and that was exactly what I got. Although I’m not sure £30 was the best value for money.
The food menu was reasonably priced, though it can’t compete with many of the surrounding restaurants & cafés. We also found the steins a bit on the pricey side, considering how weak the cocktails were. But I suppose you pay for the experience.
The live Oompah band started up at 7pm in the packed Bierkeller cellar beer hall. Sing-a-longs and audience participation were enthusiastically encouraged, although the clapping games fell somewhat flat due to the muddled instructions. The playlist was also odd at times—I distinctly remember Yellow Submarine playing at one point. I think they hoped the crowd were inebriated enough not to notice, which was definitely the case for majority, to be fair.
Bierkeller style themselves on the bars in the Bavarian region of Germany, although quite how authentic they are I couldn’t tell you. What I can tell you is that they can offer a good time for a festive booze-up. If you’re looking for a rowdy office party venue, or a quirky spot to watch the footie with the lads, Bierkeller is the place to go—but it won’t suit all tastes.