‘Wähl’ is German for ‘choice’ or ‘selection’. Fallowfield’s Wählbar, as one of Manchester’s finest purveyors of bottled beer, offers exactly this.
Fallowfield is literally awash with offerings of gaudy franchises, weak cocktails and stale, soulless lager. Wählbar, on the other hand, is a game changer. Nestled between a run of kebab houses and a Wetherspoon’s, a bastion of liquid delights brings the concept of quality over quantity. Though it is by no means prohibitively expensive, the house lager Jever, 160-odd years in the making, is a crisp and hoppy offering at less than £4 a tankard. Jaipur (Thornbridge) has made a recent appearance on tap, as has 5am Saint (Brewdog). Making up a trio of phenomenal British beer with real depth of flavour and individual character is Red Willow. The selection of Odell and Sierra Nevada Beer is also good, plus they are currently stocking Flying Dog Oyster Stout, which reflects nicely the oncoming of autumn.
However, Wählbar does far more than merely open delicious bottles of beer. Their cocktails will not be beaten for the price they charge. The cost of a whiskey/amaretto/gin sours is only £3.50-£4, depending on your poison of choice, and are all magnificently refreshing and dangerously moreish. They have even taken off-menu requests in the past for an Old Fashioned and a Martini.
Lots of wood and industrial-style interior design gives this place all the coolness of the Northern Quarter, but is spared a lot of the pretension. Wählbar also boasts good bar food, free wi-fi and outdoor seating. The coffee is slightly disappointing, but the quality of soft drinks compensates the teetotalist.
Whether in search of a quick beverage, spot of lunch or a substantial session, Wählbar is a not a left field suggestion, it is very much becoming an imperative.
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