My beery travels take me to many types of watering holes. And one I visited recently, undoubtably had a touch of surrealism about it. An establishment, that at the outset, looked quite unaesthetic, to be honest.
However, on entering this former village Conservative Club, you felt you had been transported to a swanky, upmarket bar, in the centre of Manchester. It was totally unexpected - and had me a tad gobsmacked.
Brady's Wine Bar opened its doors on April 1st this year, after an extensive modernisation programme, overseen by its new owner, Maggie Hughes. A split level, oblong shaped, roomy bar. It looked resplendent, with its scrubbed wooden flooring, exposed A-frame architecture, original red brick walls, ornate lighting - and a splendid array of soft leather furnishings.
The place looked quite busy for an early Tuesday afternoon. An eclectic mix of patrons, chattering away. Enjoying a meal and a drink, in a chilled, tranquil environment.
Katie added: "We get a good range of clientele in at weekends. The young and the not so young. We also get lots of walkers and dog walkers - it's good to be dog friendly.
There was a good range of beverages on the attractive, long, grey wood panelled bar. A bar that had a rather continental appearance. With it boasting a coffee making facility, a jar of croissants - and an extensive Twinnings tea menu. In addition, of course, to its choice of beers.
There were two cask ales on offer, usually four. Plus an excellent range of foreign draught lagers. And a craft keg lager, from Marstons Revisionist range. I plumped for one of the cask ales. The Lancaster Blonde, a smooth, refreshing, citrusy tipple, was in great nick. But at £3.60 a pint, it was a tad pricey potion, in my opinion.
The Revisionist, craft keg lager, was next. For both me and my beery amigo, Arthur Brydges. A tipple that always comes with a rather 'hefty' price tag. And £3.75 didn't surprise me. However, they are much in demand - and it is reflected in the price. It was a robust, full flavoured, orangey refresher. A well rounded mouthfeel for a 4% beverage. Again, in superb condition. We were both impressed - quality quaff - you get what you pay for, no argument.
Brady's is undoubtably a cool, upmarket and popular establishment - and I enjoyed the experience. However, I think it's fair to say, it appeals to the more expensive and affluent sector of the social population. So, has the bar forgotten its local village community, in its quest to be cool and upmarket? Maybe, just maybe.