8 Swan Street
0161 835 3815.
Mon-Sat 12-11, Sun 12-10.30
This is mostly a Belgian beer house, but it does serve up to 5 guest ales at a time - even during the week. The small shop front outside belies the length of this bar as it snakes back to the 'beer garden' out back - which is really just picnic benches on the road.
There is a raised seating area by the window and the bar is to your left on entrance. Here you will find pumps for Belgian draught beer plus bottles in the fridges. The guest beers are listed behind the bar and all were keenly priced. Served with or without sparkler, they tasted great and were in good condition.
Food is only served at lunchtimes (up to 4pm Sat, 6pm other times) and consists of toasties really. However, you come here for the beer.
The decor is very 'Belgian' and consists of changing wall posters. Seating is at high tables with tall stools plus the occasional table and chairs/stools. Note the fish in the corner by the rear exit.
Note far from the Northern Quarter pubs of Marble, Beer House, etc, the Bar Fringe is a welcome stop on the way to/from. Close to Victoria station of the Shudehill tram stop, it is easily accessible - though the walk from the Knott Bar to here took us only 15 minutes and were dawdling.
The Font, New Wakefield Street - guest ales & bottles.
The Cask, Liverpool Street - several hand pumps & foreign beer.
The Crown & Kettle, Oldham Road - 3 guests.
The Castle Hotel, Oldham Road - 11 Robinsons Ales.
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Up to five guest ales.
(0161) 834 1930.
Prices: from £50 for B&B.