Ramsbottom is one of my favourite places to visit in Greater Manchester and on a little Sunday morning outing, we managed to stumble across a little hidden gem – a newly-opened craft beer shop, named The House of Beer.
Ramsbottom has long had an associated as a bit of a foodie destination, helped by Levanter in particular, and is also home to three breweries (Irwell Works, Rammy Craft and Brewsmith) and, although the town’s wine shop does have a decent selection of beers, it does seem like a specialist beer shop was something the town was missing. But not anymore.
As we were walking down Bridge Street up towards the Civic Hall, I spotted an intriguing little sign for ‘The House of Beer’ so we had to make a detour to check it out. I didn’t know what to expect and I’d not heard of it before.
It’s a small little venue that’s only about the size of someone’s front room and we found it fairly busy so decided to go to the market then pop back later on so we could have a proper look and chat with the owner.
On our second visit, we found we were the only customers which made it much easier to browse the fine selection – there’s shelves all around the store as well as an additional shelving unit opposite the till, so there’s plenty of choice.
Two of the three walls feature UK beers from the length of the British Isles including London brewers like Cronx, The Steam Machine Brewing Co from County Durham, favourites like Magic Rock and Buxton, and a good selection of Scottish brews.
International beers come from Europe and beyond – I was particularly impressed with the range of Czech beers on offer after our recent trip to Prague. The chap who owns the shop (I didn’t catch his name, unfortunately) said they’re imported by someone in Glasgow. The House of Beer is the only place in Greater Manchester to stock some of these beers and the nearest local store that they’re sold in is in Sheffield, the owner told us. Beers from Italy, Greece, Spain, Germany, Belgium, the US and New Zealand were also on offer.
In front of the till, we found local beers from Irwell Works, a large selection from Rammy Craft and Brewsmith. The local beers seemed popular – with Rammy Craft’s Blackberry Porter was the first bottle to sell out since the shop’s launch.
The owner was also very keen to recommend beers and make suggestions – he highlighted Rochdale’s Serious Brewing Co in particular. He was also interested to discover how we’d found the shop – as they only opened their doors on Friday (February 12). I thought it might be new, but wasn’t expecting it to be that new!
With the great range of beers on offer at good prizes, I predict The House of Beer will be doing very well as Ramsbottom’s first craft beer shop.
The House of Beer, 8 Silver Road, Ramsbottom.