Trendy bar openings seem to be ten-a-penny these days in Manchester, however there’s generally less in the way of new arrivals focused on beer. The latest opening is The Brink, a micropub located in the heart of the city centre, that opened quietly and without too much of a fanfare earlier this month.
It’s been somewhere that’s been on my radar for a while – I wrote about it in my old job a good few months ago – but it’s now opened its doors and I was intrigued to see if it lived up to expectations.
Bridge Street already has one subterranean drinking den – The Gas Lamp – but The Brink is a much different style of venue. Unlike The Gas Lamp’s traditional design making the most of its historic interior, as you walk down the stairs in The Brink, you’re met with a crisp, modern and bright room. The tables are wooden, and it features comfortable brown leather seating. Decoration is minimal – a large photo of the Manchester skyline is on one wall and is a nice conversation piece. If you’re wondering, it’s shot from a hill above Bury.
But what makes The Brink different from other bars in the city is the beer selection; everything is local. Manchester is home to so many breweries these days, but it can be fairly difficult to know where to get hold of their wares. Many of the city centre’s other beer bars focus more on options from far and wide which, in my view, isn’t a bad thing but it’s always nice to drink local and I think this would appeal to visitors to the city in particular.
The whole atmosphere is very unpretentious. The look is clean and comfortable, and there’s some quiet Mancunian background music (think Morrissey, Elbow etc). The beer prices are also pretty good for Manchester city centre – it was either £3.20 or £3.50 for a pint of every draught option on our visit, with breweries on offer including Runaway, Brightside, First Chop and Blackjack. The team behind the bar were friendly, welcoming and happy to make recommendations.
It also didn’t feel like an underground bar. We visiting during daylight hours and some light was coming down from the main entrance, but (and I apologise if I sound a bit like an estate agent here), the white walls and lighting make it bright and airy.
Overall, The Brink is an excellent and welcome new addition to Manchester. It’s great to see somewhere championing local beers and it’s not only somewhere I wouldn’t hesitate to return to, but also somewhere I’d be keen to bring visitors from outside the city to showcase just what’s on offer in Manchester.
The Brink, 65 Bridge Street, Manchester, M3 3BQ.