First off, it’s Taps, not tapas; although here, if you insist, you can sample a range of fantastic beers in small-format glasses. That’s the idea behind Manchester’s preeminent beer bar, located on the ground floor of the Great Northern Tower along Watson Street, right in the heart of the city. Beers and ciders from England, Holland, Germany, Italy, the US, Belgium, Japan, and Sweden are all available from a formidable pour-your-own wall. These are joined by even more bottled beers and ciders, fine wines, and fantastic foodie accompaniments created in Taps’ fantastic kitchen.
It makes little sense to start describing the food available at this Manchester shrine to the brew, but we want to save the best for last. Taps’ menu is concise but satisfying, with an international roster of dishes that can be washed down perfectly with a brew or two from the ever-expanding selection. Mains include a pie of the week, chicken or halloumi skewers served according to a sliding spice-scale, while proper Cheshire 28-day-aged steaks and mean lean burgers are designed to really line your stomach. However, many drop into Taps’ Great Northern Towers premises, slap bang in the middle of town down Watson Street, for a proper continental experience: mussels plus Belgian beer.
Taps’ mussels are all Scottish rope-grown, meaning they’ve hardly left the loch, and can be bought by the half or whole kilo bucket. Choose from a mariniere, Somerset, or Spanish sauce and then – most important – choose your weapon from Taps’ signature interior feature, the Beer Wall. This is the real attraction at this Watson Street beer emporium, and for your moules you can’t go past Liefmans Fruitesse (one of Taps’ Belgian fruit beers), a Belgian Trappist brew by the bottle, or perhaps a ridiculously strong Delirium Tremens, a golden triple ale clocking in at 8.5% by volume. Tap into this prime drinking establishment in the Great Northern Towers – you’ll only have to tap out at 2am on the weekends – and consider, with Manchester’s biggest conference venue and the city centre at the doorstep, Taps is ideal for private and corporate hire.