The Castle Hotel
Time Out says
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Perennially popular music pub with proper rock heritage. A small performance space hosts bands, poets, mini-festivals and more.
One of Manchester’s most popular pubs, The Castle on Oldham Street has proven to be one of the Northern Quarter’s big success stories since its refurbishment in 2009. Originally founded in 1776, it’s well known in indie rock circles as the site of a legendary interview between John Peel and Ian Curtis in 1979, and today pays heed to its musical heritage with several weekly gigs at its own charming music hall.
Even the ales are indebted to music. The principal brewer here is Frederic Robinson, creators of ‘Build A Rocket Boys’, in tribute to Elbow’s charming indie hit, and who also provide ‘Trooper’. Concocted in conjunction with Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden, it’s a pleasant citrus blend that’s hardly as doom-laden as your might imagine. Other popular ales include Unicorn, a satisfying pale ale, and the cheekily titled Dizzy Blonde. There are usually no fewer than ten ales on tap, and a plethora of specialist beers and wines. Bar staff are knowledgeable and friendly.
The aforementioned music hall is one of the coolest venues in the city centre, but rather limited in its capacity. Air-conditioning has recently been installed, meaning it’s no longer the year-round acoustic sauna it once was, but rather an intimate and engaging performance venue. As well as a consistent stream of visiting bands, there are regular spoken word fixtures such as Bad Language, and all-day festivals, such as Carefully Planned. The music usually veers towards purer indie rock although they’re always open to exceptions.