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The Beer Shop

If you hadn’t noticed, we like pubs. Log fires, smelly old dogs, dartboards and profuse wood paneling. We love the archetypal old-fashioned British pub so much that we wrote a whole article on that very subject.

We aren’t entirely closed minded, however. We’ve recently started roving further afield to Suburban Stockport (Heaton Moor, Heaton Mersey and Heaton Chapel, specifically), where there is a fantastic selection of little bottle shops and micropubs serving great beer in the remnants of the Great British High Street.

Our closest, The Beer Shop, is located on a quiet residential street in Heaton Mersey. This former butchers packs a lot in: pizza, football, live entertainment, cask ale, and – the star of the show – a bountiful selection of bottled and canned beer.

There is convivial atmosphere (especially on Sundays) provided by a mix of local drinkers from the Four Heatons as well as beer lovers from further afield. It feels like a cross between a Belgian beer café and a neighbourhood micropub. This muddled identity makes it well suited to a variety of nights; whether it be carefully sampling the beverages or having one too many and joining in with the local folk band.

In essence, the beer shop consists of 5 or 6 cosy tables in a red painted room, sandwiched in between two fridges packed with beer and the full selection on shelves. A till, 5 casks on gravity, a spartan selection of bar snacks and a mini pizza kitchen fill up the rest of the space. There are also two rickety tables outside if you’re looking for a little dose of continental cafe culture.

Dean is the host, curator, glass collector, and conversationalist at the beer shop. He bloody loves his ale and is always willing to have a chat about the newest beverages in stock. You get the feeling that he is realising a long held dream, and that is something to drink to.

The beer selection itself is pretty broad, with English, Belgian and German styles well represented along with the odd brew from further afield. I’m not sure what Dean thinks of the craft beer movement, but he does seem to sniff out the best brews from microbreweries the country wide – including Moor, Beavertown and the Wild Beer Co. His american selection is worth shouting about; he has recently got in some super fresh and hoppy cans from Two Beers Brewing Co.

Some beers of note on our last visit:

Flying Dog’s Gonzo Imperial Porter. A dark, savoury and dry beer with a lively head that quickly settles. Spritzy, with some hop bitterness and a full bodied dark character with hints of aniseed, old fruit and dark chocolate. Good!

Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout, which a lot of people think is very good but can be quite hard to find in your local Costcutter (there is one next door). We drunk it as recommended by Founders, at room temperature, so we could taste the full boozy 11.2%. It’s sticky, chocolately and madly boozy. Very nice.

One day you might find yourself on a quiet residential street in Heaton Mersey. Perhaps your car has broken down or your skydive has gone off course. It doesn’t matter. Forget about whatever else it was you were doing, and go and make an evening of it in this little gem of a bottle shop.

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