Apologies for the terrible pun above, but start as you mean to go on (as they say) – fair warning given!
As an aforementioned lover of Czech beer I was somewhat intrigued to here that a new place was opening up in Manchester which would have Pilsner Urquell Tankovna (as tank beer is known in the Czech lands). If you don’t know what tank beer is then watch this short clip below:
Now, Pilsner Urquell isn’t my favourite beer; it’s not even my favourite Czech beer but when I’ve had unpasteurised (which it is in tank form) in the Czech Republic it is excellent – a solid 4.5 out of 5 (and the unfiltered version served in the brewery cellars is even better).
So you’d think that Albert’s Schloss in Manchester would be right up my street, well yes and no. Firstly the location of the place is slap bang in the middle of the ‘townie’ area of the city re: bars and restaurants and therefore the clientele is as you would expect.
The decor is well done, perhaps a little well done – they’ve apparently spent shit-loads on it. It needed it though as the building in its recent past was a Brannigans chain pub so the whole thing was gutted and rebuilt from scratch.
I’ve been here a few times as I really wanted to get a feel for the place before committing my thoughts to words. The service can be a little slow although the bar staff are not unpleasant and do their best at educating the masses about the beer selection (which, aside from the Pilsner Urquell, isn’t too bad if you like German beer).
As for my main attraction, the Pilsner Urquell, it just doesn’t quite taste the same as it does in the Czech Republic. Firstly on a couple of times it has been served in a heavily chilled glass which does nothing for the hoppy character. It just lacks a bit of bite. You could accuse me of sour grapes, but I found it exactly the same when I tried it in London at the Strongroom Bar. It also doesn’t help that the bar staff don’t really know how to pull a pint of Urquell as they have get it up to the pint to line mark therefore missing out on a lot of the head.
Needless to say you are not going to be charged Czech Republic prices here, £5.00 for a pint nearly a factor of 5:1 at current exchange rates!
Managed to catch a beer delivery one morning (above), not as impressive as the tankers they send to Prague (below).