January's Pub of the Month - Victoria Hotel
Tuesday 17th of January
438 Wilmslow Road, Withington, Manchester, M20 3BW Map
Let Mark McConachie tell you why the Victoria in Withington is Pub of the Month for January.
This is a very busy, community pub in the heart of Withington village. It boasts a fantastic bustling atmosphere visited by a more mature student population along with its regular clientele. It has a pro-CAMRA stance, in that it participates fully in campaigns for Mild, Winter Warmers, and Ciders. Fully refurbished to a high standard in August 2010, licensee Mark Burns and his team set about rebuilding the business as a traditional pub - with cask ales as the main focus. So true to cask are its staff, that they are all cask drinkers and are trained in cellar management. With quality as their watchword, it comes as no surprise to see Cask Marque accreditation here. And you know it is genuine as they maintain 10 hand-pulled beers, plus two ciders. If you're mad for cask, get down on a Thursday as all cask is a bargain £2.20 a pint!
If entertainment is your scene, Friday's alternate weekly between live bands and karaoke.
The pub is a big supporter of charities - St Ann's Hospice, and "Help for Heroes"; it also sponsors the MMU Woman's Football Club. Two successful beer festivals have been held - St Georges Day week (22nd to 29th April 2011) and the more recent early October event. Over 86 different cask ales were sold throughout that three-week period, with all beers selling-out, and more importantly for the business no wastage due to their excellent cellar management expertise. The regular beers are sourced nationwide along with local micros such as Phoenix, Hornbeam, Dunham, and Marble. These supplement the full Hydes range.
Hydes have recognised the achievements made here with nominations for Hydes Managed Pub of the Year and Runner-up in Cellar of the Year, whilst Assistant Manager, Laura Bodham won the coveted Hydes Employee of the Year.
Licensee Mark Burns has an interesting background - beginning as a Design Engineer in the aerospace industry in the US, Canada, and Australia, he changed tack in 2007 to become second chef at Hydes Quarrybank in Timperley. Roles as Barman, and Relief Manager quickly followed, then the relief position arose at the Victoria in Nov 2009. Mark says he has never looked back in all that time.
So come along for a great night on Tuesday 17th. The Victoria is at 438 Wilmslow Road, Withington M20 3BW, by Withington Library. Buses from the Stockport locale are 42, 22 and X57/157, along with 23/A, 84 and 370 (change at Didsbury); buses from Manchester are 41-3, 48, 142-3.