Less than a week after closure of The Jackalope on Barlow Moor Road, Chorlton, the bar was reborn as Strange Brew.
At the helm of Strange Brew is David Williams, a beer fan with a history at various notable Manchester bars. Dave spent three years at Good Beer Guide listed Sandbar before moving over the road to Zecol's The Deaf Institute where he revitalised the beer range including introducing cask ale. He moved on from Deaf Institute having become frustrated with not having the freedom to expand his beery ambitions there. The journey took him to Chorlton where he spent a brief period at Dulcimer (itself establishing quite a reputation for craft beers) while looking for his own bar.
Strange Brew has maintained much the same layout as The Jackalope (not surprising given the rapid turnaround between the bars) but the bar counter has a more open feel with the pie warmer moved to the back bar and a new coffee machine introduced. The décor is now a welcoming cornflower blue in the front part with a more subdued dark purple in the rear. Opening Times was also pleased to see the Gents given a much needed makeover - they were not one of Jackalope's best points!
Dave has promised to maintain Jackalope's reputation both for it's beers and as a music venue with a number of gigs already booked in. When Opening Times called on a Monday evening, an Open Mic night was in full swing with an enthusiastic crowd both listening and participating in this regular event. There were four cask ales on the bar including Doc from First Chop Brewing Arm, Shindigger's new Black IPA, Under Current from Siren brewery and an excellent pale ale from Wale's Hopcraft Brewery called Santa Muerte. This range sets the scene for what to expect from the bar in future.
So what of The Jackalope's former team? As previously reported, Rob Loader how has his own specialist beer shop The Epicurean on Burton Road, West Didsbury. Their second Meet The Brewer event in conjucntion with neighbours Volta bar was held on 23rd June with Huddersfield's Summer Wine Brewery visiting. In a nice tie up, they also got teamed up with West Didsbury's own Reserve Wines to bring craft beer to the Summer Wine & Beer Festival held at Didsbury Rugby Club.
Meanwhile Lee Gorton is continuing The Jackalope's live music promotion with a series of roaming events, the first of which was a mini-festival held at Salford's First Chop Brewery. He is also continuing to host the weekly "Jackgammon" backgammon tournament which has relocated to the snug at The Beech Inn on Beech Road.