The Trafford & Hulme CAMRA Pub Of The Season for Spring 2011 is Oddest on Wilbraham Road, Chorlton.
Oddest is one component of a family of three bars, Oddest which opened in summer 2009, being the first outside Manchester city centre. As part of a group of independently-run bars (Odd & Odder being the others in owner Cleo Farman's portfolio), each with its own identity within an ethos of quality products, good service and recognised drinks, Oddest still stands out.
Oddest is very much a Chorlton pub, with a choice of six hand pulled ales, it also offers a paddle of thirds for those who can’t make up their minds. The ales are chosen to be from breweries not regularly seen elsewhere with an emphasis on LocAle. The house ale "Oddest" is from Northern Brewery of Northwich. A good selection of beers and lagers in bottles are available for the truly hard to please. There are usually at least two real ciders available, or a cider and a perry, from boxes or tubs on the back bar. In season the range can increase to four.
Staff are positively encouraged to try the ales before they go on the bar, and they enjoy their work so much they often recommend breweries themselves, requesting their favourite to be served. They are all quirky in their own way, just like the bar, and are always happy to discuss the beers with customers. With the current six hand pumps to choose from, Nicola has been able to vary not just the breweries, but also the styles of beer she serves. One dark beer is ensured, and with beers being sourced from wherever she fancies, the choice is yours!
The bar has plenty of oddities on show and paintings from local artists on display. These provide a different feeling in the separate areas; a Turkish feel for one corner with some stunning lamp shades, a parachute canopy in the screen room, comfy sofas for cosy groups in another.
Popular with families for food on a weekend, the ingredients are all sourced locally and vegetarians are well catered for. It has a café-style pavement terrace and a large screen as a back drop showing classic films ranging from cartoons to Casablanca – but silent.
Talking to the customers, they seem to be of the opinion that Oddest is not a real ale bar. It doesn’t present as a real ale bar, it’s not traditional. It feels trendy, fresh, sociable and vibrant. It has a community-vibe. Now, why that doesn’t equate to real ale I can’t imagine, but sometimes people just need to get out more. In Chorlton anyway.
Oddest will be presented with their award on Thursday 21st April 2011 from 8pm. All are welcome to attend.