"GIVE my people plenty of beer, good beer, and cheap beer, and you will have no revolution among them," said Queen Victoria. And you know what? She didn't... except the odd ruckus in Ireland but that was mostly about potatoes and the fault of the ruddy Whigs.
The pub was closed for fifteen years and re-opened in 2005 following an arson attack
Anyway, the long and short of it, beer has never been the root of a revolution, indeed some would argue beer was the very catalyst for human civilization - the thirst for a jar or two driving man to turn from hunting to agriculture in the first place.
Thank the lord then for those ironclad, beer-swilling guardians of proper British ale CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale), who have today announced the Top 16 pubs in Britain to mark the launch of the Good Beer Guide 2016 - which features 159 pubs and 61 breweries from Greater Manchester.
Named amongst Britain's elite boozers was Manchester's Crown & Kettle on Oldham Road, which serves nine changing real ales, local pork pies and boasts perhaps the most charming pub interior in the North West. Just look at that ceiling... phwoar.
Here's a description from Jonathan Schofield's unequalled Northern Quarter Pub Crawl:
'...back to The Crown and Kettle which has one of the most astonishing pub interiors around dating from an undetermined time in the 1840s or 50s. Huge Gothic timber pendants hang down from a ceiling alive with crazy quatrefoil (fourleaf) tracery. The pub was closed for fifteen years and re-opened in 2005 following an arson attack.
'The interior shows the distressed but cleaned ceiling in the lounge and how it originally might have looked when painted in the vault. There's a good story about the pub's three entrances. In 1950 when a drunken journalist from the Daily Express next door tried to get in the landlord threw him out, he tried in the next entrance and then the next with the same result. At the third he asked the landlord, “Do you own all the pubs round here?”'
The sixteen regional finalists of CAMRA’s Pub of the Year competition will go on to contest the National Pub of the Year competition, won last year by The Salutation Inn in Gloucestershire.
The North West has a good showing in past CAMRA Pub of the Year contests, with Pendleton's Swan with Two Necks (2014), The Baum in Rochdale (2012) and The Nursery in Heaton Norris (2001) all having scooped the national pub prize.
Manchester's Crown & Kettle will go up against: Berkhamsted's Rising Sun; Swiffling's White Horse; Ashover's Old Poet's Corner; Orpington's One Inn The Wood; Broadstairs' Yard of Ale; St Helens' Cricketers Arms; South Shields' Steamboat; Cheltenham's Sandford Park Ale House; Edinburgh's Stockbridge Tap; Newdigate's Surrey Oaks; Pontypridd's Bunch of Grapes; Little London's Plough Inn; Carlisle's Drovers Rest and Sheffield's Kelham Island Tavern.
Pubs are judged on their atmosphere, decor, welcome, service, value for money, customer mix, but most importantly – quality of beer.
The winner of the CAMRA National Pub of the Year will be announced in February 2016.
Crown & Kettle Manchester, 2 Oldham Road, Manchester, M4 5FE. 0161 236 2923