The only choice of BrewDog hotel locations in England, Doghouse Manchester was the name on everyone's lips when it arrived in our city, promising booze-packed getaways alongside a stunning rooftop and the brand's usual bar on the ground floor. So, how did the 'beer dream factory' fare on my visit? Read on to find out.
For all the perks of a booking at BrewDog Manchester Peter Street but with the added extras of a themed hotel, in-room kegs and beer tastings to match? It had to be an overnight stay in a Brewmaster Suite (from £161) and Top Dog package (£150) at Fountain Street's Doghouse. Arrival drinks of Hazy Jane were exactly the reception we needed when checking in after a week at work. It's long been my favourite of the Scottish brand's pours thanks to its fruity flavour, so it provided just the strong start I'd expected.
Carrying our pints up to the room, we spotted plenty of extra touches on the way: free pick 'n' mix, taps for cold, filtered water if you didn't fancy the bog-standard stuff, and hallway lampshades made to look like tinnies. After all, it's the little details that make somewhere that little bit more special. The room continued along this vein. From a guitar hanging on the wall to the working record player and automatic under-bed lights, it maintained a perfect balance between functional and fun. I even had a little jig around to Blossoms, Elbow and Joy Division - yup, every Manchester music staple's albums are stocked here - before checking out the bathroom (including the built-in fridge filled to the brim with ten cans for our shower beer package). Being able to do that while tucking into a complimentary Curly Wurly? It only added to the excitement already brought on by the 5L mini keg of Punk IPA.
Having established we definitely weren't going to run out of drinks upstairs, it was time to head down to the bar for the beer school experience. The manager effortlessly guided us through BrewDog's staples and newer additions. A bit of history, insights into the brewing process, and tips on how to choose the best pint based on personal taste also featured in our intimate session. I discovered how the difference in the hops' soil makes me more partial to the juicier fruit of east coast Hazy Jane, compared to the drier citrus notes in Punk IPA. Having never been a stout drinker, Black Heart surprised me the most with its moreish hints of coffee (sorry, Guinness), before I uncovered a new summer favourite in the form of Palm Beach - a drink that really did taste like piña colada, as it claimed.
As for the food on the Doghouse Manchester menu? Mains and a side each at dinner were included in our stay, so we ordered a pork and brie burger with mac 'n' cheese for me, alongside regular Buffalo wings and large fries for him. My succulent patty was enhanced further by chorizo and stacked with oozing cheese, fried onions and sundried tomato sauce - a dream. The macaroni hit the spot too, boasting the ideal mix of creaminess and maturity. My partner's pick didn't surprise me, since he gets chicken wings at almost every joint that sells them. These guys' offering was deliciously tangy, had the right level of heat, fell off the bone and was accompanied by the richest blue cheese dip. This earned a thumbs up all round.
The evening meal was served alongside a flight of four drinks (each a third of a pint) for both of us, meaning we could give other unique sips a try or have even more of the beer we'd tasted previously. In the end, a mixture seemed best, which included the raspberry-guava collab with Candy Kittens, Elvis Juice, and a dangerously drinkable mango-lychee flavoured New England IPA called Silk Road. Out of these, I'd definitely add the latter to my regular repertoire.
After sleeping off the beer and mountains of food on a cloud-like mattress, another trip to the bar was in order. We could have anything from the brunch menu to kick-start the day, and the team quickly swept in with my American breakfast. The stack of sausage, applewood-smoked streaky bacon, crispy potato and onion hash, roasted tomatoes, plate-sized buttermilk pancakes and fried eggs defeated me. Everything was cooked to perfection and smothered in hollandaise, so it really pained me to leave a single morsel uneaten. A Korean bacon sandwich was on the cards for my other half, where fluffy bao buns were stuffed with gochujang fried bacon, shredded chilli omelette and spring onion chutney. A world away from your standard hotel brekkie, these dishes rounded off our time just as we'd begun: with wide smiles all round.
The DesignMyNight Digest
The ultimate beer break, BrewDog's Doghouse Manchester combines fun things to do with utter relaxation and hefty amounts of mouthwatering food. We felt right at home immediately and our Top Dog package ensured everything we could possibly need was already accounted for. I think the add-on, while the most expensive available, was actually a total bargain all things considered. Everything felt effortless too, from check-in to the experiences throughout. I'll be whole-heartedly recommending this one for months to come.
💰 The damage: From £310 for a Brewmaster Suite with add-ons.
📍 The location: 18-20 Fountain Street, M2 2AR.
👌 Perfect for: A beer-fuelled treat for birthdays and special occasions.
⭐ Need to know: You can grab tacos and drinks on the BrewDog Manchester rooftop here too.
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