If you’ve ever spent a reasonable amount of time in Chorlton, you may well have come across Pi. It’s a bar with a wide-ranging beer menu that serves a selection of Pieminister pies. The service is friendly, the beers are unusual, and they offer free peanuts every time you go to the bar. What’s not to like?
So I was more than a little pleased to discover that a new branch has opened on Rose Lane, a very short walk from Mossley Hill station. It’s not the most likely location, but that hasn’t hindered Pi yet, as it’s been nearly full every time we’ve been. Quite possibly it’s the new ocal we L18ers have needed without knowing it.
The lads behind the bar are happy to offer advice, and most importantly, tastings, if you’re unsure of what to try. When I went to order a Lindeboom lager (on draught, natch), the Freedom Organic Dark Lager caught my eye. Dark lager? This warranted further investigation.
The bartender suggested I try both the Freedom and the Kostrizer Schwarzbier to compare. The latter comes from one of Germany’s oldest breweries, which has been making beer since the 16th century. Both are well worth trying if you want something distinctive but not too heavy.
And while Pi specialises in offering lesser-known foreign beers on draught, they don’t leave British beers behind at the tap. Currently the Liverpool Organic Brewery’s Ale and the new Tatton Brewery’s Blonde are both available.
The drinks menu is over twenty pages and there is a beer to suit virtually any taste (and some non-alcoholic ones too). The food offerings are small, but satisfying. There are nuts and smoked sausages if you’d like something to snack on, but if pie is what you’re after, you’re in the right place.
Pieminister is a bit like the Innocent Smoothies of the pie world; start out small, use natural ingredients with the feel-good factor, get a devoted following and bam! I don’t think McDonald’s has invested in them yet, but I’m sure that’s not far off.
At any rate, they make tasty pies. Veggies are as well catered for as carnivores here, with mushroom and asparagus, and goats cheese and sweet potato fillings sitting alongside the beef and chicken options. I went for the Heidi Pie with the goats cheese, a personal favourite, and my husband chose the Chicken of Aragon Pie.
The sides are £1 each, so if you plump for mash, minty peas and gravy, it does set you back £7.50, but at least you won’t have to eat again until tomorrow.
If you’re not lucky enough to live within staggering distance of Pi, then it’s a perfect excuse to take a 10 minute train ride out to the burbs and visit the best new bar in the city. Just save us a seat, we’ll be along shortly.
104-106 Rose Lane