Unplanned circumstances meantthat I didn't arrive at my hotel in Manchester on Tuesday night until 10:30 p.m. It was straight in and out to head for the pubs. A quick couple in the Marble Arch and on the Port Street beer house. It was quiet but one drinker caught my eye. Garrett Oliver, the famed brewmaster of Brooklyn Brewery was in conversation with a small group of drinkers. I managed to gain a few minutes chat with him, breaking the ice by saying I'd met him once before in Belgium. He was polite enough to say that he recognised my face although I'm sure that he gets bothered by plenty of beer groupies. I soon found out that one member of his party was the brewer from Nøgne ø in Norway. I can barely pronounce the name of the brewery correctly so I thought better of trying to speak to him.
Port Street shut at midnight and deciding that I could manage a nightcap I trotted round to The Castle. Lively as ever I was soon in conversation at the bar. I was talking to a friendly chap called Ian when I blurted out that he looked familiar. His laughter caused me embarrassment as he told me that he was in Coronation Street. He plays Owen Armstrong and for those who are interested in these things he had another Corry actor in tow, Mikey North who plays Owen's daughter's boyfriend Gary in the soap. Keep up! Anyway, he came across as a a very nice chap.