Rain Bar is J W Lees flagship Manchester pub. It’s on the canalside in a former umbrella factory, hence the name. (Or is it a reference to Liam Gallagher’s first band?)
You get the impression from online reviews that this is supposed to be a trendy place but it reminded us a bit of a slightly posh Wetherspoon’s. With it’s big glossy printed menus, plasticky polished wood and evident compliance with some kind of corporate service standard manual, it’s a good example of pub with no real character.
It did give us a good opportunity to compare J W Lees Bitter and Best Bitter The former was was extremely refreshing with a crisp, slightly tart finish; the latter, as you might expect, had more hop character and a bigger, rounder brown malt flavour. Both are good solid brews that we’d happily drink loads of if we lived here.
We’d just drink them somewhere else.
On the subject of character, and while we’re in the area, does anyone know anything about this amazing looking pub building across the road from Rain Bar?