British Beer Company
Taps: 38 / Bottles: 70
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 11 | Reviews: 5 | Display Reviews Only:
2.94/5 rDev -19.9%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 2.75 | food: 3.5 | $$
The British Beer Company is a chain restaurant, what can I say. It's even more obvious at this location which is housed in a former Chili's in the parking lot of a strip mall in the center of a section of Manchester that is known for its strip malls.
The atmosphere is what it is - the typical British Beer Company aesthetic with lots of dark wood and the usual pub look. As I stated above, this one feels stale as it's a remodeled Chili's. At least some of the other BBC's inhabit spaces that feel a bit more lived in. Families come here for the restaurant aspect, and if Strange Brew is where Manchester's younger craft drinkers hang out this is where its older ones hang out.
Quality is so-so. This is not the type of place where you're going to get the perfect pour into the proper glassware. For me, this is a place I can go that pleases my in-laws and allows me to get a decent pint.
Service is lackluster. Hostesses are high school or college kids and a little clueless. On my first visit, even the bartender didn't know what the White Birch tap was but they seem to have gotten better. Servers can still be a little unsure of what's on tap.
Selection is average. They've got some locals - a rotating White Birch tap, Tuckerman's pale and Henniker Amber on my last visit. A couple of other nice taps - Founders Curmudgeon, Harpoon 100 Barrel Series - but mostly your standard crafts, nothing noteworthy.
The food is not bad, your standard bar bites and chain restaurant-type offerings - I'd say it's a step above most chains and a step above some pub food, but nothing outstanding.
I'm no fan of Strange Brew (my complaints regarding that establishment are in a separate review), but if I was looking to get a pint in Manchester you're going to find much more of a selection there.
05-13-2013 19:39:04 | More by MThiele360
3.81/5 rDev +3.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4 | $$$
The interior features plenty of dark stained wood and a large center bar area. Plenty of taps and what appears to be plenty of beer engines as well which are FAKE! I was told that all but one of the beer engines pour straight keg beer, and the one engine set up for cask was out.
Also, big minus points for lots of flat screen tvs which you not find in a British pub.
The menus is pretty extensive with plenty of tasty offerings. The bangers and mash was very good as was the fish and chips. The bangers could have used a bit more gravy and the chips were soggy though. The draught selection is better than average for NH. That being said there are a lot of filler beers which are not particularly exciting.
Service was good for the most part, with the exception of the female bartender who had an attitude when I asked to check and make sure my Allagash White was indeed a White. The White was either a Harpoon UFO or a Allagash White which was in seriously bad shape. Either way, no need to be confrontational with the customers.
The food was a bit pricey ($13.00 for bangers and mash), as were the beers ($5.75 for a pint of the White).
All in all I would probably go back, but the beer selection and prices are far better at Strange Brew, where they actually have cask ales, not just fake engines for show.
04-16-2013 01:14:31 | More by brewandbbq
4.03/5 rDev +9.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25 | $$
Stopped in here yesterday (24FEB13) with Alewife and my two daughters for dinner prior to The Who concert... We had planned on Millys, but they closed early due to some bad weather, and Strangebrew was packed, so.... As noted earlier, it is located in a drab strip-mall, and it has the same ugly-ass mustard and green color scheme as many other BBC locations. Inside is lots of dark wood, brass, old period english paintings and pics, plus a large number of flat-screen TVs for your viewing pleasure.
They have a better-than-decent draft selection, with a little bit of many different styles to choose from. Bottles were also plentiful. Amongst the three drinkers present, we had some Rogue Dead Guy, Longtrail Brown Bag, Youngs Double Choco Stout and an Arrogant Bastard. An order of nachos hit the spot leading off, then 2 burgers and 2 plates of steak tips closed things out. Service had its misses, as our lady was a bit lax on getting around to greet us, and our 2 burger orders were cooked incorrectly. Otherwise, it was a pleasant time. Prices weren't outrageous, with 4 meals, an appetizer and 5 biers coming to about $100...
4.03/5 rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25 | $$
02-25-2013 16:11:53 | More by Bierman9
4.1/5 rDev +11.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
I stopped in here with a friend on Monday night for dinner and a couple beers. We'd heard good things and were curious to see what they'd done with an old Chili's.
Being on the later side for a Monday night (9pm), the place wasn't packed, but was also far from dead. We found a couple stools at the end of the bar, right in front of the cask engine, and had a seat. The bartender was friendly and prompt, and she clearly knew a lot about the beers available and in general, and offered several samples. She also told us that only one of the nine hand pumps was actually a cask engine; the others were all actually dressed-up tap handles.
That gets at why this place, despite having a very handsome bar and a warm dining room with lots of dark wood, gets a lower vibe scale from me. There's a bit of showmanship that I don't necessarily appreciate, but it's not bothersome. I just don't want to see what looks like a cask engine to find out that it's just a fanciful tap handle. The other reason behind the lower vibe score is simply the location--this is a cozy bar that I'd love to sidle up to even with the fake casks, but it's in a Michael's parking lot on one of the ugliest sprawl strips in New Hampshire. If this was downtown, in a neighborhood, or even in a strip closer to a neighborhood, I'd give it a higher score. That might be superficial, but location is important--being in a place where you can barhop or in a neighborhood where people can walk in changes the mood for me.
That said, I liked this place a lot. BBC was very nice and cozy inside, with lots of nice details and a good crowd. And the food was quite good--I had the mahi burger, which was a great summer sandwich. I'm looking forward to the New England pasty once fall comes around.
But of course the real attraction here is the beer, and this is where BBC soars. Manchester has a growing number of solid bars and restaurants, and a handful with very good taplists--Strange Brew, Firefly and River Road immediately come to mind. BBC is easily near the top of that list. Like River Road and Firefly, its beer list isn't as extensive, but is perhaps better selected than the Brew. It's a very good mix of American (especially local and regional) craft beer and solid if not mind-blowing imports. And the one real cask was a treat, with White Birch's Crown of Gold rye pale ale on.
I'd visit this place a lot more often if it wasn't out by the mall. But as it is, it's enough of a draw that I'll still suck it up and head down to BBC instead of downtown.
08-08-2012 18:53:10 | More by FrankLloydMike
British Beer Company in Manchester, NH
87 out of 100 based on 11 ratings.