Tuesday, 2 November 2021

Engels’ favourite Manchester pub and beer revealed

[From London Socialist Historians Group Newsletter 74 (Autumn 2021)]

 There are 50 volumes of the Marx and Engels Collected Works containing many letters between the two beard wearers. You can find discussion about what wines they liked and their favourite beer style (pilsner). There is very little about where they drank in London and even more so in Manchester. A fascinating blog post now reveals some Manchester detail: 


Engels drank with political allies (including Marx when in town) at the Thatched House pub off Market Street in central Manchester. It was knocked down in 1972 and is now covered by the Arndale Centre. In later years it was a Boddington’s pub. I haven’t yet been able to verify if it was owned by the brewery in the 1850s and 1860s when Engels lived in Manchester. However since the brewery dated back to 1778 it’s likely. The brewery was closed by ABInBev its current owners in 2004 and whatever beer appears under the Boddington’s brand is not Manchester brewed now. Engels of course also drank with business associates, particularly the German business community in Manchester at the Albert Club and Schiller-Anstalt club. Here he may had pilsner which was certainly available in the UK in the 1860s.

Keith Flett

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