There’s a storm brewing. Hoist the mainsail! Oh no wait, that’s no storm brewing, that’s some of The South coast’s finest pale ale, silly us. Sat modestly on the QE2 Mile, The Dancing Man is a premium Pub and Brewery that remains yet uncovered by the rest of the British public, whilst fast becoming the crown jewel of Southampton’s craft beer renaissance. With unrivalled elegance and an unparalleled selection of craft ales and potent spirits; all aboard The Dancing Man, setting sail for a fantastic night ahead.
Huge Viking-like wooden doors signal the entrance to Dancing Man and once inside, the first thing you’ll notice is the huge spiral staircase dominating the centre of the room. The stone walls and wooden beams retain all the charm and history of the venue, but minor mod-cons grant us all our 21st century comforts. You know, things like electricity. With one of the biggest bars in the business, it is no surprise that Dancing Man offers as many as fifteen different cask ales, lagers and ciders. With award-winning drinks being sourced straight from the well (two large copper tanks), it’s no wonder that the local Jack and Jills come to fetch a pail of the finest craft ale in the land. Heading upstairs on the suspended beams, you feel a little as though you’re walking the plank but once upstairs, you’re free to join the horde sat admiring the view of the cruise ships sitting upon the Solent. And not just through a window, oh no, through what can only be described as the world’s largest porthole.
Music: Rock, Soul, Funk, Live, Acoustic
Dress Code: None
Train Station: Southampton Central
Address: The Dancing Man Brewery, 1 Bugle Street, Southampton , SO14 2AR
Thanks to the Dancing Man, Southampton’s music scene is alive and kicking, seemingly starting to rival even the quality of the big smoke. True to its name, this premium venue has had the floor stomping and tables shaking since its grand opening only over a year ago although you might be relieved to know, there’s not a DJ deck in sight. Instead, Dancing Man opt for live entertainment. From folk to soul, rock to blues, all genres continue to be represented here ensuring there’s not just one dancing man but hundreds. In terms of its booze, it is quickly becoming one of Southampton’s hotspots for a particularly good beer. With a vast array of craft ales and ciders, the hipsters, with their bushy beards and turtleneck sweaters, head down South in their droves. From session bitters to fruity sours, and dark as night stouts compete with double IPAs as the favourite tipple (we have no idea what a double IPA is either, just smile and wave because it’s going down a treat).
Being one of Southampton’s more premium destinations, set close to the newly redeveloped marina and only a stone’s throw from the Grand Hotel, it comes as no surprise that some of Southampton’s royalty (and by ‘royalty’, we of course mean footballers) can be spotted here on a Friday or Saturday night. The vibe is classy, yet understated and very inviting, almost like a home away from home. You’d think ‘premium’ meant it was a little elitist, but instead The Dancing Man has a warmth to it that we’ll bet is second to none in the winter months. We’ll tell you what it is now though, the definitive destination for good beer and live music. Plus, anywhere that serves peanut butter pretzels is fine by us. Never mind the ales, this place is a bar-snack bliss.
The Dancing Man really had us off our feet and throwing some pretty serious shapes, so turns out, it’s quite aptly named. It’s not only perfect for the recreational drinker, but also for the amateur brewers amongst us as on occasion, you can even watch the staff add hops to the brews going behind the bar. See, a trip to Dancing Man can also be somewhat of an educational experience. It was even once the site of the Titanic exhibition centre, which makes sense as The Dancing Man truly has all the might and presence of the Titanic, wading majestically through a sea of average bars. One thing’s for sure though- it won’t sinking anytime soon.