Around the time this gets posted on Friday evening, I shall be within the grounds of Cardiff Castle, most likely enjoying a pint of Tiny Rebel’s Fubar whilst waiting to see the Manic Street Preachers perform The Holy Bible for what will be the fourth time. As it is, I am writing this post on Monday, from within The Dancing Man.
It’s been a few months since I have written anything about the Dancing Man Brewery and the Wool House. I could have written a review of the new venue on open weekend but chose not to for one simple reason; I wanted to give them a chance to settle down and iron out any flaws first.
From my first-hand experience, there have been a few flaws. The first noticeable one for me was an off flavour in the beers, presumably caused by the new lines. Thankfully, I haven’t noticed it the last few times I’ve been in, which implies that this problem may have been fixed.
The only other problem that I personally have encountered whilst visiting The Dancing Man, is a lack of beer. This was on a Saturday afternoon not long after the new brewpub had opened. I can only assume that this was because people drank the bar dry on the Friday night. In many ways, I am perfectly okay with this.
Aside from those two glitches, my experience of The Dancing Man has been a rather good one so far. The expansion has enabled Aidan to start running some of his beers on keg, and also to have around four to five Dancing Man beers on alongside guests.
I have so far only eaten at The Dancing Man once. It was though, a very enjoyable experience. Whilst the menu felt slightly limited in choice, the choice that I made, was delicious. Beef brisket with cheese and roast potatoes in gravy. Almost as satisfying as the cheesy garlic bread from The Platform.
As for the décor, the additions to the building fit in well. There is a focus on the maritime history of the area, with many pieces relating to the Titanic. There are also features, such as The Dancing Man metal sculpture and the lighting, which highlights the industrial history of the building.
Overall, I like The Dancing Man as a place to visit and drink with company. For the purposes of a quiet drink whilst writing, I prefer the Platform Tavern. Despite having strong ties between the two venues, there is definitely a distinct identity in each one.
If you’re ever in Southampton, or passing through on the way to the Isle of Wight, or headed on a cruise, you should pay The Dancing Man a visit. Whether you like beer or not, the building itself is worth having a look around.
The fact that the food and drink happens to be rather good is a bonus.