John Bright Street:
Another place I’d intended visiting for a good while. It’s just past it’s first birthday.
John Bright St seems to be enjoying a upturn, with Cherry Red’s, and the ever popular Victoria nearby, as well as new restaurants. Brewdog is of course an outlet for the craft beer brewery known for it’s uncompromising attitude and great beer. It’s very near to New St if you’re travelling by train. I was sad to note the now-closed Crown following its sale.
Brewdog itself is a bit trendy for me (as I’m distinctly middle-aged), and the decor is like some late 80s-early 90s revival, all stripped back bare surfaces and exposed cable tray (and seats that were hard to get my fat arse into), but the beer was great, the staff friendly and helpful, and atmosphere buzzing for a mid-afternoon on a Tuesday.
Another fine James & Lister Lea Birmingham terracotta pub, right next to Curzon St station and Millenium Point, and not farb from the sadly empty and run-down Eagle & Tun. It’s a fine pub: good food (or it looked it- we didn’t eat) at a very reasonable price, several real ales and ciders, and craft beer too. We were sat in the least attractive room, the bar, and it was still nice, the other rooms are grander- it’s the traditional terracotta and tile arrangement. Staff were pleasant, and there’s a mix of clientele- though plenty from the nearby BCU.
The refurb and subsequent re-opening last year has done it proud: it’s not over-restored but is smart and maintains it’s original features.
Original post here
We’d been to the Christmas Market in Brownhills, which was nice, and popped in for a pint. It’s been a few years since we’ve been in, and it’s been refurbed in that time. It’s still a backstreet drinkers pub, with no ale, but the lager was OK and the atmosphere was friendly. There’s still a few panes of the historic William Roberts Brewery glass left too.
What a fine pub. Real gem, in an industrial street on the Hockley/Handsworth border, this pub is a 1905 rebuild, and keeps it’s traditional feel. There’s a good choice of great ales, including Bathams, good food at a great price, friendly staff, and traditional pub atmosphere- the open fires are gas, but still pleasant. An absolute delight, and only a short walk from the Metro, which happily was only broken north of Priestfield.
If visiting, check the opening times first.
Just round the corner from the temple to crass consumersism that is The Mailbox, this is another Black Country Taverns pub, and as such follows their traditional model: a focus on good beer, traditional pub atmosphere, cobs for sale, and an invitation to bring your own food (and they’ll supply the cutlery).
This one carries it off well. I liked it better that The Lych Gate Tavern. Beer was great, staff pleasant, and it made a nice place after fighting past the German Market in New St.
Almost in the shadow of both the road and rail Firth of Forth crossings, South Queensferry is a peasant little place. Sadly, we were in the car, but found parking nearby and stopped for lunch. Food was a bit mixed; my burger was fine, but stymistress’s baguette was a bit below par. Real ale on offer, but not tried (due to presence of car), and a large slection of whisky. Pleasant, helpful staff, and nice, traditional interior only marred by the large TV (thankfully muted).
At one end of the main street. It’s a hotel, but the bar feels pub-like. It is a little modern and stripped out, but there’s a real fire and while there is food there’s a good area for just drinking. Good choice of beer including real ale, and pleasant staff. We returned another day for food, which was fine too.
Right by the castle, this is a tourist trap. No problem, we were tourists. Real ale, food, and a good whisky selection (unusually, I drank whisky, not wanting to down a pint with a long bus journey ahead). Inside it’s very traditional and exposed beams. Staff were friendly and efficient, prices high, as you’d expect, but it was OK.
Part of the same chain and with the same menus as The Four Marys, this was quite similar for me, in that it was a pleasant welcoming pub with decent beer. We didn’t eat here, but the beer was fine and other diners seemed to like the food. Staff were friendly and helpful and there was a nice atmosphere.
This was a real surprise: it was on our list because of its literary connections (being the favourite bar of Ian Rankin and his well known character Inspector John Rebus).
It’s lovely. Positively lovely. It’s a bit of a timewarp, still subdivided up, and the back room we were in had a real fire. No food, no music, no TV, just a quiet, relaxing bar with some superb ale and a lovely quiet bolthole from the city. The staff and locals have a reputation for surliness, but we found them friendly- and we were very obviously tourists.