All posts by stymaster

J G Sharps

Largs:

Our first pub in Largs, our first drink being in a hotel bar, so not counting.

Had quite high hopes for this; it’s just away from the seafront, and was listed in our Good Beer Guide (even if our GBG is a little out-of-date). As it was, it didn’t impress; not awful by any means, but walking in, the only cask ale was Doom Bar (shudder), and the place was packed with people watching the kicksphere: it was dark and noisy. Half of Glasgow was in Largs, and many of them were in here.

A subsequent visit made it a bit better- still no drinkable cask, but Shipyard keg, and we found the beer garden. Staff were OK, and it was one of very few pubs with an actual beer garden in town, but it wasn’t what we hoped for.

The Moseley Arms

Digbeth, Birmingham:

Not to be confused with The Old Moseley Arms.

A hotel, really, but the bar feels pubby. Friendly staff, big, opened-out bar area, cheapish food. No ale, but decent lager and wine, probably not a bad place to stay given the price: city centre walkable in around 15 min. TVs playing sport, but not too loud. Quite an old place originally, but no historic features inside, and big modern extension outside.

The Spotted Dog

Digbeth, Birmingham:

Lovely, traditional Birmingham pub. Multi-roomed, so the entertainment at times needed disturb people after a quite pint. Lovely friendly staff, great beer (Fixed Wheel No Brakes when we visited), good bar snacks, and a nice vibe. Benches out front with a (urban!) view to the city. About the only problem is the limited hours in the week (no lunchtime opening Mon-fri).

Revisit: The Anchor

Original Post Here

Digbeth, Birmingham.

The Anchor has long been one of the go-to pubs in Brum: it’s a typical, magnificent terracotta James & Lister Lea Birmingham pub: traditional, with great beer.

That’s mostly still true. The beer’s great, the staff are friendly, but the creeping gentrification of Digbeth has put a bit of a shine on it (when I preferred it without). There’s some middle-class-green paintwork that looks a bit out of place, and some “quirky” decoration that has the faint whiff of hipster. It’s still a great pub overall though: great staff and beer, OK music, nice outside space. No food now, though.

The New Masons

Newtown, Staffs, just north of Bloxwich:

On a day packed with failure, this compunded it. We were hoping for a pub, and Whatpub has it as a pub.

I suppose it meets some requirements. There’s a bar, and a small seating area in front of it, but the bulk of the place is a restaurant, and it calls itself a Bar and Grill. There’s too many posing tables in the bar area, and the beer is slightly pricey and [shudder] Greene King. It’s basically aimed at people wanting a slightly-posher-than-pub-food meal, and there’s little appeal for drinkers. There is quite a nice beer garden, I suppose, but it’s a long way from my ideal. The decor is currently trendy and modern, but will age and is pretty atmosphere-free.

Thank $deity for The Ivy House just down the road.

The Jigger’s Whistle

Brownhills:

Just within sight of Morris Miner and named after his official name, this is a new micropub (it opened a week ago) in a old photography shop on Brownhills High St.

Brownhills does have good pubs, but the only ones right near the centre are the Shoulder of Mutton or Smithy’s Forge. I quite like the Shoulder, but there’s no ale there, and the nearby Smithy’s Forge is a fairly dreadful family feedbag, so the best chance of a decent pint of ale has either been Backyard’s taproom or The Swan. The taproom has limited hours, and the Swan, while excellent, is a walk out of town, so a the new micro is very welcome, being very close to the bus.

Inside, it’s typical micropub, but a bit larger than some. Unsurprisingly there’s Backyard beer on, and I think I overheard the landlord say he’s intending to keep one on permanently. That and the HPA were in excellent condition. There’s music, but it’s bearable and not loud, rather like The Turtle’s Head. No food beyond snacks and cobs.

All in all, very pleasant. I’d held off visiting last week as I thought it might be rammed, and it was just pleasantly busy (but filling up) as I left.

The Cottage Loaf

LLandudno:

Pub on the site of an old bakery in the middle of town; it looks old, but it was built around 1980 with a lot of reclaimed material.

Sister pub to The Erskine Arms and the same things are evident: slightly posh pub food (which was again excellent), extensive real ale choice, friendly staff. Again, there was a noticeable food bias, but you could just come for a drink- several people were.