Revisit: The Shire Oak

Original post here.

Shire Oak, Brownhills:

The Shire Oak has had a bit of a chequered history in the last year or two, with changes of landlord and very much in need of a refurb, so it’s good to see it open again.

That refurb has been completed, so I took a hobble up to see what’s gone on.

It’s a fairly standard pubco makeover, but it looks smart and clean- the refurb was needed, but a bit of atmosphere has gone (I overheard other customers saying the same). The famously upside-down Fleur de Lys walpaper has gone too, and the seperate bar and lounge have gone; the bar area is still there, which is good, but the only demarcation is a hard floor instead of carpet. Sadly, the current fad for tall tables and stools has made it here too: awkward and uncomfortable. There’s a big focus on food- the lounge area is mostly set out for dining.

There were several ales advertised, but only one available, but it was OK, and there was a fair choice of industrial lager, and some variety in the fridges (BrewDog Punk IPA, for example), but the choice for drivers was a bit limited as far as I could see, which seems odd for a pub on a major road junction with a full car park.

All in all, not a bad pub, and very busy. The staff were pleasant, and the beer OK. I’ll be going back, but I’ll miss the old pub.

The Greyhound and Punchbowl

Bilston:

I hadn’t been in here for years: If it were in a country village, it would be famed, a historically significant building that feels it inside, but the effect is ruined a little by the TVs (one showing sport, one Come Dine With Me, of all things). No ale, either, so we had a rapid half of Girl’s Stella and warmed ourselves by the lovely open fire, before heading for The Trumpet.

Revisit: The Old White Rose

Original Post Here.

Our meeting place for the continuation of 100Pubs, I’d heard dark things of this previously notoriously good real ale pub/hotel from several people.

As it was, it wasn’t too bad, but wasn’t brilliant. The beer has been Greene Kinged, and I’m not keen on that- Andy likes GK IPA, when he hates IPA as a rule – so GK IPA was off for me, and I ended up with Benajmin’s Red Molasses Beer, which was at least interesting.

Staff were friendly, and the place looked cleaner and brighter, but it was *freezing* inside. No sign of food, which was there before, and the beer choice is very, very limited compared to before.