Birmingham City Centre:
In Burlington Arcade, right next to the Burlington Hotel. This made a nice contrast to Purecraft. It’s a little bit themed, but as the theme is Bacchus himself, I think we can excuse it, and generally it’s a pleasant, comfortable place, which we luckily caught just before it got really busy on a Friday evening. Not cheap though; a large wine and a pint was over a tenner.
Gun Quarter, Brimingham:
Lovely, traditional pub, right near the city centre, but in a quiet backstreet near the Gunmaker’s Arms. A great welcome, great beer, proper pub atmosphere, and a pubcat- and rooms as well, you could do worse than stop here.
Original post here.
This place has changed a bit, but not massively. It’s now the brewery tap for Two Towers.
Friendly welcome, great beer (for me, but others less impressed), good food, nice atmosphere, and so, so close to town, but eerily quiet, considering the inner ring road is yards away. Good beer choice now, if you like Two Towers offerings. Regular history talks and film shows. TV on, but muted, and nice place to drink.
Right next to The Woodman, another fine old Victorian pub, and another James & Lister lea building for Ansells. Empty and derelict since 2008, it was once a very sad sight, isolated while development went on around it, and with only local listing, the future didn’t look good- as recently as 2012, it looked like both would be flattened, along with The Fox and Grapes. As we’ve seen, The Woodman was saved first, and as we walked past on our last visit, we noticed the Eagle & Tun was about to re-open, and it now has.
It is well known for the UB40 Connection- the video for Red Red Wine was shot there, as was the cover for the first Best of UB40 album, as the studios for DEP International were just around the corner in Andover St.
Anyway, the pub itself? Outside is typical Brum terracotta. Inside is less salubrious than The Woodman, and a work-in-progress, clearly, but the atmosphere was pleasant (if cold!), the barman was very friendly, and the drinks cheap (and decent enough too, even if the HPA ran out before I got a pint). The pub is playing on the UB40 connection, with that being the choice of music. There’s still the stunning tiles at one end, and the feel of a proper Brum pub too.
Just up from The OCs, this is a place that’s not bad, but could be great: elegant, Victorian frontage and a traditional interior, but a cheapish pubco menu and Greene King beer, which meant Andy drank water…
Popular- very busy on a Saturday night on the run up to Christmas, but could be better: it could be the OCs or one of the Shakespeares.
We’d been to The Woodman nearby, so upped the pub count here. It’s Birmingham City University’s Student Union, but it’s also a pub.
Inside, it’s a bit bright and modern for a Victorian pub, and we were obviously not the target audience for the music. Staff were pleasant though, even when we were criticising the music next to the manager…
There was ale, but the pump was playing up, sadly. Not too bad a place at all, considering.
Bennetts Hill, Bitmingham City Centre:
I wasn’t expecting to like this. It has a bit of a chainpub feel to it, though a little upmarket. It’s a big space, all one room, and all the hard surfaces made it noisy, but most of the noise was lively conversation (until the Rugby started), though there was music, that, mid-afternoon added nothing; people chatting and drinking gave the place atmosphere and we both liked it more than expected.
Good beer too- I wasn’t expecting ale, but there was a choice.
Andy’s log here
Sister pub to The Lord Clifden, so part of the Urban Art Bar Group. Don’t let the group name put you off, I was prepared to hate the Lord Clifden, expecting hipster wankery, and was proved wrong, and if anything The Red Lion was better still on that front, with just ordinary punters. Closer to the heart of the Jewellery Quarter, it’s a short walk from the Chamberlain Clock at Warstone Lane/Vyse St.
It’s very nice. Traditional inside- the art in Urban Art is minimal, thankfully- decent beer (Bathams when I called), friendly staff, food that looked and smelt good, though I didn’t eat. Not cheap, but that’s the price we pay for Hockley’s trendiness, I suppose. There’s 2 rooms downstairs, and apparently another upstairs.
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.