Tag Archives: Birmingham

Brewdog Birmingham

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.

The Woodman

Digbeth:

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.

The Black Eagle

Hockley, Birmingham:

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.

The Craven Arms

Birmingham

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.

The Church

Hockley:


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I’m not often in church, but…

Just down the road from The Lord Clifden, another pleasant surprise. If you read the website:

Come and kneel at the high altar of culinary decadence. Nestled in the heart of Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, sits a pub with a twist

You might start to think, that along with the location (Hockley is a bit too hipster, really) that you’re in for full-on wankery. but it’s actually very pleasant. Odd decoration- a mix of modern, 50’s Americana, and traditional, but here it works. Everards beer, in good condition, and, so I’m informed, decent wine too. Food looks interesting too, and the staff were pleasant. I’d argue about “heart of the jewellery quarter”, if I’m being picky, as that’s Vyse St for me, but it’s a nice pub.

The Post Office Vaults

Birmingham City Centre:


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I’ve included streetview because the address is listed as 84 New St, but I failed to find it twice. Unless there’s another entrance I’m unaware of, you actually get in on Pinfold St, then downstairs into a tiny pub: at busy times you’ll be lucky to get in (my third visit, on a Friday night, was aborted as we couldn’t get in the door) but it was quiet when I visited. Great choice of top-notch ale, and pleasant, helpful staff. It has a reputation for unusual bottled beer, which is interesting. No food, but apparently you can take your own, and they’ll supply cutlery/plates.

The Lord Clifden

Hockley, Birmingham:


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I was ready to hate this, but thought one of my companions might like it, as she has a less grotty taste in pubs than I do. Hockley can be a bit of a game these days, what with The Rose Villa Tavern, and the increasing ‘cool’ of the area, so with that and the company that owns this (and its sister pub, The Red Lion, making a chain of 2) calling itself Urban Art Bar Group [shudder], I was ready for it to be replete with bell end hipsters (is there any other sort?).

Actually, I was pleasantly surprised. Inside, it looks like a pub. An actual pub. OK, there’s art on the walls, but it actually looks OK. The staff were friendly, efficient, and normal. The food was good, the ale was excellent (as per the reputation), and the music wasn’t some dreadful shite no-one would ever listen to for pleasure, and not so loud we couldn’t talk. The prices weren’t too bad either. There’s a big outside smoking shelter for those of you that might want it- with a TV (so we can get the two objectionable things in one place! (edit: there’s a TV in the bar too, but not the lounge)).

Best of all, the customers were normal too.