Birmingham City Centre:
“Utopia the Country Bar in the City”
I wasn’t seeing what was “country bar” about this at all, and it was a bit questionable about “pub”, but it scraped in.
It was quite nice, to be honest. We dropped in here in desperation as we needed lunch and had mistimed our arrival in the city with everyone else’s lunchtime, and here had space. As it was, the staff were great, be beer OK, and the wine good, and our lunch was very good and surprisingly cheap for the “business district”, and while it wasn’t remotely country, it was comfortable enough.
My better half hadn’t been that enthusiastic about this, imaginiing it was in Moseley itself. Now, there’s at least one fine pub in Moseley, but the place itself is a bit posh brummie, a bit up itself.
Having reassured her, off we went. A slight hiccup finding the bus stop, but then a short ride and 5 minutes walk to a fine, fine traditional pub with great beer, a lovely landlady, decent music, and samosas. Inside is traditional, with open (gas) fires. A office Christmas party was in place in the back half of the room, but we could still hear each other and have enough space. A superb pub.
Big thirties roadhouse-style pub at the side of the A34 in Perry Barr. We dropped in because my better half thought she’d been curious about it for a long tome, but that turned out to be The Towers nearby- both are large, 1930s roadside pubs, and quite near to each other.
Anyway, as we’d already passed The Towers, on the other side of the A34, we got of the 51 and went in. Very friendly barman, cask ale (Greene King Old Golden Hen, but pretty good regardless), and very keen prices. Inside, the place is as big as the sizeable frontage would suggest, and currently in one of the standard pubco eatery themes, and the landlord told me it’s having a refurb soon (with more handpumps). There were a few customers too, which is a good sign on a grey Thursday very early afternoon. Overall a nice pub and worth dropping in to.
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