Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Birmingham anyone?

Our final trip of the summer is scheduled next week. Four days in Birmingham. I've not been for years.

My mum was from Birmingham and I went there countless times on family visits as a child. Theer was plenty of family to visit. My mum wass one of twelve children. Mostly, this was before I was of drinking age. When I was old enough to drink, my cousin's husband usually drove us out into the countryside southwest of Birmingham. Chaddesley Corbett, where there's a fine Batham's pub, was a favourite destination.

I rarely drank in Birmingham itself. To be honest, it wasn't very inspiring. Alternate M & B and Ansell's houses and almost nothing else. Even Davenports, which was brewed in the city, was virtually impossible to find. I'd mostly opt for Ansell's. Their Mild wasn't bad, better than M & B's. It wasn't unusual to find handpumped Mild and keg Bitter in Ansell's pubs. Now there's something you wouldn't see today.

That ponderous and overly personal preamble is leading up top a question. Which pubs shouldn't I miss in Birmingham? Preferably ones that are central. 

That reminds me. I must see what archives there are around Birmingham.


Mark said...

Hi Ron

Hope you are all well.

My recommendations are;

The Wellington, Bennett's Hill
Old Joint Stock, near Cathedral
The Anchor, Digbeth
If you're feeling adventurous, the Beacon Hotel, Sedgley, Ma Pardoes in Netherton
On the No 9 bus route, the Royal Exchange and Unicorn, both in Stourbridge

The non Birmingham pubs can be fairly easily reached by bus - we've done several pub crawls using a Network bus ticket, about £4 each, valid on all buses in the area, or a Family saver ticket, covering up to 2 adults and 4 children for around the same price, but only valid on National Express West Midlands buses (they are the most ubiquitous transport provider in the area)


Mark & Sarah

Anonymous said...

Bathams brewery tap,"the vine" better known as the bull and bladder.not that hard to get to from the city

Quinno said...

I 'did' Brum for the first time last year. I would recommend a walk (or bus) out to Digbeth, allowing you to sample the Lamp, White Swan and Anchor - lots of ale and and old skool interiors. In the centre, there's the Wellington which is basically an ale mecca (bring your own food!), the back of which leads into the Old Joint Stock, an ornate Fullers outlet. If you are feeling brave, get the bus out to the Bartons Arms for an amazing interior and Oakham beers (this was damaged during the riots but not sure how much).

Velky Al said...

I studied in Brum, fantastic city!

Unfortunately when I lived there my beer tastes ran to the smoothflow Caffrey's/John Smith's or Guinness end of the beer spectrum, mostly drinking on Broad Street or down by the canal at Brindley Place - the Malt House was a particular favourite.

My regular haunt though seems to have gone the way of the dinosaurs - The Trees, which was on the corner of the Bristol Road and Lee Bank Middleway. Would pop in most afternoons for a few pints of Caffrey's and a read of the Guardian, happy days.

Oblivious said...

Hi ron I would second the Sarah Hughes Brewery the Beacon Hotel, Sedgley, if you want to see a remnants of a Victorian brewpub

mentaldental said...

Ansells mild...

I was brought up on the stuff. I lived in Hereforshire at the time (which is a bit south of Birmingham) at a time when mild was easy(ish) to get hold of. I though Ansells was pretty decent, and agree it was better than M & Bs. I actually preferred Bank's mild but that was less easy to get at that time away from the brewery. Mind you it came out of metered electric pumps with visible glass cylinders which I though were great.

Gary Gillman said...

Sedgley is 10 miles from central Birmingham and I wouldn't miss a chance to visit one of the remaining historic brewpubs. In the city I'd go for Batham's beer in light of its own antiquity and importance as a traditional real ale brewer.

I hadn't realized Ma Pardoes was in the general area and ditto for that. I've had some of the bottled versions of Sarah Hughes beers which strike me as straight-out 1800's survivors, e.g. its strong mild.