Recommended Pub Crawls...

If you ever find yourself in any of the cities listed below then I can recommend the following pub crawls (click on maps to enlarge):

BIRMINGHAM CRAWL #1 (New Street area)

A = The Victoria: Right at the bottom off this map (just about visible) on John Bright Street, but actually very close to New Street Station. This has an interesting interior split into 3 rooms, the bar being central and accessed in all 3. Has good guest ales, as well as Wye Valley's Butty Bach and Purity's Mad Goose permanently available. Has also introduced a shortish 'boutique' (read: bottled) beer menu.

B = The Post Office Vaults: A brand new bar opened late 2011/early 2012 ish which features a range of 171 bottled beers, a number that seems to increase each week! Very impressive for a UK pub. Also has 4 cask ales on tap and 4 kegged.

C = Bennetts: A Marston's pub in a very grand old building. Decent enough range of cask ales and the usual bottles. Go to the website and register to get a free drink voucher!

D = The Wellington: This is a must-visit. They have a daily-changing range of 16 cask ales. All of which are displayed on a TV to the side of the bar and lettered A to E (light to dark). They always feature a few beers from Black Country Ales. On top of this they have a very good bottled beer stock, including some crazy beers from BrewDog, ranging from 18.2% ABV (Tokyo) to 41% ABV (Sink the Bismark)!!

E = The Old Joint Stock: This fantastic pub (with theatre in the back) is in a grade 2 listed building that started life as a library and then a bank! Roger Protz voted it one of the UKs top 25 pubs in 2009. It is owned by Fuller's so has a great range of their beers on tap. It also has bottles, including the limited edition Fuller's reserve each year if you time it right (also available at Waitrose and Sainsbury's stores). It is called an Ale and Pie house for good reason, they do fantastic pies!

F = Pub du Vin: This is located under Hotel du Vin and serves as their celler bar but it also has its own entrance around the side of the building. Its a cosy little place, quite upmarket (in price too) but relaxed, and serves Kinver Brewery's Light Railway on tap which is delicious! It also has one of Purity's beers as a regular.  It has a very impressive wine cellar locked away behind a glass screen. It used to have a similar room containing hundreds of different cigars but this disappeared a few years ago. Try a pickled egg at the bar :p

G = The Old Contemptibles: Being a Nicholson's pub, this has a very good range of real ale (at least 6 or 7 from memory) and has regular seasonal ales. It also does nice pub grub; not too expensive. The building is very interesting too. The name comes from a First World War story (see their website).

H = The Jekyll and Hyde: A funky little place that is owned by the group that own The Victoria (see earlier). It has Freedom Stout, 2 Purity ales and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale all as regulars on tap. Moreover it has a Thornbridge beer on regular rotation, a very impressive brewery. The pub features a 'Gin Parlour' upstairs!

I = The Square Pig: This building, being very long and narrow features just about the longest bar I've ever seen. Its a Wetherspoon's so expect the usual impressive range of bottled ales as (usually) plenty of guest cask ales and the regular Abbott Ale from Greene King. Cheap too!

J = Bacchus Bar: This one can be a little tricky to find being housed below the Burlington hotel on new street. You need to go through to the middle of Burlington Arcade to find the stairs leading down to the bar. Inside its like walking into a (slightly kitsch) but quite impressive, dimly-lit Roman / Egyptian temple, with frescoes and paintings adorning the walls and ceilings. Owned by Nicholson's so features a good range of ales on draught. Good food too.


BIRMINGHAM CRAWL #2 (Jewellery Quarter / Hockley)

A = The Black Eagle: This one is out of the way a bit but worth finding via public transport... It is the current Birmingham CAMRA pub of the year. It has plenty of bottled & draught ales.

B = The Lord Clifdon: An 'urban art bar'... Don't worry, it has 4 draught beers = Bathams and Wye Valley + 2 guest ales.

C = The Church Inn: 2 real ales on draught... worth a look in on your way.

D = The Brown Lion: Owned by the Two Towers Brewery, one of Brum's handful of breweries. It serves plenty of Two Towers ales + has board games if you get bored!

E = The Jewellers Arms: Has a few real ales on tap. 

F = The Drop Forge: More of a foody place but they have 4 regularly changing pumps...usually Purity and Malvern Hills ales among other. 

G = The Red Lion: Another 'urban art bar'...Serves a fair few real ales

H = Rose Villa Tavern: a funky little place owned by the same people as The Jekyll & Hyde and The Victoria... A few ales including Sharps Doom Bar as a regular. Does really nice food.

I = The Queens Arms: Good selection of ales.



Coming soon...

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