There aren’t, unfortunately, that many Good Beer Guide listed pubs in the centre of Birmingham that I haven’t already visited. I’ll explore some others instead (there is a world of decent pubs not listed in the Good Beer Guide after all), and perhaps go further afield, but I haven’t been to this one before, formerly the Birmingham Tap.
There’s a grand bar and there are QR codes at the table so that customers can see what’s available. I visited on the first “Freedom Day” and they’re taking orders at the bar again rather than offering table service, although I suspect they’d offer it on request as the staff seemed very keen to engage. The beers are mostly from Thornbridge Brewery, which is rather lovely as I rate them highly and have visited their taproom.
The interior has been renovated to a high standard in what was formerly a branch of Lloyds Bank.
I decided to go initially for two half pints, this is the Lord Marples which is a drinkable bitter with some hints of toffee.
Quite a nice little quiff arrangement on the Green Mountain and I enjoyed this, refreshing, rich and with a suitably fruit finish to it.
Since I liked the pub so much, I decided to order another half, this time the McConnel’s, which I thought was a really decent stout that was creamy, rich and there was some coffee in there as well (in flavour, they didn’t dump an espresso in). There’s meant to be raspberry in there as well, but I was struggling to pull that flavour out, which is likely a defect of mine rather than the beer.
As for the service in the pub, it was conversational, engaging and warm. I liked how they told me that McConnel’s was a bit of a curse, as they’ve put it on twice over the last year and then the lockdown came the week after on both occasions. Apparently it wasn’t poured down the drain as a staff member was able to have it, although he is now no longer drinking it, which is understandable give too much of a good thing and all that. All of the staff members were welcoming and there’s a nice community feel to this place. There’s a food menu which is mostly based around pizzas, and I might well meander back at some point to try that.
All told, I very much liked this pub and I’m pleased that the Good Beer Guide sent me here. Understandably, it’s well reviewed on-line, although someone was annoyed they were charged £12 for a large gin & tonic and a pint of beer. That seems perfectly reasonable for pub standards, and I can see why they were a little annoyed (but polite) in their response.
Anyway, another early contender to be my favourite pub of the year 🙂