Birmingham craft beer city guide
Pubs and bars
Words: Siobhan Hewison
Saturday 01 September 2018
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A fantastically British pub with lots of mahogany, carpeting, a long bar prominently displaying 16 cask ales (I swear I heard angels singing as I walked in), another bar upstairs, and a lovely roof terrace. Choice paralysis is bound to take over when you reach the bar, but the staff are great and will gladly offer samples and talk you through the current beer menu.
They kindly allow you to bring in your own food, or even better for those of us who take pride in our laziness, you can order takeaway to be delivered to the pub.
You might mistake this for a post office when walking past (because it used to be one) but once you head down the stairs you’ll be glad you did. Post Office Vaults has eight real ales to choose from, but more impressively they have a mighty selection of bottled beers from all around the world covering pretty much every beer style under the sun. The pub has a great ‘old-school’ feel, with tankards lining the shelves behind the bar, dried hops covering a lot of the ceiling, and those standard wooden tables you always see at your local dives. You can also bring your own food in here (cutlery and plates are provided), so you can enjoy your favourite meal with an incredible beer in a relaxed setting.
This cool hipsterish joint is a must-visit for the discerning craft beer drinker. They have ten rotating taps and loads of exciting bottles and cans, and they have a small but perfect deli-style menu with loads of meats and cheeses, and locally made pies. The bar is also perfect for your next Instagram photo, with each tap adorned with a different woodland creature.
Host of this month’s members’ bottle share (see page 54). Lovely bar, great beers, amazing pizza (with inventive veggie options). Get there.
These guys have been taking the bourgeoning craft beer scene in Birmingham by storm. The brewery is located near Snowhill and is open Fridays and Saturdays. Their taproom has a quirky setup with mismatched furniture, a bar covered with old beer bottles, and a surprisingly sizeable beer garden which spills into the car park. There’s always an eclectic mix of brews on offer, such as the zingy, moreish raspberry farmhouse ale, or the barrel aged version of their famous coconut porter.
Head here on a Saturday afternoon, after a couple of hours of meandering through the streets of Digbeth gawping at all the wonderful street art hidden round every corner, and while away the rest of the day. Their taproom has a great selection of thirst-quenching beers, and their pizza menu comes highly recommended.
29 Shadwell St
Not just a brewery, Two Towers pride themselves on also being an exhibition space for local artists, and on offering a ‘Start-Up Brewery Survival Course’ and ‘Brew Day Experiences’ on the premises. They also don’t just have a taproom - they have a ‘tap house’ since their brewery is now based in the back of an old pub, and with the CAMRA seal of approval, real ale drinkers will want to put this place at the top of their list.
Named one of the best beer shops in Britain by RateBeer, this impressive bottle shop is kind of like a Mecca for craft beer drinkers. It has a selection of thousands (literally) of local, British and world beers, so you’re guaranteed to find something here that you’ve never tried before. Choosing beer from such a wide range can be overwhelming, so we recommend stopping for regular breaks in the taproom.
Along the road is Stirchley Wines, also voted one of the best beer shops in the UK. Opened nearly four decades ago, it boasts an outstanding selection of beers from all over the world, friendly and knowledgeable staff, and a growler filling station for those days where you need some good beer but you also want to sit at home in your PJs.
Is it a bottle shop? Is it a bar? Located in the Custard Factory, which is a hub of creativity in the Digbeth area of the city, Clink is the place to go. It’s perfect if you want to sit down with a tasty brew/if you want to stock your fridge up with some sensational beers/if you’re having a gathering and want to impress because you can take their flavour-packed beers home in a growler - just go here, trust us.
Open every Thursday Friday and Saturday evenings, this street food emporium is so good it’s been named the Best Street Food Event at the British Street Food Awards. It’s the perfect place to take a big group of friends, or that one fussy eater who is always picky about where to go for dinner. If you can think of a cuisine, odds are there’s a food stall here selling it. Affordable, delicious, and with a great buzz about it, this is one place you do not want to miss.
Food is synonymous with curry in Birmingham, and any curry lover and/or beer lover should check out The Indian Brewery. Situated in one of the archways in Snowhill, this gem of a place serves up the tastiest Indian street food and offers their own beers - including their infamous Birmingham Lager - to go alongside their dishes. It’s also quite simply a really cool, vibrant place to spend a few hours snacking and drinking
This canal-side spot is a micro-gin-distillery but it’s also a phenomenal bar and restaurant with a huge beer garden. The menu is full of mediterranean and middle eastern delights, with a mouthwatering Robata grill menu (where offerings are barbecued over oak), plus burgers, pizzas and bar snacks. Their bottomless Saturday brunch is highly revered, as is their Sunday roast.
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