All Aboard…The No 11 Ale Trail

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Innovative breweries and boozers are just the ticket to make sure pubs keep evolving and surviving.  Two Towers Brewery is one such brewery as they have an abundance of clubs at their city centre boozer (Gunmakers Arms, a classic) whilst  21 – Inn On The Green B27 7UH in Acocks Green is another top notch pub.  It floundered for a few years until a bloke called Brendon Daly got hold of it and now it and it is a real mecca for beer.

It’s even got an attached craft bar/bottle shop called The Bottle Shed (not tried it yet) with lots of ciders, bottles and craft ales, so is appealing to all ages and demographics.

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Anyway, I digress, but throw into the mix National Express West Midlands and you have a chance to introduce some Brummie pubs to the public at large via an Ale Trail on a well-used bus route in Brum!

These are pubs that are probably not classed as ‘destination’ pubs – although that might not be true of the Inn On The Green as it has had a lot of time and effort turning it into a well visited pub being the huge behemoth of a pub it is in the centre of Acocks Green Village.

Yardley, Erdington, Stetchford, Handsworth, Billesley, Hall Green, Bearwood and Selly Oak (honourable exceptions for Harborne and Kings Heath, which are still well stocked with pubs) are definitely the sort of places that were full of backstreet boozers and estate pubs but, for whatever reasons over the past 30 years, many of those have disappeared.

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So, Two Towers Brewery launched their No 11 Ale, which is available in all of these pubs and with The Ale Trail being particularly in vogue in the 21st Century it is a cracking plan.

Finally, Birmingham is starting to catch up with the rest of the country in terms of breweries, but at least it still have more pubs than breweries at present which will please  Mudgie yet Two Towers is possibly still the biggest and longest established of the current crop (Mark Arnott-Job has really put them on the map).

So, at 10.50 on a Tuesday night I decided to take my first tentative step on the No 11 Ale Trail (well, kind of) as I made an impromptu stop at The Inn On The Green and had a magnificent pint of Fabrick (Ashover).  I don’t normally go into great detail about the quality of beer, but on this occasion I will make an exception as it is clear this is a pub that keeps beer in cracking condition.

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I love the fact that this pub was still very Acocks Green….by that I mean it was earthy, lots of people popping out for a fag, boisterous but non-threatening and with a friendly knowledgeable barman who appeared to know all the regulars names.

It’s a massive place with a space invaders machine (not seen one of those for a while), Fruit machines, dart board, stage for bands, big screens for sport and the delights of Kajagoogoo and Soft Cell in the background coming through the speakers.

Get yourself on the No 11 Ale Trail and see some proper old school Brummie pubs…this one is a belter

7 thoughts on “All Aboard…The No 11 Ale Trail

  1. When I was at University in Birmingham in the late 70s, I remember taking advantage of my bus pass to do the full circuit of the No. 11 bus route, although without any pub stops. This was in the days when it was still using ex-Birmingham half-cab double deckers (probably Daimler CVGs) and conductors.

    Years later, I mentioned this in conversation, and a friend replied “You’ve led a full life, Mudgie, haven’t you?” 😉

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    1. Funny 😀😀 those buses were great and I am on the case of the modern no 11 ale trail… penciled in for early 2018 with a pal…providing all aforementioned pubs survive! Of course you’ve lived you been to the epicentre of the Midlands 👍😉

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  2. I walked this over three stages last year. Just as I had finished, this leaflet appeared – not that I hadn’t thought of stopping at most of the pubs I found. Including;

    Hare and Hounds, Kings Heath – Slight Diversion but long time on the wish list and a top music venue, but foremost a great pub.
    Bristol Pear, Selly Oak – Nicely refurbed pub, with decent ale
    Midland, Bearwood – Black Country Ales. Barman let me sample HIS pint before ordering. Wasn’t 100% sure on this, but thought I ought to join in.
    Perry Barr Arthur Roberston Wetherspoons – Scary, for many reasons. Not least, it was at the height of JDW brexiteering.
    Hare and Hounds, Erdington – because the Village Green was done out in Wolves Colours
    And I finished at the Inn on The Green and share the sentiment in this blog – a cracking boozer.

    Nice blog – I’ll keep my eye on future updates!

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    1. Great effort and like the fact you sneaked a bonus bar in Perry Barr (always a bit edgy)..I think I’ll take the bus to recreate the “experience” and am looking forward to Stetchford and Ward End as not been there since judging a beauty contest at The now closed Barley Mow in about 1990! I presume you are a Baggies man ! Great detailed reply and will give me some good ideas

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