I’ve got to hand it to Martin as he clearly knows the kind of boozer I like. A week into 2018 and I have already found a contender for pub of the year and it will take a blinding boozer to beat this one.
However, I must add in a few caveats first. This would not be Mrs BB’s pub of the year due to the decor. If you don’t support Birmingham City then, at 5.45 on a Saturday, this might also not be your pub of the year.
However, notwithstanding those two points then 128 – The Wagon And Horses B9 4ED is a pub you cannot fail to enjoy if you like stepping back in time to a ‘throwback’ pub.
Not only is it near to some classic street art (see top picture) it also is a pub full of surprises as the curtains are drawn but you can certainly hear the locals from outside.
If you walk into a boozer and Down In the Tube Station At Midnight is booming out of the jukebox then it always onto a winner with me! However, just when I was thinking it was quite loud the landlady turned it up another few notches – think Spinal Tap and 11 – and The Clash were belting out I Fought The Law, which gives you some idea of the clientele in this pub.
It is definitely a Birmingham City supporters pub but I was with my mate from Burton Albion and as long as you join with the general ambience then all is good in the world. There were some proper characters in the pub including a bloke who continuously ended up behind the bar ‘playing up’ with the barmaids and a bloke who was so hammered he was dancing like Bez and gurning like Ian Curtis as he put Penny Arcade by Roy Orbison on three consecutive times!!!!
There were lots of blokes (and girls) in their 40s/50’s and 60s in adidas sambas bouncing along and clapping to all the songs which clearly get played on a regular basis as all the bar staff knew them too.
As mentioned previously a lot of the pubs near to St Andrew’s are closed and with The Forge Tavern recently biting the dust I suspect this place has picked up even more trade but this is clearly surviving well in a part of town with little housing but plenty of small unit style business.
The beer was top notch and I had a good pint of Vesper (Cross Bay Brewing) for only £3.00 and it’s nice to see ale on this close to Birmingham’s ground. Backed up with a cracking cheese and onion cob for £1 it was a belting hour we spent in there. I would be intrigued to see how this place is during the week but it is open all day every day so clearly there is passing trade to be had.
As me and my drinking buddy departed a crowd of lads were bench pressing someone’s son – who I reckon was about 12 – for the duration of Penny Arcade in a crowd surfing style at a gig!
There were a good crowd of people outside smoking when we left who confirmed this place is always this riotous so who knows what it would be like if Birmingham started winning regularly!
However, this place is for people who want a laugh and drink and clearly aren’t in any rush to get home as it was only just warming up as we left.
As I said at the start of this blog, Martin knows his onions where pubs are concerned and I would urge anyone who enjoys old school boozers to visit this place as the beer is spot on too.
A cracking start to 2018 and #Tryanuary continues apace as this pub proved!