Brummies Here, Brummies There…

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…Brummies every *******where la la la la la la la la la la went the terrace chant back in the eighties (that is the correct amount of la’s!)

Of course if you look at the current attendances at St Andrew’s then that might not be strictly true but when did cold hard facts ever get in the way of good football chant?

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However, one thing I have noticed on my travels around the Midlands is that there are a few exiled Brummies carving out a living in the pub trade and one such gem is 177 – Smisby Arms LE65 2UA

Having already visited Smisby’s other pub, The Tap House then I thought it was only right I visited this village’s central boozer.

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Bearing in mind Smisby has a population of under 300 and is sandwiched between Melbourne and Ashby De La Zouch on the Derbyshire/Leicestershire border  then to have two surviving pubs is fairly remarkable.

Whilst ordering my pint I was drawn like a beacon to a football badge emblem I spotted behind the bar, that was bereft of its blue and white colours, but there was no mistaking the shape of a Birmingham City badge!

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As it turns out, Craig and Julie Reilly run this boozer and have done so successfully for 12 years which means Craig, like many, is now more of a lapsed Blues fan due to work.

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But I could tell he was a genuine supporter as he was talking me through how he was optimistic of survival after he listened to Birmingham’s gallant, but ultimately fruitless fightback at Cardiff last weekend which saw them lose 3-2.

It’s the hope that kills you as a Blues fan although his parting shot of “I hope we don’t end up like Coventry” was closer to the mark.

Anyway, as you would expect from a couple who hail from Castle Bromwich/Shard End/Sheldon/Chelmsley Wood side of Brum this feels like a cosy local and they utilise its space well.

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Predominantly it is food based and there are two rooms set out for food with a tiny snug in the middle but it feels like the sort of place you can have a drink too.

It had only been open 15 minutes when I went in at 5.15 but there were already four other people in there who were all clearly (friendly) locals and chatting about a host of pub/life issues whilst a couple were going to eat and any review you read on their FB page is glowing regards the quality of the grub.

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Its sign outside says village pub and restaurant and that’s a market that is working well for them in 2018.

I was there for the beer and had a pint of Red Rose (Shardlow)

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that had reached the end of the barrel and they changed it immediately (after replacing the barrel) and it was then a much better pint (£3.30)

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If you are in a pub in a relatively remote location such as this then you need to attract punters with something and food is clearly the angle here but, as the pump clips demonstrate, they aren’t averse to having some top notch cask on to boot.

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Martin’s excellent recent post on pubs in Belper, which also contained a fully highlighted (pink) Derbyshire GBG section reminded me that I hadn’t yet visited the Smisby Arms, and I can see why this place has been in the Guide before.

I had this little feller sitting next to me throughout…

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…but a chat with Craig was also a reminder of just how important pub gaffers/staff are to the whole pub experience.  I also like the fact they were happy to change the beer without any qualms when it had clearly reached the end of its shelf life.

It was also pristine inside with a cracking fire and even managed a bit of Marston’s breweriana for Richard to show it’s a pub that is covering all bases considering its size and generates a warm, friendly atmosphere.

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Whilst Birmingham’s season appears to be in terminal decline, the Smisby Arms by way of contrast is looking like promotion material and a top notch village boozer.

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18 thoughts on “Brummies Here, Brummies There…

      1. I’ve stayed at the B & B before an NHS meeting round the corner! £30, and the greasiest breakfast you’ve ever seen. Simon visited very recently, a great pub (has been for years). A rare trip to a Beer Guide pub for you!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. “(that is the correct amount of la’s!)”

    Point me to a YouTube video otherwise I remain skeptical. 😋

    “then to have two surviving pubs is fairly remarkable.”

    Bloody hell! 😮

    “that was bereft of its blue and white colours”

    No Chelsea? 😂

    “It’s the hope that kills you as a Blues fan ”

    That’s a lot like the hockey Leafs over here. Blue and white for colours, currently longest streak for NOT winning the Stanley Cup (but also hold the best come from behind to win the Stanley Cup). My brother still follows them avidly and he’s lived in France since 1989! 😎

    “but a chat with Craig was also a reminder of just how important pub gaffers/staff are to the whole pub experience.”

    Not quite the same here but I’m experiencing something similar. Currently in a brewpub that I visit once a month due to work. The bartender actually recognises me and clear away my usual table. I’ll be picking up a Growler of 7.5% Imperial Stout on my way home, and they charge the same for that as a 5% Pilsner. 😉

    Considering the size of the village they’re doing something right. 👍


    Liked by 1 person

  2. A good pub will always change your pint, no quibble. When it gets to the end of the barrel, especially when there is a decent turnover, you instantly go from something worth drinking to … well barrel bottoms; it’s a natural phenomenon and it happens – I hope they had two lines going and didn’t just put a new cask on without cleaning the line????

    The Marston’s memorabilia is looking good – I’m just confused about who the head brewer mentioned is? Do they have one main one, or one at each of the many breweries they own? And which brewery is Marston’s main brewery? Wolverhampton I’m guessing? No wonder Marston’s are the world’s largest producer of cask ale with all those breweries.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Marston’s head office is in Wolverhampton, the home of Wolverhampton & Dudley breweries, the company who hide behind the heritage brand facade that is Marston’s, the people who remove all the yeast from their cask beer then put a little bit back in, contained within some sort of gel – they call it Fastcask. Sounds disgusting doesn’t it? They’ve been doing it for ten years nearly. Real ale my arse!

        Liked by 1 person

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