Birmingham in the noughties is an absolute contrast to how it was in the eighties and large swathes of the nineties, as it really is a hip and happening kind of place.
Of course this befits England’s Second City and the much derided city council has made some good decisions in terms of regeneration alongside some bang average ones (as Keith Lemon might say).
One massive improvement is the arrival of many trendy funky new bars whilst still retaining some old skool corkers, particularly in the Digbeth area of town.
Purity are a fairly modern brewery and deliver some decent beers with UBU and Longhorn being particular favourites of mine and, being based in Warwickshire, took a punt on opening their bar in central Birmingham.
It’s a fantastic Grade II listed building that they restored from a state of degradation after nine years of lying empty and, with it being in the business district, then it has a captive audience.
(It’s close to the Town Hall)
237 – Purecraft Bar And Kitchen B2 5TJ ticks all the boxes and I have been here before with Mrs BB (who is a fan) and with the lads and it a veritable smorgasbord of beer and food.
(like the pub sign!)
However, I like the fact it still has beermats and we liked it so much that, during our stag party in Birmingham, we decided to indulge in a beermat flipping challenge.
Those Purity ones aren’t easy in their star shapes so when the Stag reached 24 it, quite rightly in my opinion, earned a ripple of applause and a throaty roar (from three other people).
Bearing in mind this was still relatively early on our journey towards the Jewellery Quarter then the noise levels were moderate at worst. However, when the stag meandered up the bar to buy a round he was told that the noise levels weren’t appropriate and could we please keep it down!
I nearly fell off my high stool/chair as I wasn’t aware of a sign when I walked in asking us to whisper/talk quietly/be cool/don’t flip beermats/look earnest/grow a beard…in no particular order.
Putting this in perspective…I’ve been here before and it sells excellent beer and also good food. There were four of us being noisy, but not ridiculous and I don’t see why you should be quiet in a pub unless it is annoying punters.
This wasn’t annoying any punters apart from one member of the bar staff (possibly) and if this is the future of City Centre craft bars then I’m not sure I can cope!!!
I had a fantastic pint of Cwtch (Tiny Rebel)…
as recommended by one of the barmen so, I’m going to put the fact that one of them grumbled down to a minor blip, and the fact we were arguably being louder than many of their earnest punters.
Nonetheless, we spent a fair bit of cash in the pub and we had a really good time for around 45 minutes….
(Postman Pat was apparently inside…)
To summarise, great beer, great concept and ticks all the boxes apart from one…not sure I’m going to be rushing back.
(Should I Stay Or Should I Go…)