Digbeth

After leaving you in Kegworth I thought it would be good to start with the news that Blues have finally made a signing this summer.

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With Monk, Jota, Morrison and Adams all gone and only season long loanee Gary Gardner (who was excellent) coming in the other way, then it looks like being a season of toil for Small Heath Alliance.

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Mind you, with the news that Blues have signed Sadler’s Brewing Company Peaky Blinder Lager to advertise on the back of the shirts then the campaign is already looking brighter.

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Apparently, it will be on sale at the ground so punters can watch  the match with a warm glow knowing we are swilling top quality lager from a local brewery.

sdr

We might even see further signings as Peaky Blinder IPA, Peaky Blinder Pale Ale, Mud City Stout and Hoppy Days must be in the pipeline so, despite any new players, the summer is looking brighter!

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Of course, most of the boozers near St Andrew’s have disappeared over the years so a lot of fans head for Digbeth for pre-match watering holes nowadays.

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You’ve got to love Digbeth and despite the city council’s best efforts, it hasn’t been gentrified just yet.

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It’s like a bigger, better more Bohemian version of Moseley and the Custard Factory in particular is a riot of colour.

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It’s the sort of place that Mark Crilley would be in his element and he would be pleased with this true to life painting of Martin.

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There’s lot to like in Digbeth and despite an ever diminishing stock of boozers there are still some classics left.

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433 – Big Bulls Head B5 6DY is one such pub on the corner of Milk Street and Digbeth High Street. It’s now firmly on the agenda for most Blues fans pre and post-match but it is by no means a ‘football’ pub.

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It’s more of an Irish style boozer that Digbeth was famous for and with me visiting at around 3pm on a Sunday there are plenty of pubs on the edges of the city that are closed.

(my kind of music…my kind of pub)

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Not this one however and I walk in to find a cracking atmosphere with the barflies galore and some younger lads and their girlfriends knocking back plenty and regularly popping out into the sun for some vaping.

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This pub has been covered extensively by Martin during a Beer and Pubs Forum Day Out along with versions from Mudgie and Pete who appeared to have as good a time as I did.

(Chinatown/Arcadian Centre…back of the Hippodrome to those in the know)

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In fact, Martin’s piece had some particularly good pictures so I took the liberty of pinching his Atkinson’s Ales mirror snap, that is still standing proud in the bar (the mirror, not his picture).

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It was a lot fuller, which was good to see for a Sunday afternoon and it was definitely a locals’ pub and people on it for the weekend post Saturday and pre Sunday evening.

I had a very good half pint of Keg Atlantic (Sharp’s) which hit the spot as it was piping hot outside and in.

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Arguably the highlight for me was when a couple came in, I suspect from the nearby coach station, clearly expecting a Broad Street/Mailbox/Selfridges style vision of the Birmingham pub scene and were somewhat astonished to see a normal Victorian style two roomed boozer full of drinkers.

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He looked ready to scarper but, to her credit, she put down her pashmina and went for the menu to order some people Sunday pub grub and no one batted an eyelid.

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You’ve got to love Digbeth as it still the ‘market’ end of Brum and always will be even when they are palmed off to one of the suburbs.

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St Martin Church is now a gleaming asset as opposed to the carbuncle it was in the seventies

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and The Custard Factory with its surrounding units is a melting pot of ideas, history and colour.

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Big Bulls Head is a top notch ‘local’ in Brum whereby you will get a flavour of proper Brum life before any gentrification and long may it continue.

19 thoughts on “Digbeth

  1. Great street ar.

    It was a year ago a group of us (including a late substitute appearance by Cooking Lager) did Digbeth. A great bunch of pubs, including this one despite the lack of cask.
    Really changed my view on Digbeth.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Firstly, I don’t critique comments as most can’t be changed. 😉

        Secondly, after tomorrow you’ll be waiting a bit longer for me to spot anything as I will be very sporadic in posting till the end of the month. We are off starting Friday to a big family gathering on my wife’s side up in Whitehorse (she comes from a biiiiiiig family!). The plus for me is that our youngest will be there before he starts a holiday in the Yukon.

        After that we are flying home and then driving to Kelowna for a week to spend time with our eldest, his wife, and our grandson! They are driving in from Edmonton. We have a place on the lake booked thru VRBO (vacation rentals by owner – which is a bit like AirBnB). So, if I’m not posting for the next few weeks you now know why. 🙂

        Cheers!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. “with the news that Blues have signed Sadler’s Brewing Company Peaky Blinder Lager to advertise on the back of the shirts”

    (thumbs up)

    “with a warm glow knowing we are swilling top quality lager from a local brewery.”

    Nowt wrong with that.

    “the summer is looking brighter!”

    Be still my beating heart!

    “most of the boozers near St Andrew’s have disappeared over the years ”

    Big pubcos again?

    “and he would be pleased with this true to life painting of Martin.”

    (chuckle)

    “It’s now firmly on the agenda for most Blues fans pre and post-match ”

    And smart of them to paint it blue. 🙂

    “(the mirror, not his picture)”

    (slow golf clap)

    “and were somewhat astonished to see a normal Victorian style two roomed boozer full of drinkers.”

    Says it all really.

    “and no one batted an eyelid.”

    Good on her… and them. 🙂

    “and The Custard Factory with its surrounding units is a melting pot of ideas, history and colour.”

    Indeed!

    “whereby you will get a flavour of proper Brum life”

    Variety is the spice of life. 🙂

    Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s always an interesting experiment to see what CAMRA folk choose to drink if there’s no cask beer but they’re committed to staying there because they’re eating. Peter A was straight on the Carling, of course.

    If there’s a polar opposite of gastropub food, that in the BBH was it, although t’other Mudgie felt his vegetables had been boiled to death.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Always liked Digbeth and some of the street art is terrific! A few craft-oriented venues have sprung up there in recent years (such as Clink) so good to see that the old school boozers like the Big Bulls Head are still going strong too. Digbeth can be fun when the Blues are at home – I remember being in the Spotted Dog when it went from absolutely packed to almost deserted in about 30 seconds (I don’t think you were playing at the time…)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If I was playing people would have stayed in the spotted dog!! 😄 Yes there was a place in-between big bulls head and kerryman called digbeth something or other that was heaving… always changing is digbeth

      Like

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