Gas St Basin

Having had a taste of Digbeth recently I know you reader(s) out there are itching to see a little bit more of the Second City.

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Ash, who is the latest blogger on the scene, will be there on Monday night at The Old Joint Stock waxing lyrical along with Pete Brown and Brummie beer guru Marverine Cole as part of the excellent Birmingham Beer Week.

Whilst the OJS is arguably Birmingham’s most eye-catching boozer there is plenty more to see in Brum.

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Whether it’s the piss stain sweet smelling underpass between Bromsgrove Street and the Bristol Road

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…leading on to the nearby O2 Academy then there is something for everyone.

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A little stroll down memory lane here as in the 80s and early 90s The Dome was THE nightclub in Brum.  I’d often queue to get in this place and will be returning in December for a Wonder Stuff gig with Mrs BB.

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Just to prove there is something for everyone they’ve even put this on especially for Mudgie…

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There are plenty of hidden gems there too such as Birmingham Royal Ballet

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whilst the Chinese Pagoda at Smallbrook Queensway


is kind of dwarfed by the Radisson Hotel these days.

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The shiny gleaming new Mailbox has acquired a Love Lock Bridge…

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and when you head down on the canal towpath I was pretty sure I could see Paul selling all his Black Country wares from a narrow boat before heading off to an estate pub in Dudley!

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Eventually, you end up in Gas Street Basin, which is a real success story for the city council. It’s basically where the Worcester and Birmingham Canal meets the BCN Main Line and is, as the name suggests, a huge canal basin.

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As the urban myth goes, Birmingham has more miles of canals than Venice, as Pete will testify, and when this area was renovated in the nineties it made a big difference to the city centre.

(one for the future)

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One of the early boozers was The James Brindley but it was shut down in 2009 and laid derelict for nine years, which was a real blot on the landscape; however, it was brought back to life in 2017 and now stands rather splendidly on the water as 435 – The Canal House B1 2JR

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Whilst Digbeth still retains that Bohemian gritty feel there is no doubt that this side of town, with the ICC, NIA and Symphony Hall on the doorstep, is pretty much big business.


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Which basically means New World Trading Company (the owners of Botanist and Alchemist bars around the Midlands) have revamped this place and it is mightily impressive.

If you’re expecting a spit and sawdust kind of place this won’t be for you – as the sign says…

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but on a Sunday afternoon with a bloke on guitar

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and lots of chilled out people then it’s a pretty good vibe.

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A very decent half of Tribal Pale Ale, which is brewed by an anonymous brewer (probably Marston’s as everything else is) but badged as New World Trading Company beer hit the spot and this place is definitely far better now it’s open.

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Would Mrs BB like it?  Definitely.  Is it food based?  Yes.  Can you go in and have a drink without eating?  Most definitely and it’s big enough over two floors to find a little corner of peace if you want it.

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Walking back towards Digbeth…

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…means you take in the Library, which I think is a fabulous building…

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although some things never change in Brum as if you look down, you see the ‘England mascot’ last spotted at The Jolly Potters 12 months ago!

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So, in a nutshell, a city centre boozer that is selling decent beer and isn’t likely to be anything else style wise where it is located.

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If you’re about in Brum on Monday, once you’ve taken in Digbeth and Gas Street Basin, support Birmingham Beer Week and listen to the panel at the OJS.

10 thoughts on “Gas St Basin

  1. It isn’t an urban myth – Birmingham really does have more miles of canal than Venice…something that was first noted in the 1860’s. The canals in Venice are probably a bit more picturesque, but Brum is certainly catching up on that! One of the best decisions Birmingham City Council have ever made was when they decided to open up the canals in the city centre.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, they’re in the process of regenerating Icknield Port Loop with a big residential development where the old paint factory used to be. It will be interesting to see whether they restore the towpath which was missing in places on my last (and only) trip around the loop in 2014.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Love those photos, the colour is really striking. Brum TIC should hire you for their official publicity.

    What Brum has, and Manchester is similar, is loads of development opportunities in interesting old buildings near the centre e.g. Burning Soul, Rock & Roll.

    Now back to your LE69 boozers!

    Liked by 1 person

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