Come And Join The (Tasting) Club

Having witnessed Digbeth’s gentrification first hand at Dead Wax Digbeth last time out I thought I would annoy Pete Allen a bit more by sneaking into another boozer before him find another new kid on the block.

Before Dave gets excited and starts singing boy band songs from the 90s, I have to tell him I’m looking out for pubs.

(is that a bar I spot?)

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In fact, this one is so ‘new’ that it isn’t even on the whatpub website as yet. It’s been open less than a month and fits the bill perfectly in the Custard Factory.

Digbeth, or more specifically The Custard Factory and surrounding buildings are definitely the place to go at present in Brum.

(photo courtesy of


As one of my hairy-a***d mates, who is the pub expert in Brum said, it is the place to go if you want to do more than just drink.

Ghetto Golf, Fazeley Social and Digeth Dining Club are just a few of the examples of different drinking experiences and whilst they aren’t estate pubs, they are filling previously vacant buildings.

The days of the Industrial Revolution are long gone from Birmingham and Alfred Bird’s Custard Factory, which ran from1902 to the mid sixties, was dormant for around 30 years.


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It has subsequently been growing since the mid nineties and is really taking off now with even my mates, who usually hit the Lamp Tavern, Anchor, Spotted Dog or Big Bull’s Head, turning to Craft!

Anyway, in and amongst the units, there used to be a bottle shop/tap house called Clink Beer on Gibb Street. This has gone and been replaced by a crowdfunded new pub called 512 – Roberto’s Bar And Tasting Club B9 4AA.

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Roberto (Ross) opened his doors on Monday December 9th and me and three of my mates popped in for a taster five days later and the man himself was working hard behind the bar.

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It already had more people in it than I’d ever seen in its predecessor, which was a good sign and I had an excellent Belgian IPA, which hit the spot.

He’s using the upstairs room, which is good as it gives the place more space (think the Euston Tap size wise). The woman behind us said she didn’t like beer and despite a couple of tasters was still unconvinced but had honed in on the Gin, so Roberto is clearly covering all bases.

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A modern, clean and friendly bar serving some lively beers, which aren’t always the norm even in a city the size of Brum.

It looks like Roberto’s Bar is here to stay and with the Digbeth renaissance continuing apace then there are likely to be many more places to drink in the next 12 months.

27 thoughts on “Come And Join The (Tasting) Club

  1. Question: Everyone seems reluctant to remove their snorkel jackets in your pics, is the place heated for the comfort of the beer or the customers?

    One thing that’s guaranteed to put me off a place at this time of year is being expected to drink cold beer in the cold.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha!!! Good question…it was on Dec 14th and it was Baltic so maybe punters just coming in? Also, if they are anything like me and out all day I am reluctant to remove my coat as I have history of losing/leaving it with keys/wallet etc!!!
      But the beer was cold!!!! However, two more on the way to restore your faith in Digbeth/Brum….


      1. Oh I haven’t lost faith. We’re in the very early stages of planning a Brum day with friends and I wouldn’t be averse to sticking with what I know in Digbeth. More likely the Jewellery Quarter or a Tram exploration though.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You are making Birmingham seem really interesting. I read about a group of old guys who crawled there earlier this year and phew not my deal. Bunch of run down pubs with Doom Bar from what I could tell. Birmingham is on our next route based on your last few posts.


    1. That’s right Dave. Young hipsters like you and I appreciate the happening trendy scenes…those slightly older members I am afraid are scared of just how fashionable we are 😄 There’s also the floodgate which has all kind of pub games to keep you amused whilst drinking lots of American craft 🍻My FIG-LX1. On O2.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Old guys? Run down pubs? How very dare you? I think you’ve mistaken that for a selection of upstanding gentlemen visiting some fine traditional pubs on a beautiful summers day! (…and it would be a mistake to suggest that the only hip thing about them needs replacement! lol!)

      Seriously, though, Brum now caters for all tastes and I hope you have fun when you do visit!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. No reason Birmingham shouldn’t be getting with it as well as keeping the old boys quiet, I’m going to have to fit in a couple of trips there myself at some point in the coming year.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Organised sooner than I thought(not by me), a group of seven of us are coming up to Brum on Friday 12th of June, four of them heading for the Cricket, myself and two others heading for the pubs, staying over on Friday night in the Ibis Great Colmore St. will give you a nudge if your’e about nearer the time.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ll let you off this one! Not a bar that I’d have found on my own…I don’t often get to the Custard Factory these days! But, it’s one to note for future reference!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Beermat, Birmingham is certainly changing and nowhere is that more apparent than in Digbeth. Really hope Roberto’s place is a huge success there as he certainly knows his stuff. Will have to call in at some point; I remember going to Clink and sampling a celery beer I wasn’t entirely convinced about, so hopefully stalky vegetables won’t be on the menu. Cheers, Paul

    Liked by 1 person

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