Where is the Midlands best Micro? Cast Your Vote!

Having seen interest in the blog wane as pub visits have tailed off, there was a big spike after my recent post about Sawley Junction.

A top class little Micropub next to Long Eaton station saw a lot of views and some top notch comments including this one from Dave.

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Whilst the claims of Sawley Junction being THE best Micro in Britain is a bold one, it is undoubtedly a corker of a boozer.

However, it set me thinking as to what exactly is the best ‘small’ pub in the Midlands? I am using the terminology ‘small’ pub as I am including some new kids on the block that used to be shops etc but not necessarily bijoux.

I reckon I’ve got about 50 to choose from that I’ve visited during my blogging career (see list at bottom of post) and it’s a tough job.

Sawley Junction 08.03.20 (19)

Sawley Junction is right up there but I can’t discount the Real Ale Corner in Chesterfield,

which gave me one of the all time great photos on Life After Football.

Feather 29.11.17 (19)

The Feather Star in Wirksworth is another contender as it is quirky and has some top tunes on whereas The Chip and Pin in Melbourne sticks to the old school winning formula

but does it very well.

The Pestle and Mortar in Hinckley gets a vote for selling Bass and acerbic humour whilst The Turtle’s Head in Aldridge

was, to all intents and purposes, a pub in a shopping precinct playing eighties music and selling cheese cobs.

Burton Last Heretic 05.01.17 x2 (1).jpg

The Last Heretic in Burton is always good value and feels like a football pub whilst The Tap at No. 76

on Market Street in Ashby De La Zouch is always heaving and generates a terrific atmosphere.

Tap 76 Ashby 21.01 (8).jpg

My final two in my top 10 are the Pick and Davy in Eastwood, which was the friendliest boozer I’ve been in for a long time

as well as The Belper Tap in Belper as this is a great pub town, the gaffer had completely renovated a former Indian restaurant in six weeks and it was less niche than most.

Belper Tap 14.02.20 (1)

Look I’ve chosen a top ten but there are plenty more that could be in here…

What are your top three micros in the Midlands?   Answers in the comments section please and there is a prize of a beermat to the best entry!

  • The Last Post (Derby)
  • The Chip and Pin (Melbourne)
  • The Feather Star (Wirksworth)
  • The Town Street Tap (Duffield)
  • Suds & Soda (Derby)
  • Draycott Tap House (Draycott)
  • Maison Du Biere (Ashbourne)
  • The Pot Hole (Allestree)
  • The Real Ale Corner (Chesterfield)
  • The Chesterfield Alehouse (Chesterfield)
  • The Newsroom (Matlock)
  • The Creaky Floorboard (Derby)
  • Little Chester Ale House (Little Chester)
  • Bodell’s (Swadlincote)
  • Arkwright’s (Belper)
  • The Worm Has Turned (Derby)
  • Sawley Junction (Long Eaton)
  • Bitter and Twisted (Coalville)
  • The Chequered Flag (Castle Donington)
  • The Apiary Café Bar (Castle Donington)
  • The Needle and Pin (Loughborough)
  • The Tap At No 76 (Ashby De La Zouch)
  • The Gas Tap (Melton Mowbray)
  • The Cask Bah (Loughborough)
  • The Wheeltapper (Loughborough)
  • The Pestle and Mortar (Hinckley)
  • Elbow Room Ale and Cider House (Hinckley)
  • Brew (Ashby De La Zouch)
  • Crane and Wells Tap (Kegworth)
  • The Ale Rooms Knowle (Knowle)
  • The Vaults (Knowle)
  • Tilt (Birmingham)
  • The Turtles Head (Aldridge)
  • Platform Three (Olton)
  • Craft Inn Shirley (Shirley)
  • Beerbohm (Lichfield)
  • Wellers (Newcastle)
  • Bitter Suite (Lichfield)
  • The Last Heretic (Burton)
  • Cask and Pottle (Tutbury)
  • The Junction (Stretton)
  • Brews of the World (Burton)
  • The Cask Bar (Newcastle)
  • Sanctuary Ale House (Hartshill)
  • Artisan Tap (Hartshill)
  • Sankey’s Tap House (Brownhills)
  • The Weighbridge Inn (Burton)
  • Caught & Bowled (Giltbrook)
  • The Gamekeeper’s (Eastwood)
  • Mellor’s Mews (Eastwood)
  • Pick And Davy (Eastwood)
  • The Belper Tap (Belper)






69 thoughts on “Where is the Midlands best Micro? Cast Your Vote!

  1. Between us, and as long as it goes no further, there’s quite a few on this list that I haven’t been to, especially in Derby. Of those I have the Feather Star, Last Heretic and Cask & Pottle felt most like cracking pubs, so that’s my top three.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It depends on your definition of the midlands I suppose, only been in two if these qualify for the area. The St Giles Ale House in Northampton and The Oil Basin in Worcester. Liked them both but two is not three so that’s it. Unless we can stretch the midlands down to Banbury. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Northampton and Worcester definitely in the Midlands as is Banbury 👍 star soccer rules from the eighties and Oxfordshire is definitely Midlands… who’s the final entrant?
      Seem to remember Duncan also waxing lyrical about the oil house

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’d forgotten about Cask. Have to admire anywhere which has Sarah Hughes Ruby Mild as the house beer.
    Hopinn is nearby so I find (found?) myself swerving into its welcoming embrace whenever passing.
    Wellers is a good shout mind.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Always went to Hop Inn for the Oakham Citra. Cask Bar is a bit like drinking in a conservatory showroom, while Wellers is like drinking in a stripped out boutique (which, of course, it is).

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hop Inn definitely feels like a proper boozer (which it is) whilst Cask Bar just felt shopping precinct estate pub … although not inside! Like Wellers although looks like former boutique but good vibe💪
        Need to get back to Stoke and Castle as highly amusing band still many more to visit 😄


  4. If I may add couple to your list, then I’d like to wave the banner for The Crafty Pint Halesowen just 10 minutes down the road from me, 5 quality well kept ales usually locally sourced and has a real homely vibe to the place. Secondly I’d throw The Weavers Kidderminster in, always enjoy popping in for a couple if passing through, great laid back atmosphere and decent selection of ales too

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Love this…keep them coming. Not heard of that one in Halesowen but will definitely check it out on this recommendation.
      Kiddy is worth a full day out I reckon and I’ve heard great reports about the Weavers.
      Love the fact I’ve had about 18 pubs in already and not one has been voted for twice.


  5. Anyone visiting Worcester’s Oil Basin should check out Tripel B’s next door. Belgian beer cafe with a great selection… including some rarities on draft.

    Kidderminster’s beer emporium, for a great bottle selection and 35ml whisky measures.

    Lichfield’s Beerbohm is a blue print for what microsshould be.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Your list shows just how poorly travelled I am in the Midlands. Shocking dereliction of duty.

    Anyhow, my three favourites are:

    1. Beerhouse, Market Harborough – My local, the pub I visit more than any other, great beer, great because it’s my local and I’m a local more than anything.

    2. Beerheadz, Nottingham Station – I always seem to have a good experience here, and the beer (and ciders) are always cock-on! I particularly like the transient nature of the customers, it feels like a proper station buffet rather than a locals pub.

    3. Hereford Beer House – Purely about the beer and cider which is excellent. If I want a great ‘pub’ in Hereford I’ll go to The Barrels…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheers Rich…the needle and pin is great and could have got in there easily. Also like the chaos of the cask bah! I didn’t even know Bakewell had a micro…will need to check it out and a day trip to Buxton is long overdue 👍


  7. There’s many in your list I’ve not been to. My personal favourite micros would be:

    1) Bitter-Suite (Lichfield)
    2) Hail to the Ale (Claregate, Wolverhampton)
    3) Heddins Ford, (Hednesford, Staffs) – (just because it’s Backyard)

    Only one of those in your list. My nearest ones are The Turtle’s Head, The Jigger’s Whistle, and Sankey’s Taphouse. all fine places with great beer. Beerbohm and The Whippet Inn in Lichfield are great too, in fact Lichfield is a great place to drink.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lichfield is great…far more pubby than it gets credit for. I’ve been to the Bitter suite and thought it was spot on but something about turtles head that was top class.
      Like the sound of the hednesford and wolves ones 🍺👍


  8. Naturally I have to shout up for the West Midlands contingent, of which Hail to the Ale in Wolverhampton is consistently excellent. I too like the Bitter Suite in Lichfield and the Turtles Head in Aldridge (although I might have been bribed by free chips in the latter). A couple of highly regarded Black Country ones would be Tivi Ale and the Old Dispensary. Cheers, Paul

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would expect nothing less Paul!!! That’s a couple for the Bitter Suite, Turtles Head and Hail to the Ale now so some early contenders are emerging..
      I’m assuming Tivi Ale is in TIvidale? Where’s The Old Dispensary pal? Loving your closed down estate pub classic series!!!


  9. I have to admit that I’m not a fan of the micropub…too small; too busy; too loud; too pretentious; rarely any Carling. The only one on the list that I’ve been to is The Vaults in Knowle and that was well over 10 years ago!

    Anyway, my top 3 Midlands Micros are –
    1. The William Chester – Market Drayton (actually feels like a proper pub!)
    2, George and the Dragon – Gnosall (very homely, felt like you were visiting someone’s home!)
    3. Wildcat – Stirchley (have to plug my local micro!)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Living 5 minutes from Sawley Junction I’m a little biased, but:

    1. Sawley Junction
    2. Platform Three, Olton
    3. Draycott Tap House


    Liked by 1 person

  11. Real Ale Corner in Chesterifeld is epic, and we only discovered it by accident.
    Heddins Ford in Hednesford is class.
    Pestle and Mortar in Hinckley is great.,

    Loads on the list that I haven’t been to and The Needle and Pin (Loughborough) has eluded me on both visits to that town.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Needle and Pin and the cask bah both worth a visit in Loughborough 👍 cheers for that and I agree re real ale as it’s raucous for a micro and need to check out this one in Hednesford 🍺🍺


    1. Ooh good shout Katy! I’ve only flagged up ones I’ve been too but I loved Larry’s in Stapleford as good fun and horse and jockey a proper trad place…cheers for the tip as Stapleford not too far from me and I’ll check it out 👍


    1. I’ve only listed the ones I’ve been into John and I’ve got a work colleague who loves the Bont Pig!! He would endorse your view 100% and it’s on my to do list 🍺
      You have put it out there as a contender and the craic is more important than the beer I reckon


      1. Actually I would also endorse the Burnt Pig. I’ve been to so many, and frankly very few are worth travelling for in the same way an established boozer might be, other than for the beer of course which is the principal selling point.

        The Burnt Pig is an exception, a truly excellent proper pub that just happens to be a but ‘micro’. Great beer, excellent snack selection, the front bar for when you’re in the mood to chat all day, several pokey spaces for other times, they’ve even got a proper table topper for the Doms.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That sounds class! My work pal lives it and it his local…I do think more of the new wave of micros are small boozers with a craic and laugh more important than just the 🍺…and they are better for it


  12. Lock Keepers Rest (Sawley) Happily walk an hour to get there

    York Chambers (Long Eaton) Me local micro

    Roots (Kimberly) beautiful wooden bar

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheers for that Jay as not been to any of these three! Long Eaton one is run by feller who owns Chequered flag? I missed Roots so will definitely pay a visit 👍 is the Sawley one only accessible by towpath?
      Great shout cheers 🍻


      1. Think Bert from Chequed Flag part owns Chambers. Never seen him behind the bar there.
        Yes Lock Keepers is towpath only. There’s 3hrs free parking at Sawley marina.

        Liked by 1 person

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