Number 11 Ale Trail…Kick Off At The Great Western

I’m going to hazard a guess that the 577 – Great Western B27 6EB in Acocks Green hasn’t featured on too many beer and pub blogs.

Great western 31.07.20 (18)

Which is a shame as it’s an absolute corker of a local and well worth a few words.  I met up with big John, who’s an old pal not seen on LifeAfterFootball since August 2017 and a trip to Edgbaston to watch Alistair Cook wallop a double ton and Blues lose against Burton…read about it here.

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Both Oltonians, we fancied having a crack at the much vaunted No 11 Ale Trail, or at least a few of the boozers en route.

So, rolling back the years, I headed to the Brum suburb where I brought my first pad way back in 1991 and got a seven minute train from Moor Street.

Great western 31.07.20 (10)

The plan was to have a pint at The Inn On The Greenread it here– also last visited in August 2017, but it is still shut post covid.

That leaves you with the option of the Spoons in the town centre or The Western, which is next door to the station.

In true Acocks Green fashion there was a bloke sitting outside the station reading in the middle of the pavement.

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Jasper Carrot, Acocks Green’s most famous son, would have delivered a top notch story about that and this is area of Brum is full of funny storytellers.

(funny Brummie!)

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Talking of which, there was a funny bloke waiting outside the pub at about ten to twelve.

I asked him if it opened at midday and he assured me it did before asking if he could have a fag.  I said I didn’t smoke and he confirmed I didn’t look like a smoker but thought he’d chance his arm.

Ten minutes and a newspaper later he was the second bloke I saw in the boozer after the pipe smoker who was perched outside lapping up the sun.

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The bloke inside was great value and full of life and the gaffer was happy to provide table service.

(about to switch to the red wine)

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Best cask option was Hop House (!) so I sat down on the magnificent bench seating, took in the high ceilings and noted the big TV screens and dart board and saw a couple of ladies who swiftly shifted from Dark Fruits to Red wine so I reckon they were lining up for a good day!

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The raconteur was still going strong and the gaffer was palming him off and sorting out a problem with the jukebox.

However, he reckoned business was thriving as all the punters from The Inn on the Green were coming back to him and there’s a lot of chimney pots in Acocks Green.

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John arrived just in time to shout me up another Hop House and he pumped for the cask option known as Guinness and the conversation was flowing.

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In all honesty, we could have ditched the No 11 and stayed here all day as it was already good value and amusing and all the punters and gaffer were incredibly friendly.  I suspect the Great Western wasn’t even remotely warmed up by 1pm on a Friday…

When people talk about iconic station pubs then this won’t get a mention but it depends what you are looking for.

A Brummie boozer with razor sharp wit and the sort of place I reckon Jasper might still pop in for a pint with Jeff Lynne to discuss all things Birmingham City and pick up some great material.

Great western 31.07.20 (1)

However, the number 11 was beckoning…

34 thoughts on “Number 11 Ale Trail…Kick Off At The Great Western

      1. I remember seeing Jasper Carrott doing a stand-up routine on TV including the Tony Butler phone-in and the “nutter on the bus” and absolutely howling with laughter. Probably wouldn’t be allowed today.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. “I’m going to hazard a guess that the 577 – Great Western B27 6EB in Acocks Green hasn’t featured on too many beer and pub blogs.”

    While it’s close to the B514; that doesn’t hold a candle to the A514. 🙂

    “who’s an old pal not seen on LifeAfterFootball since August 2017”

    Blimey! I’d have to stay away for a few more months to beat that record! 😉

    “where I brought my first pad way back in 1991”

    I didn’t know you were transgender. Was it a mini or maxi pad?

    “reading in the middle of the pavement.”

    Better than something else he could have been doing in the middle of the pavement. 😉

    “there was a funny bloke waiting outside the pub at about ten to twelve.”

    Is that the time or where he was standing in relation to the door?

    “Best cask option was Hop House (!)”

    At least it was Guinness related (not that I drink that any more).

    “who swiftly shifted from Dark Fruits to Red wine”

    Help me out here. They went from Mediterranean lady boys to… ?

    “and he pumped for the cask option known as Guinness”

    Hah!

    “but it depends what you are looking for.”

    Life in a nutshell that. 🙂

    “However, the number 11 was beckoning…”

    As opposed to the 10 and 12 from earlier? 🙂
    (where the funny bloke stood)

    Cheers!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Russ!!!!!!!!!!! Welcome back after a mammoth hiatus 👍👏
      Great to hear from you again mate…my first pad was a three bed terrace, which was a bit uncomfortable 😉
      The B514 won’t be able to rival your A514, which has always mentioned you even in your absence…the legend of Russ lives on 👍

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “my first pad was a three bed terrace, which was a bit uncomfortable 😉”

        Indeed! I shall take the high road and not make any reference to giant hoo-hahs or whatnot. 🙂

        Good to be back, although probably still not on a daily basis. This year has been… surreal (as I’m sure it is for everyone). Wife’s catering completely cratered but we’ve kept the lunch truck going… even increased sales somewhat (some prefer to buy off us than drive and wait in line for take out). Still a bit of a pain trying to buy enough food for what is basically three dozen people on a daily basis but so far we’re coping.

        Got a bit discouraging, but I’m back! Sort of; somewhat; you know how it is. 🙂

        Cheers!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Looks like a nice pub inside, though I wish there were a few more pubs like this where the two doors at the front still opened up to two separate rooms. I was in a pub in Malvern last week where you could still easily discern the original layout of three rooms knocked into one. Somewhere in a vast warehouse there’s a store of all the interior walls ripped out of pubs in the 80’s just waiting to be put back (he dreams)…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That would be terrific….I’ve not been here for years and forgotten about the high ceilings and quite how smart it is inside.
      Lots of Brum suburbs pub this side of town are keg only but usually crammed full of characters

      Like

  3. I’ve probably told you this before, but when I was a student in Birmingham in the late 70s, armed with a WMPTE bus pass, I did the full circuit of the Number 11 Outer Circle bus route. At the time it was still operated by half-cab, open platform ex-Birmingham City Council Daimler double-deckers with conductors.

    I once mentioned this on a CAMRA pub crawl and one chap said “You’ve led a full life, Mudgie, haven’t you?” 😉

    Not sure my bladder would last out now, although that might necessitate a pub stop 😛

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I also once went all the way from Birmingham to Coventry on the bus, but didn’t fancy the return journey so forked out for a train.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Is this a pub blog or a bus blog? Desperate times, eh?

      I also did the Number 11 route when I was a student, and what a revelation it was to a young country lad such as me…I’ve never been the same since!

      Don’t think that I’ve been to the Great Western (maybe 30+ years ago…really not sure!) but it looks great. Was the Carling off? (At least you went for the ‘craft’ option…the rebadged and reformulated Harp Lager!)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Beermat, the Great Western gets a cursory mention on my blog (https://wmexplorer.blogspot.com/2017/03/march-moments.html) but only very briefly. We gatecrashed a wake there if I remember correctly, so had to play darts to keep out of the way of the mourners – even on a supposedly sad occasion the banter was very much flying about! We ended up being force-fed curry goat at a party in Handsworth that day but that’s another story. Like the new sideline in bus route analysis, cheers Paul

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d sort of devised my own ale trail with my pal as pubs have gone and others appeared…
      It’s a big ask in one day I think unless you can discipline yourself (I can’t!) to a half in quick time 🍺🍺
      That’s a decent jaunt to start with but think of all those pints you’ll earn 😀
      That link doesn’t show me the book?

      Like

      1. Sorry, must have buggered the link up. Can you edit it to “https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bus-Pass-Britain-Favourite-Journeys/dp/1784770191/” and then delete this comment?

        Liked by 1 person

      1. It was indeed. Very odd day. As soon as the lights came on it started raining and went freezing cold.
        Luckily we could go inside. I was with a blues fan and from memory blues were playing.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I remember but well absolutely Baltic!! We ended up at the pat kav in Moseley as me and my two pals are blues fans…it was a dismal 1-2 loss against Burton and signalled beginning of end of Harry Redknapps short reign!!!

        Like

      3. Worst places to end than Moseley.
        We were in the new pavillon (think the beer was bank’s) so could go in the bar whilst we awaited the closure.
        Oh I miss going to the cricket

        Liked by 1 person

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