Four O’ Clock And a Pub Queue For Beer

Four o clock and there was a massive queue for the pub.  Things you never thought you’d say post lockdown but Stirchley is rapidly becoming the ‘go to’ destination in the suburbs of Brum.

Big John and I were still chuckling about the skin tight painted on lycra bloke in the Red Lion as we headed off for our next destination.

However, we thought a long walk was in order as opposed to the Number 11 and the much-vaunted Stirchley Beer Mile, specifically the British Oak was in our sights.

(pub signage – not the British Oak)

Grant Arms 31.07.20 (9)

There has been a glut of breweries; taprooms, bottle shops and micros spring up between Bournville and Kings Norton stations basically along and just off the Pershore Road.

(Not the Stirchley Beer Mile – boozer next to King’s Norton)

digimap_for_schools (7)

It was piping hot and the British Oak loomed into view but, almost unbelievably, there was a socially distanced queue of around 30 people and all of them looked far younger than us!

Who’d have thought it?  Young people do go to pubs after all and this classic boozer is obviously the place to be seen in Stirchley.

We were keen but not that keen so it was onwards and upwards towards the next bus stop to pick up the Number 11 once again.

Grant Arms 31.07.20 (1)

Starting to flag John reckoned there was a boozer just round the corner and it appeared in the form of the 580 – Grant Arms B30 3AU.

It’s classed as Cotteridge and not mentioned on the Stirchley Beer Mile and doesn’t even have a line on the CAMRA whatpub site beyond the Real Ale is not available.

(contemplating the craft Heineken)

Grant Arms 31.07.20 (8)

It was an absolute classic pub and full of life.  A one-way queuing system for the bar and a bustling late Friday afternoon atmosphere

This is almost Pete Allen’s local and Mudgie drunk here during his student days and I can see why.  I decided to go for the ultimate cask option of Heineken, in a chilled glass no less, which was absolutely what the doctor ordered on a red-hot afternoon.

Hi Viz jackets, sky sports, lively chat, fruit machines and blokes playing cards mean it is the sort of pub (apart from the cask) that Mark Shirley would enjoy.

Grant Arms 31.07.20 (2)

Rumour has it that the two fellers playing cards had in fact been playing in the same seats since Mudgie went to Uni in the eighties.

This is the sort of place some people might walk past as it’s not what you’d call trendy but you’d be missing a gem as this is real Cotteridge life.

Grant Arms 31.07.20 (6)

Mudgie’s most recent blog posed the question do you go out for a pub or for the beer?  This for me is why I always choose the pub and means I don’t rule out places like this just because it hasn’t got a weird and wonderful beer selection behind the bar.

Pub number four on our mini Brum suburbs jaunt Number 11 Ale Trail and I reckon the most full so far but it felt very safe.

With people queuing up for a pint at 4pm on a Friday in a Birmingham suburb and local boozers such as the Grant Arms ticking over nicely then perhaps there is light at the end of the tunnel for the beleaguered British Boozer.

20 thoughts on “Four O’ Clock And a Pub Queue For Beer

  1. “Big John and I were still chuckling about the skin tight painted on lycra bloke in the Red Lion”

    As long as you keep it to yourselves please!

    “Not the Stirchley Beer Mile”

    Should that be ‘note’? I can’t make heads nor tails of these maps. 😉

    “there was a socially distanced queue of around 30 people and all of them looked far younger than us!”

    Blimey!
    (the queue thingy, not the fact that nowadays most people are younger than you) 🙂

    “(contemplating the craft Heineken)”

    I say every beer is crafted. Maybe not by hand, but definitely crafted.

    “in a chilled glass no less, which was absolutely what the doctor ordered on a red-hot afternoon.”

    Agreed on the chilled glass of lager on a hot day. Especially after mowing the lawn. 🙂

    “Rumour has it that the two fellers playing cards had in fact been playing in the same seats since Mudgie went to Uni in the eighties.”

    (slow golf clap)

    “This for me is why I always choose the pub and means I don’t rule out places like this just because it hasn’t got a weird and wonderful beer selection behind the bar.”

    I think I would tend to be the same; should I have such choice around here. Sadly, I don’t (which is why my darling wife is suggesting we build a ‘pub’ for me in our backyard). 🙂

    “perhaps there is light at the end of the tunnel for the beleaguered British Boozer.”

    Concur!

    Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Believe it or not I haven’t given a thought to the name yet! (blush)

        It won’t be completed until next summer so I’ll have plenty of time over the winter to ponder that. 🙂

        Cheers

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Beermat, I was wondering if you’d found time for this Cotteridge classic but had an idea you wouldn’t be able to ignore it. Love these old M&B roadhouses with the original decorative masonry, looks like some of the original customers are still there too 😂 The nearby Cotteridge Social Club dials up the blast from the past vibe even further, chintz aplenty. The British Oak is arguably too trendy these days, with prices to match, but still worth seeing for the heritage aspects. Cheers, Paul

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re right of course it is Cotteridge and I’ve adjusted accordingly! I have vague recollections of going to a birthday party at the Cotteridge social about 20 years ago and it was distinctly old school!!
      Yes, liked the look of the Oak but too old to queue to get into a pub these days…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, as Paul WME says, it’s really Cotteridge rather than King’s Norton. Second nearest pub to me when I was at university, but I think I only went once – our regular haunt was the Camp. I’d probably appreciate it much more now, having learned that pubs aren’t just about the beer. The choice in Brum in the late 70s really was dire, though.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. If I’m honest I only had a fleeting glance and saw ubiquitous John Smith’s! Would be nice to think they had keg Brew XI on as I still see that in Brum suburbs occasionally.
      I’d definitely have gone for that…

      Like

  4. There used to be a big pub on the corner of Pershore Road and Lifford Lane by the canal bridge, halfway between the British Oak and the Grants Arms, but StreetView suggests it’s long since disappeared. Perhaps Peter A can remember its name.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. The Breedon Bar! South Brum has never been a haunt of mine, as it’s the wrong side for me, but I remember seeing bands there in the early 90s.

        Liked by 1 person

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