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)
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)
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.