It’s mid-August so I think it’s only right and proper that Birmingham City home draws are celebrated in style.
One point and no goals in two home games at a half-condemned St. Andrew’s suggest that every point needs to be celebrated with glee as the annual #bottomsixrelegtionbattle cranks into life.
However, Lee Bowyer is a confirmed miracle worker, so maybe a top 15 position in the Championship is possible? Giddy heights I know, but we can all dream.
Anyway, after a goalless draw with Stoke at the Mecca of Midlands football, I was dropping my eldest back home and convinced her that we should stop at 662 – Ivy’s Cafe & Ale Room B25 8UP
It’s in the big bustling suburb of Yardley which used to be well pubbed but has lost a few over the years so any new additions are welcome.
My last visit here was almost four years ago to The William Tyler, a lively Spoons boozer, but this isn’t an area renowned for it’s cask drinkers.
But, I’d spotted this pub was holding a beer festival later on in August so, after some serious arm twisting, convinced my eldest this was THE place to go at 6.15 on a Saturday evening.
I think the term, unprepossessing, may well have been invented for this café/pub as it doesn’t leap out at you but these places are often the best.
And so it proved as apart from a family of three who were just having some grub, we had the run of the place and were given a tour by one of the friendliest gaffer/barman/brewers I’ve met.
He said that he had struggled to get volume of trade back to pre covid levels and said that was the same for all places in Yardley.
However, he wanted to keep the bar running as the café, which was a family business, was still doing well. And it’s a proper bar with gins, cocktails and all sorts of drinks on offer…
Red Moon is the brewery, although it might be renamed to Fosse Way but, either way, the beer was magnificent.
Bearded Maniac (Red Moon) was as crisp and quaffable pint as I’ve had for a long time – I believe the phrase is nectar (copyright M Taylor 2015).
The conversation was flowing and you can stand at the bar, drink in the café or go into the beer garden. This is a real oasis in the middle of Yardley, a suburb it has chimney pots and shops galore but not a lot of greenery and this courtyard is a winner.
The gaffer is on a mission to convert lager drinkers to Cask, he reckons IPA’s, and EPAs are the way forward. He said, slowly but surely, the tide was turning, although Red Moon also brew their own lager.
The difficulties of competing with the big behemoth breweries on price and some great stories ranging from inadvertently scrumping apples in Wales for cider and lively punters in Yardley pubs meant we had a great hour in this place.
Limited opening hours at present but a beer festival this weekend is well worth a visit and his love of beer, brewing and pub life shines through.
I brought some home brew from the fridge and left one of the most unlikely venues for a pub in south Birmingham but a place that deserves to succeed.