All Hail The Ale (Hub)

You can’t rest on your laurels for a minute in this blogging lark.  There was me thinking I’ve cracked it after my recent Digbeth and Burton posts but those Americans are an impatient lot and Dave is already thinking of filing a lawsuit if I don’t blog on 2,000 pubs by the end of 2025.

Tamworth Mark, who is currently only posting on stately homes in Tamworth (an oxymoron there folks) is struggling to keep up with the pace of daily blogs, so Martin has suggested hiring Corby Mark as a ghost reader.

The Wickingman has come up with a cunning plan whereby I don’t actually visit any non-gastro pubs and send in a ghost drinker (probably a job for Stafford Paul) so to speak who visits all those pubs loved by Paul WME and Alan Winfield.

Therefore, with all this in mind, I thought the only thing I could do was take a trip down memory lane and visit a newsagent exactly one mile away from my old Secondary School.

Before I receive any more complaints from the Blogging Board of Control (BBC) about non-pub references I should confirm this newsagents is converted into 688 – Ale Hub Shirley B90 3ER.

This is the second in a three pub chain that is putting ale on the map in the most unlikely of places.  They first set up in Dickens Heath, which is a real ale oasis and have now set up camp in a a former newsagents opposite the Co-op, next to a pharmacy and a car wash in residential Longmore Road, Shirley.

Nevertheless, this is a chain that I think will work although I’m not the first blogger to pop in for a pint as Paul WME beat me to the punch on his recent jaunt to Shirley – read it here.

One of the biggest plus points is that it is actually open from midday every day so you can pop in for a pint, as I did on a Thursday at about ten past twelve.

I was the only punter in but the barman was great value and I had a good half hour chat with him whilst quaffing a top class pint of Gold Brummie (Birmingham Brewing Company) who always seem to deliver great beer.

Four lines of cask on is a good amount for a place like this but the Barman said business was going well and it had been steady growth and they had a good core of locals.

Not many were dark beer fans hence the IPA/Pale end of the market and said he was happy to be led by his punters.

It just felt like a good place to drink beer where they’d be just as happy to serve you a lager, gin, prosecco or anything else but just happen to keep a good pint.

I’m not sure why I’m surprised really as this is 2021 and the Midlands is awash with breweries and new pubs springing up all over the place and central Shirley has lots of options.

It’s good to see this new place ticking over nicely though and it will be a locals boozer within walking distance as there are plenty of chimney pots in close proximity and this looks to me like it will hit all corners of the market. Newsagents turning into pubs appears to be a popular move – I’m all for it as you can never have too many boozers and m

12 thoughts on “All Hail The Ale (Hub)

  1. Can it call itself a micropub if it is open those hours? Far too easy to visit. You make this look easier than RM and Simon.

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  2. My Dad regularly recalls tales of going to picture houses with his pals every week back in the day to see the latest instalment of (apologies if I’ve got this wrong Dad) Dick Barton, special agent or Flash Gordon. A lot of the excitement was around the cliff hanger at the end which would leave the audience in suspense desperate to find out what happened.

    Now, either you have taken my constructive feedback (as opposed to whinging Martin 😆) regarding blog regularity, and the demands it puts on your loyal readers, but shortening your latest post or you’ve gone down the cliff hanger route.

    The current blog from your old stomping ground ends as follows…I’m all for it as you can never have too many boozers and m. How mysterious, have you gone down the Line of Duty route where your readers need to attempt to identify the identity of m? Or is it simply premature blog posting in which case I wonder what you were going to say? I wonder whether the blog was going to descend into 1970’s style sexism and it was due to say ‘I’m all for it as you can never have too many boozers and mini skirted barmaids’ !! I can also hear Sid James laughing 😂

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    1. Martin is very much in the same tongue in cheek camp as me pal so we rarely write anything serious!!!
      I like a cliffhanger but Sid James, Charles Hawtree, Bernard Bresslaw et al may be disappointed as it may have been a typo 😃😃

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  3. Greetings Beermat – following in the WME footsteps I see! Was quietly impressed with the Ale Hub, even though it arguably feels more like a coffee shop than a pub (a bit like some of those Titanic ‘bod’ places). Shows what can be done though to provide an ale outlet in a suburban location. Haven’t been to the Dickens Heath one yet so we might have to have a race to see who gets there first! Cheers, Paul

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  4. Much as I appreciate your enthusiasm for pubs Beermat, will nobody think of the poor Newsagents! Where am I to get my post-pub bag of Pickled Onion Monster Munch if every newsagent is to be converted to cask and Pipers? We’ll miss them when they’re gone…

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    1. Ah but imagine your delight when previously redundant paper boy is rehired to deliver your daily pack of pickled onion monster munch and Everards Tiger as part of his ‘new’ round!
      Although not posted through the letterbox just for clarity 😃

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  5. When I first saw your headline for this visit I thought you had reached the far side of Wolverhampton (Tettenhall) but then it might have had to read something like ‘All Hail The Hail to the Ale’ .

    Keep up the good work!

    P.S. In case you weren’t aware, there has been an addition to stock in sunny Shepshed with Charnwood brewery converting an old shop into The Hall Croft Tap.

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  6. Your sources are correct – 97 Meadow Lane Coalville LE67 4DQ – amongst the chimney pots to the east of the town, about a mile and a half from the Stamford & Warrington. Rumoured to be trying to open pre-Christmas.

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