In a rare moment of fallibility, the Beer Guide map places Stirchley pretty much where Sandwell starts. It would also have been a rare moment of GBG glory for that borough, but of course us pub tickers know our geography better than the Guide clearly does.
Whether the Wildcat or the Selly Park Tavern count as the closest Beer Guide pub to Cadbury World is hard to judge from the map, and the Selly is an Ember Inn so anyway doesn’t count.
The usual Brum downpour couldn’t dampen Pete’s enthusiasm for his hometown, as he identified the iconic highlights along Pershore Road.
That’s a fine place to enjoy M&B Brew XI, of course, but we pressed on to the Wildcat with its collection of crafty keg. And Squawk.
Through the drizzle, we studied the new opening hours;
It was 4.50pm. We panicked, developing a desparate plea to be served despite the imminent calling of last orders.
Inside, no-one seemed too fussed about the imminent closure. And on reflection, those hours seemed more than a little at odds with WhatPub.
A bewildered young barman reassured us they weren’t closing ’till 9pm, which was nice.
We squashed into a tiny space by the door, and enjoyed some superb beer from Squawk and Torrside (NBSS 3.5). Perhaps ill-advisedly, I succumbed to that bottle of Scare Bleu that was well past its Best Before date (but cheap); it was nectar. Almost as good as Brew XI.
A little bit of Norrebro on the A441, one of the most interesting places to drink in Brum.
Lack of seating my only problem with the Wildcat, perhaps they can move into the Art Café next door, whose opening hours we noticed as we left.
Right beside the Wildcat’s opening hours, in fact.
The Campaign for Opening Hours to Say What Establishment They Belong To (COHSWETBT) starts here.