We left the last post with my drinking buddy already two pints of 6%+ beer up, before the 6pm witching hour, and with two ticks left. Not a good place to start the a walk up the A491 to Wordsley.
This is where geography gets complicated. I put Wordsley in the box marked “Greater Stourbridge”, no doubt someone will correct me.
Anyway, the Bird in Hand is next to the Red Cone, as Stourbridge as you can get.
And the beer range in this classic Worcestershire* backstreet local is hard to beat.
Four top breweries there, and the Robinsons cider, but still no Bathams !
It’s the sort of homely pub that used to make Stockport an essential trip in the ’90s**, a two-room boozer with local beers (Holdens NBSS 3) and unintelligible banter. Charles loved it, but he’s from Norfolk.
Proper filled rolls the only grub, but of course we’d had our gourmet scotch eggs.
For the insomniacs amongst you, the Hobson’s beer mats now feature word suduko. We spent ten minutes staring at beer mats before giving up.
I stopped to admire the Black Country poster, with Ma Pardoes centre stage (thanks Wes).
On the walk back, Charles started ranting about a B&B next to the Robin Hood in Amblecote, so I felt obliged to explore. The two streets, Collis Street and Brettell Lane, have yielded up four Beer Guide entries over the years, and the Robin Hood looked rather spectacular at dusk.
Stourbridge does this sort of back street boozer better than almost anywhere. The entire population of Wordsley packed into four pubs, with the crush at the bar forcing us into the garden with pints of Bathams and Plum Porter.
Everyone talked to us, even the cyclists. The death of the drinkers pub is much exaggerated on the evidence here. Few pubs have wished us “Good night” as genuinely as the lovely folk here.
As you can tell by the top photo, this was a stellar pint of Plum Porter (NBSS 4.5). I believe the Bathams may have been even better, but I’m a Titanic man.
I expect we’ll be booking Bed & Breakfast at the adjacent Rawsons’ Retreat soon; whether we work through the 10 pumps at the Robin Hood or work our way north is a matter of heated debate.
*This blog is a “West Midland” free zone.
**Stockport hasn’t changed that much, to be fair.