WORD(SLEY) UP

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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.

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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.

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And the beer range in this classic Worcestershire* backstreet local is hard to beat.

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Four top breweries there, and the Robinsons cider, but still no Bathams !

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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.

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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.

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I stopped to admire the Black Country poster, with Ma Pardoes centre stage (thanks Wes).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

26 thoughts on “WORD(SLEY) UP

  1. A great read on so many levels! Worcestershire rather than West Midlands….That pint of Plum Porter in Titanic glass looks outstanding….walking allied to drinking always a winner….we used to play against Wordsley Wasps in the Birmingham Boys league in about 1986 and probably last time I was in Wordsley! Need a revisit by the lol of it 👍🍺 Lee Sharpe played for the fantastically named Stourport Wednesday!

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    1. Was involved in a beery discussion about Titanic Plum Porter – real or artificial, balanced or just an overpowering plummy punch in the mouth? It doesn’t come out as a Porter neither when judged on the CAMRA standard styles and is best described as a novelty beer. Discuss …

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s why I never want to write about beer, don’t have a clue. Just know its a tremendously satisfying drink. Like Oakham Citra, and unlike Landlord, Plum Porter seems to be served by pubs that know how to keep beer.

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      2. Or maybe the real skill of a brewer is the ability to make beer that tastes great even when handled poorly by incompetent landlords? Discuss.

        If beer X tastes flat and muddy every time you try it, maybe its not actually the publican that is at fault.

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      3. No beer will survive a careless licensee and inadequate turnover. I’ve had very dull Landlord, Mallinsons and Dark Star this year in Beer Guide pubs that had too many beers on.

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      4. Stay Puft is infinitely better, subtler, and a big fave. I haven’t ever scored it, but from memory it fits the style of porter/stout – there’s all the roasty bits as well as the marshmallow, which isn’t overpowering.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. The Sudoku puzzle is quite easy once you realise that you need two ‘r’s in each line. It is a novel idea, and one which I should disagree with whole heartedly as it will massively reduce beer mat stock, however as they clearly issue six new designs a month this might not matter.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Don’t get Paul ” Down with that sort of thing ” Bailey on about beer mats in pubs being used for anything other than beer soakage.
    But I’ll tell thee summat for nowt – I haven’t seen anyone attempt a beer mat catching challenge in decades.
    17 were my record.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You Tube wasn’t invented then.
    And Mackeson was the only craft beer available.
    Although I did once see a feller do a stackful of mats with both hands simultaneously.Legendary.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Every now and then you visit a pub and I say to myself, “I’ve been there…I think!” The Bird in Hand is one such place. I was fairly sure that we’d been there quite recently – on the one hand I was right, but it was back in 2008 (almost a DECADE ago…where’s the time gone??) Not surprisingly, being a Banks’s pub, it doesn’t look to have changed a bit!

    Looking forward to the Bathams pubs you visited…there are a few in Stourbridge to choose from.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Two nice looking back street pubs indeed. And the way you (and others?) have gone on about the Titanic Plum Porter it makes me wish I had something local that was similar (still can’t find a decent stout/porter in my neck of the woods).

    Cheers

    PS: “to start the a walk up the A491”

    If you’d gone up the B4187 instead would it have been a b walk? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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