In a couple of weeks I’ll be joining a few folk from the Beer and Pubs Forum in Wolverhampton in a plot to blow up craft breweries.

I had a plan to combine that trip with a visit to one of my last Staffs GBG ticks in nearby Codsall.

Not that far

But common sense came late; I was never going to do a two hour walk through Wolves suburbs (even the nice ones) after four pints and an argument with a tree in the Combermere Arms.

And it’s only two minutes from the station, so no excuse not to do it on a sunny Wednesday. I should have done the Crown when I did the Bull in November 2016, as any fool knows that Joules pubs get in the Guide after an appropriate probationary period.

Still not sure about that apostrophe

WhatPub says “grand“, and that’s fair. It’s certainly cut from the same cloth as the Joules tap, but that has the custom that Codsall seems to lack, certainly at lunchtime. Not that the Bull was struggling for Old Boys, even if they were all on the Carling.

There were just a couple of other folk in there, one of them seeming to be there for the free WiFi rather than the Slumbering Monk.

It’s a treat for fans of brown.




It reminds me a bit of Sam Smiths extravagant restoration in Gloucester‘; gorgeous but not really “lived-in” yet. Give it a few years.

Too many beers

Worth a quid or two just to look round; Dick and Dave would love it. And the Pale was cool and tasty too (NBSS 3+), though I suspect it would be even better with less choice and more punters.

Pointless jam jars

I’d love to see them get a site in central Wolves; it may be pushing my luck to expect them to do that before April 4th.

40 thoughts on “JOULE’S GOLD IN CODSALL

  1. You nailed something about the Joule’s pubs I have been in. They often haven’t developed the “lived in” feel you mention. Very good point I think. I often feel that they don’t have the character some other pubs have.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They often look like they’ve been built from scratch, even when they haven’t. I like the way they stick to pub basics, e.g. a fixed beer range. Be interested to know how busy they are.


      1. The ones I remember have a very clean oak feel without being perfectly new. Not a cozy warm feel; A bit stark but with a classic character.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Not even Humphrey would leave a random ‘goes to nowhere’ door in place? He said with a snug grin.

    I’ve yet to sample Joules beers, the only Joules outlets I have seen seem to concentrate on ladies clothing – you trying to tell us all something?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Saw this week the Wortley Almshouses in central Peterborough is closed. No signs, nothing. Always busy when I popped in or looked in, and with a cheery landlady. A disaster for the city if it closes.


  3. I like Joule’s beer, and their pubs tick a lot of boxes for me, but there always seems to be something slightly contrived about them. Time will tell whether or not they do acquire that lived-in feeling.

    (now reposted on correct post)


  4. Thought exactly the same after noticing it when doing the Bull and only got there a fortnight ago. I like Joules pubs but know what people mean – they are full refits and just need a little time to age.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The one in Stoke feels very pubs, perhaps because it’s less dramatically refurbed and just serves bread and cheese. More recent openings seem to have a full menu; doubt they can compete with cheapo Marstons or Spoons.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Martin,
    Well done for getting that one out of the way so we don’t all miss you for an hour or two on 4th April.
    As for comparison with Sam Smiths you must admit that you’re paying a tad more than £2 a pint in Steve ‘Caffrey’ Nuttall’s latest venture.
    Yes, they “often feel that they don’t have the character some other pubs have” but that’s because it’s such a contrived formula that they’re designed around, not that that’s a problem with most of them but it’s inexcusable for Steve to wreck the heritage interiors of the likes of the Kings Arms in Eccleshall and New Inn at Newport.
    I think “the one in Stoke”, the Glebe, is better than most.
    It’s not what the proper Joules Bitter from Stone was up to 1974 but I don’t mind the new Joules beers at all. Come to Stone next Tuesday though and you’ll meet someone who’s lived in the town for many years and will tell you “I’d rather drink my own piss than that new Joules beer”.
    I don’t know if you used, no I mean drank in, Codsall Station this time but that is one of my favourite pubs, a really proper pub that’s like a slightly up market Great Western.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sadly, Paul, I shall be touring the pubs of Fife next Tuesday, or I’d join you in Stone. Been to Codsall Station a couple of times, no idea why it’s not in the Beer Guide anymore. I sense we may discuss Joules more on the 4th. Or perhaps not.


      1. Yes, we might discuss Joules more on the 4th, when I shall try not to bore you with too many recollections of the proper Joules up to 1974, and I think I shall be having a pint or two in Stafford’s Olde Rosee Ande Crowne once you’ve sorted out your train and hotel.


  6. I must say that looks like a gem of a pub to me; if not for all the qualified praise in this comments section, I’d think was one of the finer ones you’ve been in. But there’s a distinct lack of customers, that cannot be denied. (Also Joule’s has got me on their side by way of their good-old-fashioned logo design– long may they resist the urge to follow in Pedigree’s footsteps!)


    1. It’s difficult, Mark. You’d definitely be as impressed as I was, and with a dozen or two customers you wouldn’t notice how perfect it was. Customers can make a place seem live-in, not surprisingly. I agree on their logos, and their overall branding is very clear.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes definitely and you must visit the Highwood and Olton tavern (now an ember) as I reckon I kept them afloat for a few years! My two locals in Solihull days and both within five minutes walk of pup and duckling…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think I probably have. I did at least two conferences in central Solihull and I must have done the pubs with ale, presumably the Spoons, the Ember, the Chef & Brewer. Does it have a Yates !?


      3. Talking of the Olton Tavern – that’s where you’ll find me on a Thursday night asking lots of ‘damned silly’ questions! It has a distinct Bar area and a Lounge/eating area that works quite well!


  7. “Still not sure about that apostrophe”

    Normally I’d agree (gasp!). But, since that’s their name they can get away with it (sort of like saying Budweiser Beers or Sleeman Ales or some such).

    Oh and love the Snug. 🙂


    PS – “with less choice and most punters.”

    Perhaps more rather than most?


  8. I concur with the general thrust of the comments on Joule’s pubs…and I’d love for them to open one in Birmingham as well as Wolverhampton.


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