My last Black Country tick in a whirlwind weekend was another of those Black Country Pubs I both love and loathe.

Undoubtedly unpretentiously pubby, they sometimes spoil things by an excess of handpumps, particularly mid-week. And their excellent own beers seem neglected in favour of a long line of guests, neatly displayed on a big scoreboard (yawn).

But they seem to go from strength to strength, taking on some classic ale houses in places like Halesowen, and now bravely moving into the suburbs of West Bromwich, some distance from The Hawthorns or IKEA.



I’ve been to some quite suburban pubs at 3pm midweek recently; who would trek out to the Three Horseshoes for a pint of Pig ?

People make pubs

Answer: loads of people.  In big and small groups. Smartly dressed professors and scruffs me). And frankly, it’s a great place for a cheapish pint and a chinwag.  OK, most of them looked retirees (nothing wrong with that), but plenty of pubs fail to attract gentlefolk away from the telly.

No table reservations !

A few blokes at the bar, but I’d guess two dozen dotted around the room. Bar the odd cob, entirely wet trade too.

Note cobs on the bar

A much reduced range of cask, and some beers you’ve heard of like Betty Stoggs alongside the BCA range. Tellingly, as many ciders as beers on the bar.

A lovely hum of conversation, none of it about Brexit or the Baggies, which is all you want to hear.  The Pig was decent if not life-changing, but that hardly matters, does it ?




  1. We have a couple of very good BCA boozers in Leicester that I rarely use! So many great BCA pubs, frequently let down by some pretty dull BCA beers, even the mild is a bit lacking which is a crime for a Midlands brewery. If the guest beers are not what I want, it’s hard not to get wanderlust and go elsewhere. If there’s something good on though, I’ll happily hog the fire in the Kings Head or Salmon all afternoon.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. “Now bravely moving into the suburbs of West Bromwich” and even wanting a pub in Stone.
    BCA are doing a splendid job in bringing back to life thirty wet led pubs that the big pubcos couldn’t make a go of.

    You’re not alone with your “some pretty dull BCA beers” comment although lightly hopped is surely what Black Country beers are meant to be.
    In one of their pubs eleven days ago it was three BCA beers and three from Sadlers, not quite the variety we expect from them

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This seems like an especially nice one; makes me think a certain shade of warm red is what I most want to see in a pub.

    That guy with the bow tie in your “No table reservations” photo is a sort I don’t often see– looks like the college professor character in a stage play!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a cracker. I’d love to live near a pub like that. By the way, do you ever get any feedback from the places that you visit?


  5. I called in at the Three Horseshoes in January and I’m sure the same bloke with the bow tie was in that day too (you don’t see too many bow ties between West Bromwich and Wednesbury to be fair). I agree with Stafford Mudgie about BCA doing a sterling job of saving wet-led pubs that might otherwise fall by the wayside – when I first went in the Three Horseshoes a good few years back it was a depressing place with a tipsy barman who gave me the wrong change (only time I’ve ever come out of a pub with more money that when I went in!)
    The West Bromwich area is always a curious one in terms of GBG allocation – I’m never quite sure which bits are overseen by Dudley branch and which by Walsall, although I suspect this may be a Walsall selection

    Liked by 1 person

    1. WME,
      Yes, in Stafford BCA have nicely revitalised the Shrewsbury Arms and the Bird in Hand, both previously Enterprise Inns, while Titanic and ‘Joules’ have each taken on a town centre pub and Dorbiere have four not so central.
      That’s eight pubs, about a quarter of what’s left, that did alright under Bass (6) or Allied (2), ambled along for nearly thirty years under a big pubco, and now look to have something of a future under a smallish operator that knows what they’re doing.
      All too often we hear that proper wet led pubs don’t have a future but all those, with the possible exception of the Sun, are very definitely wet led.


    1. LAF,
      Yes, I’ve been in both the Dog and the Craven Arms during the last sixteen months and couldn’t really fault either of them – except that the Craven Arms didn’t have Draught Bass on !

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Nice pubby pub. But although I like these sort of traditional pubs, surely the time has come to stop making sandwiches, wrapping them in cling film and placing them on the bar until …? Mind you, I remember the Gaping Goose having a large open glass bowl full of sliced onions in vinegar on the bar so you could ad them to your beef sarnie.


    1. Yes, indeed, it’s much nicer having sandwiches made to order in the Bull and Bladder, and even cheaper than in the Stile or Great Western.

      Liked by 2 people

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