If you folks only knew the effort that goes into these blog titles. I bet you think I just buy BRAPA cast-offs or something.

I notice that I’ve just got a Twitter follower from Maidenhead.  In the event they can read, I’d like to welcome them to the blog and draw their attention to the Special Conditions.

I met someone from Harborne at the Julia Jacklin gig.  Lovely bloke, so I’m going to be kinder about his bit of “Brum for Poshos” than I normally am.

Odd bus journey

If you listed the things in proximity that gives a suburb “posho” status, Harborne would tick all your boxes.

  • “PFI” Hospital
  • University
  • County Cricket Ground
  • Golf Club
  • Pointless lake
  • A Waitrose
  • More than a dozen “bistros”
  • Ember Inn where locals are talking about badminton
Yes, it’s an Ember

I think the badminton fetish is the clincher.

This is my first time blogging about the place, despite the Hop Garden being my eighth (8th !) GBG entry here.  Perhaps Duncan, Si and I should commission an undergraduate to research “Harborne’s Weird GBG History and Social Decline“.

A decade ago the High Street seemed to get all their old roadhouses converted into modern chain dining places with just enough cask to get in the GBG, for a year at least. A joy for fans of pizza, flatbreads and Purity.

M & B

The well-dressed, well-groomed locals and pashminas say “posho“, but it’s a scruffy, too busy High Street (bar the wonderful Boston Tea Party), and the Tourist Information Board hasn’t prepared for my visit.

Just “Messiah”,then

So I headed into the side streets before the Hop Garden opened at the inevitable 4pm.

Love a modern church
St Mary’s

These days you always have to physically visit a new GBG pub before believing what it says in the GBG/WhatPub/FaceBook/on the phone about opening times.

Luckily, I can see the pub gardener tending to the actual pub garden.

What does Tap Takeover say to you ?

He seems perturbed by a rogue bike abandoned outside; I’m more intrigued by the man who has disappeared, leaving only his climbing boots(top).

Inside it looks exactly like you’d expect a Harborne beer bar to look like.

Nicely done
All your craft favourites

In Birmingham, it’s always 1996, with the Euros in town and Sum 41 and “Supersonic” playing in the pub.  BeerMat knows.

I try to hide my disappointment at having to choose between 5 varieties of homebrew with 1996 styled pump clips.

Great pumps, mind

Oh.  Should have shown you the beer board.  You love beer boards.

Burning Soul on keg

The beer is cool and well conditioned (NBSS 3.5) if a bit plain.  The pub suddenly becomes a bit special when the “Nearly Old” Boys come in at 4.15.

Two pints of anything !”  That’s the spirit.

Two mates are here for beer and pork pies.  Brian only carries cash for the pork pies, apparently.  His mate then pops out to M&S Foods to buy some more mustard, which seems the civilised thing to do.  English I presume.

I start to wish I was allowed to drink keg when visiting a GBG pub for the first time, but that apart the place works.

I even get inspiration for my next avatar.

Nicked from Carlisle

But there is one mystery yet unsolved.  On the very day I wrote about the effects of Jakemans on beer, the Hop Garden is encouraging you to mix the two !

How weird is that ?


17 thoughts on “BABY WE WERE (HAR)BORNE TO RUN

  1. If I listed the things in proximity that gives a suburb “posho” status I would include the “Harborne Village” rather than “Harborne Suburb” sign.
    “5 varieties of homebrew with 1996 styled pump clips” when all you expected was the M&B Brew XI we all know and love.
    I thought the purpose of Menthol and Eucalyptus sweets was to take the smell of alcohol from ones breath and the “One for the road ?” sign certainly suggests that. .

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Damn – I had ordered that blog title from Amazon for when I do it and now find its out of stock. Also done 8 there which must be a high proportion of the total selection. Beer list looks interesting to me- don’t know Elusive Brewing who have been er elusive up to now.


  3. Elusive are quite elusive. They nearly became a micro brewer in my home town of Farnborough, Hampshire (would have been the first) but the rent was too expensive. They ended up in Finchampsted directly opposite Siren Craft which can’t be a bad thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I haven’t been in the Hop Garden for at least 20 years when it was known as The Sportsman!

    Harborne is still a place where you could do a proper(ish) pub day out and not do that much walking. If you started at the other end (near that church) you’d get to: –
    The New Inn (was a lovely little boozer now a steak restaurant/pub/cocktail bar)
    The Vine (one for Beermat!)
    The Junction (pub/restaurant)
    Slug & Lettuce
    Harborne Stores (another one for Beermat – a proper local boozer)
    The White Horse (proper pub!)
    The Plough (was a lovely little boozer, now a gastro)
    The Green Man (classic Ember Inn)
    The Hop Garden

    Friends of mine used to do the ‘Harborne Run’ every Christmas Eve when there were at least 13 pubs to visit!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I actually forgot the pop-up Sadlers pub on the High Street (used to be the Angel Bakery Cafe). Maybe it doesn’t have classic boozer potential, but Harborne does have breadth of choice encompassing almost all the common types of pub currently in existence!

        You’re spot on about the New Inn…the upgrade hasn’t improved it from a ‘pub’ perspective. It was a lovely pub, but whenever we visited it was quiet (even on Friday and Saturday nights) so it may not have survived without the revamp!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. The new Wildcat is due to open soon…at least twice the size of the old one!

    Attic Brew is apparently going from strength to strength – I was chatting to the Bass guitarist of the band Mean Old World at a one-off gig last night with Dan Bode from the States (the band I saw at the Lamp tavern all those years ago!) and he said that it was still very popular!

    So, you’re right, Stirchley IS where it’s at!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Had a good chuckle at your reference to the “Nearly Old” Boys! What is that, then– mid 40s? 😉

    Must agree with you, that just might be the most uninviting row of pump clips I’ve ever seen photographed on your blog. Looks like the designer thought, “Damn, I’ve got to design these stupid pump clips when what I really want to do is design video game cartridges…. Wait a minute!” 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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