31st January 2020

You STILL on January, retiredmartin ?

Well, I left you on a cliffhanger last post, which feels a lifetime ago.

Would I find somewhere to eat on the Cannock/Walsall border or starve to nothing a mere 472 pubs short of completing the Beer Guide.

Greater Walsall in all its glory

Since that last post I’ve actually finished Kent AND Greater Manchester Guide chapters, which you shouldn’t think about too much.

My penultimate Staffs tick, ensuring a tickertape reception outside the Artisan Tap tomorrow, was in bucolic Brownhills.

Some great street art for you.

Bucolic Brownhills

I know people in Walsall who read this rubbish, so let me be clear. I like Brownhills; the Royal Oak (RIP) was an Art Deco cracker, there was a giant indoor play area our children loved and the curry is hot and spicy.

It still has some superb shop tiling,

Probably a butchers

and a giant mining statue that towers over the puny efforts in Burntwood and Rugeley.

The Angel of the Chase

But recent years have been hard for the High Street,


and my only culinary option before the micro opened at 3pm was the Sizzling Pub, which at least provided refuge from the drizzle.

It does have a name, despite Bing’s suppression
Proper beer choice

Clean and cheerful, and probably more pubby than your local Spoons, which I sense 88% of Brownhills would prefer.

But the food was mediocre, aBackyard BBQ Beef burger topped with BBQ pulled pork, Monterey Jack cheese and onion rings” chosen because of the artisanal American cheese being completely tasteless. And more expensive than a Spoons.

Two ladies, toddler in tow, sank pints of Stella and Strongbow and compared plans for Friday.

“I’m doing the tax return”

“I’m having sex”

Multi-task, ladies.

BRAPA would have preferred the Sizzler to the Jiggers Whistle, though I commend it for opening up early when I walked past and saw workmen in at ten to three. They were decorating the pub rather than drinking the Gentlewood First Frost.


Nice guy, told me they’d made a mistake in the specification for the miner and built him 30 feet high in error. Detail, detail.


So another micro to finish the West Midlands for another year, though the last two are pretty much the only left boozers on the High Streets of both towns.

Not much sign of the Herne rules being followed anywhere, and hurrah for that.


  1. Between Xmas and New Year on the way to Ludlow we pulled off the A5 for petrol at Tesco, noticed this place from the queue to get off the roundabout, checked app and saw it was in the guide. Warm welcome but we were the only ones in!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Sizzler isn’t too bad actually. They did have Doom Bar (eek) on when I was last in at Christmas , big screen darts and pool too! Never eaten there though!

      The Jiggers is a cracking micro, beer is superb.

      There is another pub just around the corner (off the high street) , the shoulder of mutton, affectionately known as the Mutt.. Full of carling and characters.

      2 more pubs in Walking distance, the excellent Swan and a HH called the Gusset arms.

      5 pubs all within walking distance so you can still get a pub crawl on that side of Brownhills.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Some of the Mitchells and Butlers pubs near me have been converted to the Sizzler brand including the Royal Oak at Rising Brook. It had a ‘Men only’ bar until the law said it couldn’t but still retains a bookies in the car park.

        Liked by 1 person

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