The geography of Birmingham gets wonderfully complex around Bournville ward.

I’m sure the Ember Inn nearest Cadbury World (which is probably what visitors call the area) was marked as King’s Heath (or is it King’s Norton ?), or was it Selly Oak, which is the Parliamentary constituency ?

Anyhow, Stirchley is it’s own ward, but half a mile down Pershore Road you’ll find Cotteridge, which IS an area of Bournville ward. “Area” seems much to imprecise, doesn’t it ?

Wiki has little to add about Cotteridge, a functional place dominated by Sophie’s empire of takeaways, and whose most impressive building is called Kurry Kingdom in order to annoy folk.

It was closed, and my GBG pub was also shuttered up 20 minutes before opening time.

But I’m used to that, nerves of steel, though as this was my last West Midlands Guide tick I had a particular reason to get it done.

I settled my stomach, and nerves, with a spicy chicken wrap from Bistro Cafe, which also seemed like the place to go to overdose on Turkish coffee and baklava.

That left two minutes to discover that Cotteridge has a pub identical to the British Oak,

and a chap called Jon Doors who sell doors. Isn’t that a coincidence !

15:01. The shutters were halfway up at Redbeer’d. That suggests life, surely ?

Two minutes passed, the longest of my life, with no further shutter movement.

I pushed the door anyway, it opened, and a friendly barperson apologised that they weren’t quite open yet as it was all a bit hectic. Sometimes “not quite open yet” at a micro means “come back Saturday”, but here it was 39 seconds before I had my pale Fownes.

I reckon I’m first in these suburban micros 90% of the time (3pm openers normally), and I always wonder if anyone will turn up. At least I get a 90s soundtrack of Blur’s “Universal” and the Lightning Seeds’ “Life of Riley” which always makes me look for a screen showing the Goal of the Month contenders from Tony Yeboah.

Instead, two fellow topers had joined me by 15:10, both on the Fownes Pale.

If you want to chuck the plug off the seat, help yourself” said our busy barperson to Bloke 1, apologising for a few tasks frantically completed before opening.

No-one ever goes upstairs in a micropub (unless the loo is there), and that’s a FACT. Which is a shame, as Redbeer’d has made an effort, even installing a palindrome in the Gents. It took me ages to work out it was a palindrome.

Nearly as long as it took me to apply the pink markers to the West Midlands section of the GBG.


    1. Hi Martin (and indeed Beermat), the Grant Arms is proper Cotteridge Carling territory, loved it in there despite the lack of cask ale – and a shout out too for the Cotteridge Social Club, what a timewarp that is!! I visited RedBeer’d last month and was impressed by the attentive service – sitting in the front window looking out over the busy junction with Outer Circle buses trundling past was great stuff. The only disappointment for me was that I think Duncan went on the same day (when Reading played Kiddy) and our paths didn’t cross. Cheers, Paul

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m sure Duncan would have been in a fantastic mood after the game, too !

        Now I think about it I forgot to mention Cotteridge Wines, just round the corner. I seem to remember that name from way back. They were advertising a vast beer selection (no interest to me, obviously, don’t drink at home).


  1. I lived in Cotteridge when at university, but we tended to go to the Camp just over the railway, and the Bull’s Head on King’s Norton Green rather than the Grant Arms.

    No micros in those days, of course.

    Liked by 1 person

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