18th January 2023.
Nothing that exciting to report so far in January, certainly nothing to compare with Duncan, who’s just back from ticking Athens, or BRAPA, who’s just been to the Blind Monkey. Look ! Here’s his hand !
But a day in Birmingham had been eagerly anticipated, at least until I realised that the Digbeth brewery tap that I’d so looking forward to had the kind of opening hours (per their Facebook) that make tickers scream;
Sheffield to Birmingham by New Street by rail is only 76 minutes. I’d bought separate day returns for the Sheff-Derby and Derby-Brum elements to save myself a tenner (which is daft), but it did mean I had to jump off and back on at Derby apparently, which is even more daft.
For the record, the trains were packed with Scousers taking mini-breaks in Plymouth.
By complete coincidence it also took 76 minutes to get out of the wonderful New Street Station when I was last here.
Much easier now, due to a free App entitled “Get out of New Street” which plays “Keep Right On Till The End Of The Road” every time you go the wrong way and bump into a table.
76 seconds after leaving Platform 13 I was passing the fascia of the Trocadero, headed for the Good Intent.
Being a typical male, I always assume I know where I’m going even when I have no clue, and set off vaguely in the direction of Brum’s second station, somewhere near that ornate Fullers pub and the simple Cathedral.
It’s at this point I realise I’m really not going to just bump into the Good Intent, so loiter by the church to scour the GBG app for directions. Oh, It’s in the Great Western Shopping arcade.
Never heard of it. Rather lovely in a Harrogate Arcades sort of way, though most of the shops sell you don’t need.
Except the pub, of course.
“What can I get you ?” I’m asked.
“I have no idea” I say, having never heard of any of them and the clips saying little of style or strength.
How would YOU choose ?
But the service is pleasant, and I’m giving the Gold the benefit of the doubt at first sip, despite the handled jug.
Just under a fiver a pint, too. You’re not in Sheffield now, Tonto.
It’s quite pleasant, but cold, and a bit small (just one loo), and I don’t linger, despite the conversation opposite touching on “closet Anglicans” and the soundtrack being unexpectedly ’70s.
Just as I was finishing off, half a dozen beer tasters arrived. I’ve almost forgot what a half-pint tastes like.