18th January 2023.

I’d always targeted one new Beer Guide entry in Birmingham and a second, irritating one in Tamworth. But I also wanted a bit of Brummie culture in the Museum and Art Gallery (having narrowly missed the exhibition on the city’s musical heritage, Dexy’s. Stephen “Tin Tin” Duffy et al.;


Re-opening “sometime in 2024“, which is the sort of precision I expect from micropubs.

Oh well, the best things take time. Like ticking the GBG.

Plenty of great art in the centre,

and New Street itself is a modern masterpiece. I asked the GBG app to direct me to the new Spoons, and it almost succeeded.

The “best of Brum” display (top) is nicely done, but this isn’t a classic Spoons, just a decent station/airport design.

Judge for yourself how exciting the beers are, and whether the Doom Bar is good value;

Quite why I’d spend 10 minutes in heer rather than the Wellington or Post Office is hard to say; but us GBG completists always say a Spoons ticked pre-emptively is never a wasted visit.

The Rev. James was perfectly cool and tasty (NBSS 3) but somehow deeply satisfactory, unlike the sighting of Kevin Rowland’s hat on the table.

Now. I’d managed to get OUT of New Street Station; could I make IN to New Street Station in 3 minutes for my Tamworth departure ?


  1. Pleasingly managed to combine my 1000th spoons with one that was in the guide at Maldon on Saturday. Followed by Bourne for 1001 on Sunday, which I reckon has a good chance of getting in next year. 6 left to do.

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      1. 154 closed ones at last check. Prob gone up a few.
        Kings Norton
        Dublin x 2
        Heswall, which I’m saving for last as West Kirby was my first 22 years-odd ago

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      2. There better be Doom Bar. Although I’ll settle for Ruddles. Not seen any Cains, can’t keep up with its various reincarnations to be honest!

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    1. It’s 847 open and 279 ex-JD Wetherspoons making a total of 1126 venues according to John Adams of London who’s done 1113 of them – and who generously sent me £15 for a stack of Tim’s magazines I posted to him last year.

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  2. A new railway station venue for Tim reminds me of Lees’s Moonraker at Waverley coincidently on the day I’ve learnt that next year’s AGM will again be at Dundee because it’s the cheapest conference venue north of the border.

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  3. Cheap beer and literally a stones throw away from platform 9a where Tamworth trains depart what’s not to like?!! From my perspective, quoting a line from a Dexys song, ‘I’m in heaven’ !!

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  4. The level of excitement caused by that range of beers would get me rushing back to North Bar. Although, in all honesty, seeing the word ‘Wetherspoon’ would have done the same, only sooner.

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    1. A bit like 6X or Black Sheep, it’s got fair brand recognition and still tends to sell enough to be a decent pint. I see it pop up all over the country, though rarely as a permanent beer.


      1. I know, I think the last time I had any it was in a ‘Spoons. For some reason the last time I was in Cardiff I didn’t catch sight of any Brains ( take that whichever way you want😎😎) Might be time for another visit to Specsavers

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      2. That’s a really interesting point about Brains in Cardiff. Apart from the City Arms and the Old Arcade I don’t recognise any old pubs from my time drinking Dark and Bitter in the ’90s.


      3. I know I had a walk about but couldn’t see anywhere showing it. I mustn’t have had the right password. I’ve read recently that the Brains place on the Bay is closing. Missed that one 😕😕


      4. Yes, they did although it was served by top pressure in a few of their hundred pubs nearly all of which were in, near or between Cardiff and Swansea.
        I first drank Brains on 19th June 1974 in the Wyndham which closed in about 1980.

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