20th March 2023.

Just as you only watch “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” or hear Lizzy McAlpine’s “Five Seconds Flat for the first time once, you only get to go in a classic Batham’s pub for the first time on one occasion.

But that’s no reason never to revisit the Vine or the Swan, or the Unicorn (Batham’s do great pub names, don’t they ?).

Even if you have new pubs to tick. How could you possibly walk past this ?

Even the font draws you in.

A tight (cosy) three roomer I couldn’t remember from my “official” visit probably early 2000’s, but unmistakably Black Country Pub,

whose name recalls the rare sighting of a unicorn in the ladies loo at Merry Hill in 1972.

If in doubt on entrance, sit with your pint (is a half of Bitter even legal ?) in the front bar,

where the dog can’t quite reach you but you can join in the conversation about the Masons and the embarrassment of being related to a Telegraph reader.

It was a cool, crisp, tasty pint (NBSS 3.5), though I’ll say on the record I find the Bitter a tad thin compared to Holdens and hope that doesn’t offend anyone TOO much, not that I worry about that.

The time to worry is when you’re drinking faster than the regulars in a Batham pub, I guess. Perhaps if I’d had my lunch here (cheese and onion cob with cheese and onion crisps) it would have slowed me down.

But frankly it’s too late to slow down now.

15 thoughts on “BOSTIN’ BATHAM’S BITTER

  1. Hmm, I looked at that map and struggled to work out what part of the Black Country it was.

    Thin? But the aftertaste creeps up on you… A definite Top 5 beer for me.


  2. Comparing the two breweries, in Lichfield’s Horse and Jockey this week I had a lovely pint of Golden Glow and again thought that Holdens had been inspired by Bathams’s Best Bitter.


      1. They really turned the beer over when we were there. Masses of cask sold. Hoping for the same in May.


      2. It was Paul. I thought the beer was outstanding. Dick and I went for multiple visits since we were staying there.


  3. Hi Martin, ah the Bathams we’ve been waiting for. Even though the brewery is based in Brierley Hill, I still tend to think of Stourbridge as being their heartlands. I’ll sit on the fence as regards the comparison with Holden’s Bitter – I love both beers – but I do prefer Holden’s when it comes to the Mild. The Unicorn is a great boozer that does all the simple things so well, and I’m not sure I’d have been able to resist a cob even if I had eaten merely minutes earlier. Cheers, Paul

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Holdens Special at the Black Bull Sedgley was pretty grim on Saturday night (switched to Guinness) (we were only there for the Thai). And Bathams in The Vine round the corner from home is never up to much. Maybe they deliver there by mistake because it’s called The Vine? So it seems I’m in dire need of some better experiences of these two breweries offerings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s why I like folk to comment on here with honest experience, Andy. Kentish Paul and Halifax Chris score beer on their own blogs, and are honest when beer tastes a bit thin. Last time at the Vine (Bull & Bladder) I thought the pub and cob was wondrous but the Batham not as great as I’d had elsewhere. Which is odd as you’d assume the turnover was as rapid as anywhere.

      Best Holdens I remember wasn’t far from Sedgley, in the Chapel House at Lower Gornal;

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Not far from The Fountain where the beer is generally very good. Pretty sure the taxi took us past the Chapel House on the way to Sedgley but with 4 of us plus the driver crammed into an old 1-series BMW…


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