20th March 2023.

If I was really going to get full value from my rail ticket(s) to Brum that Monday I’d have visited the wonderful Art Gallery, but as you’ll know it’s closed for a while, and I’d had liver and onions so a Balti in Sparkbrook wasn’t an option, either.

So a last pub it is.

There probably are new and shiny pubs in Brum I could have sought out but I figured I owed the Wellington another try.

You see, I’ve had a rather mixed relationship with the Welly since it opened as the second city (after Manchester) top alehouse nearly 20 years ago.

And not just because it introduced those electronic display boards with far too many beers which you ignore and look down a row of handpumps before randomly going “Oh, Golden Glow, then“.

My main gripe is that I’ve always found the place (and I’m choosing my words carefully) a little “fusty”, and when at regional meetings when I suggested a post-work pint I found that colleagues would often prefer the more “fragrant” Old Contemptibles. Or stay in the Pub du Vin, whose adjacent restaurant famously banned my pint.

Fresh air in the alley, anyway.

and in the upstairs roof terrace, which often convinced me the Welly really was a great pub.

It seemed charming on Monday, if a little too hot for comfort, but better that than the chill of a Joules pub in Stafford.

No sign of the cats, so disappointingly I can’t offer you feline click bait on this post.

And again the Holden’s was a pleasing if slightly thin pint, mirroring the Black Country Ales pub that started the day.

But I’m betting that photo above appeals to a few of you, and I suspect that the whole thing makes a lot more sense in the company of like-minded Old Codgers. Perhaps a Proper Day Out in Brum is needed urgently.


    1. Good news about the Bartons Arms – thanks.

      Mrs. E and I managed Sunday lunch at the White Lion by Ross-on-Wye, and a couple of pints of WV Bitter were really the business I thought – far nicer than HPA or Butty Bach imo. New barrel with half a gallon pulled through before my pint…

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I’ve consulted with my butler and if you can do it anytime apr 11-15 or school holidays in July/august then he’s happy to chauffeur me there 👍 I can exchange my villa stickers with the Wickingman 😀


      1. Excellent indeed, though I hope I might be excused for a while to do two mundane city centre pubs during the final fortnight of my fiftieth anniversary tour.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. I like the POV, but the Wellington is one of those pubs I always feel I should revisit since my view on it changes so often. The same is true of the Great Western in Wolves and Bird in Hand in Stafford.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Martin,
        I’ve had a pint in the Shrewsbury Arms for you this afternoon and the Pig was drinking well, the one ‘on the Wall’. The board outside boasted “13 Real Ales” but its a seven-ales-is-plenty pub now, one of the four guest ales being Oakham Fruit Crumble. I had a bag of scratchings.
        Then to the Market Vaults where Wainwright couldn’t be drinking as well as the similarly north-western Cumberland Ale was last year.
        Approaching home I noticed it was 4pm and so the Morris Man had opened ready for my tea, a small mixed grill rather than my usual curry though.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’m pleased to hear the Shrewsbury back in some form, and will no doubt be persuaded back soon enough.

        One of the benefits of making notes in pubs is that I can actually check what I thought of beer quality in a pub like the Market Vaults. Surprisingly, I scored it a 3.5, which is very good. Not a pub I’m going back in unless Wainwright becomes Bass.

        Glad to see you’re eating well !


      4. My branch is now having a Beer Festival Meeting in the Shrewsbury Arms and might be disappointed that there’s “only” seven beers on. I’m leaving them to it as I’m no longer interested in beer festivals and it’s nearly my bed time.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Not to mention “craft brewing trends such as beers with added fruit syrups, mirk makers and battery acid”

        Liked by 1 person

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