CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide 2018

by Dave Massey

Birmingham and the Good Beer Guide 2018

I was excited to be given a copy of the 45th Good Beer Guide from the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA). It’s not often I enjoy a beer but, when I do, I like to taste different beers.

Good Beer Guide 2018
Good Beer Guide 2018

This 45th Good Beer Guide has 16 pages devoted to the West Midlands, which seems a lot more than I’d remembered from editions in the past. Plus there’s 34 pages devoted to Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire which is great if you are looking for an afternoon out in the region.

Here’s five featured venues to try in Birmingham:

Gunmakers Arms, 93 Bath Street, Birmingham B4 6HG

With its Two Towers Brewery beer brewed on site and recent refurbishment, the Gunmakers is in what will be described as an “up and coming” area for the next ten years. The area is like Digbeth in the 90s, slightly rough around the edges and full of warehouses.

Once inside the staff are friendly and the lovely beers are full of great local connections. I think of this as a venue rather than just saying its a pub as it plays host lots of local events from, geeky board games nights, to poetry and book events. Plus they tweet #BrumHour loads which is just fantastic. There’s even brewery tours you can book.

Purecraft Bar and Kitchen, 30 Waterloo Street Birmingham B2 5TJ

Instead of bothering to talk about how great their beers are, they seem more excited about their scotch eggs! There’s male post-work industrial vibe to this bar, which means there’s plenty of after work suits having meetings and drinking the locally produced Purity Beer. If you need somewhere to sit and have a beer then this is the place for you. Try not to tell everyone eh?

The Wellington, 37 Bennetts Hill, Birmingham B2 5SN 

Nevermind “Bring your own beer”, the Welly allows you to bring your own food, they have the plates, cutlery and even the ketchup! This is a much more traditional beast.. A City Pub! Don’t let the large screens with the guest beers and the square modern beer garden with its wood decking fool you. This is as old fashioned as they come and international visitors will wonder why a venue like this isn’t a museum. I’m extra annoying here as they change the beers fairly often and I spend AGES deciding what I want. AGES!

Rock & Roll Tap House, Unit 2, 60 Regent Place, Birmingham B3 1UG

Ironically my first visit to Rock & Roll Tap house was for the launch of the book I’m telling you about The Good Beer Guide. It almost a hidden bar and is only open Friday nights 5pm-9pm and Saturday from Noon-9pm. Several rooms covered in gig posters and vinyl. I could look at the walls for hours. I tried a half of everything!

The Woodman, New Canal Street, Birmingham B5 5LG

If you asked someone to describe a traditional British or English city pub they would probably describe the Woodman. A pub with a corner entrance and several rooms plus a part wrap-around style bar.

A great space to meet up with friends or have a quiet beer.

This isn’t a sponsored post. I was given a copy of the Good Beer Guide by CAMRA.