Best real ale pubs in Redditch – guest post by Robert


Wetherspoon - The Royal Enfield - The Old Cine...

Wetherspoon – The Royal Enfield – The Old Cinema – Unicorn Hill, Redditch (Photo credit: ell brown)

With traditional British pubs closing at an alarming rate, it’s great to find a place that still has lots of knowledgeable barmen offering proper craft beer on tap in cosy surroundings. If you love a decent real ale or craft beer, you have to pay Redditch a visit. Here are some of the highlights of the local beer scene…

The Redditch Winter Ale Festival

Run by volunteers of the Redditch and Bromsgrove branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), ale lovers can choose from over thirty craft beers, plus several perries and ciders. For the more adventurous craft beer fans, this year’s event featured a passion fruit beer, a coffee porter and an intriguing coffee and chocolate beer which were real talking points.

The Bramley Cottage

You can’t deny that the people who run this pub are passionate about their ales, and you’ll find anywhere between five and 10 guests ales on tap here. Unlike many other pubs these days, they pay attention to seasonality too. Their current selection of spring ales are light, crisp and just right as the weather (finally!) starts to get warmer. If that wasn’t enough to convince you of their credentials, they’re Cask Masque members to boot.

The real test of a decent pub is not just the standard of its beer — the quality of its food matters at least as much.  Who likes having to leave a pub to get something decent to eat?

The Bramley Cottage scores well on this front: they source everything from farmers they trust so are guaranteed top British ingredients. Think achingly soft pork belly, proper chips and 21-day matured fillet steak.

The Royal Enfield

Yes it is part of the Wetherspoon chain, but that’s no reason to overlook this pub. Housed in a converted cinema, it played host to the Redditch Winter Ale Festival this year. It always has a great selection of reasonably priced cask ales and is very welcoming to families with small children, with an affordable Wetherspoons food menu served from early morning till 10pm daily. Also known as ‘Lloyd’s Bar’,  from Thursday to Sunday nights it becomes part of the local night life, with a late license, DJ and dancing, with karaoke on Monday nights as well, it offers a lot more than you often find in a Wetherspoons branded pub. It also has several real Enfield Motorcycles on display inside! (Enfield motorcycles were made in Redditch).

The Why Not Inn

This family-run pub is adored locally for its wide range of ales and classic country fare like pheasant and partridge. What’s great is that they get their ales from local breweries like the Purity Brewing Company and the Wye Valley Brewery.  There’s no better way to get to know Redditch than to sample one of its delightful ales, so be sure to stop by here.

Want to impress with a bit of trivia? This characterful pub was named after the horse who won the 1894 Grand National.  Now you know!

The Gate Hangs Well

This gem has five permanent ales on tap plus one slot for new guest ales which are introduced every week to keep things exciting. From crowd-pleasing Abbott Ale to the full-bodied and complex 6X ale, it’s a well thought out collection. It’s no wonder CAMRA has listed it in their Good Beer Guide for the past four years running.

When to go: The pub quiz on a Monday and Sunday night is always a great laugh. And if you like a good slab of cheese with your ales, the local Cheese Club meets at the pub on the first Tuesday of every month.

Practical information

The town is well served by the Redditch Train Station, and there are plenty of hotels in Redditch including a cheap Premier Inn close to all the best pubs and the train station, so you don’t have far to go after a tour of the town’s best bars. If you’d rather not take the train, there are several busses connecting Redditch to the rest of Worcestershire.

Bio

RJ Bayley is an Edinburgh based real ale enthusiast who has written Ale To The King, named the best craft beer blog in capital. He likes the seek out the best real ale spots wherever he may roam in the UK and is currently running the movie, alt n’ pop culture blog Goats In The Machine.

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