Our area – beer utopia?

Wolverhampton was once known for its great nightlife. People came from all over the West Midlands, Staffordshire and Shropshire for Wolverhampton’s nightclubs – the likes of Club Lafeyette and The Mezzanine were semi legendary names in their time and people have fond memories of them to this day. In more recent times, venues have come and gone – Atlantis was good for a while and our halls – the Civic and Wulfrun – continue to punch above their weight in attracting some of the best live bands and comedians around as a cursory glance at the Wolves Civic website will tell you.

Hail to the Ale – many a cause for celebration

 

But Wolverhampton and the surrounding South Staffordshire villages are becoming known locally for another reason – great pubs with very good beer. Let’s look at pubs. The obvious candidate to mention at the moment is our own micropub in Claregate, Hail to the Ale. The Morton Brewery ran pub is a multiple award winner, being pub of the year 2015 for Wolverhampton, the West Midlands and the greater West Midlands region – no mean feat for a pub that opened just over two years ago.

The Lych Gate Tavern in Wolverhampton City Centre

Highly popular in Wolverhampton are the real ale pubs, of which the city has several. The Lych Gate Tavern, ideally positioned next to St Peter’s Church and an attraction for the city centre’s office workers, is one of Wolverhampton’s oldest buildings. Beautifully preserved, this Black Country Ales pub has an enviable selection of beers on offer as well as some real cider. A short distance away on North Street is a relatively new pub, the Dog And Doublet. This pub occupies a space where there have been numerous drinking establishments over the years – The Tiger, Kipps Wine Bar and Manders Bar will all be familiar names to Wulfrunians. The Dog & Doublet is making good use of its space – as well as a good selection of ale, there is a wide range of continental bottled beer, real cider and some very good lager such as the local Freedom Brewery Freedom Four & Pilsner. The Dog also plays host to live music nights and has an impressive beer courtyard.

The Great Western, a railway themed pub

 

There’s also our Victorian gem, The Posada as well as Hog’s Head, the Great Western, the Combermere Arms.. we could go on. All that we’re missing is a dispenser of craft keg beer, as anyone who has tried some of the current small brewery keg beer will tell you – it’s rather good. That gap may well be filled early in 2016 – as Slater’s are opening a pub right on Queen Square which might not only serve some of Slater’s own excellent Stafford brewed ale, but craft as well – though we’ll have to wait and see on that score.

The Firs Club, Codsall

 

A short journey away (by bus, train or designated driver..) is Codsall. Codsall Station, the Holdens pub at the railway station is well known for its good beer and beer festivals – a regular award winner. Nearby, the Firs Club is also holder of an award and along with Codsall Station, holds beer festivals. To top this off, Codsall now has its own Codsall Beer Festival. The one day event was held at the Village Hall on October 3rd and there is hope – and early indication – that organiser Andy Evans will extend 2016’s event over the whole weekend. And yet there’s more good news in Codsall – the celebrated Joule’s Brewery have purchased the Crown in Codsall Square, which will add another quality venue to Codsall’s  selection (we haven’t even touched on other good well used pubs, The Bentlands and The Bull).

There’s The Vine in Wednesfield, Café Metro and The Trumpet in Bilston, The Stile and The Newhampton in Whitmore Reans, The Claregate in, well, Claregate. We truly are spoiled for choice.

And what of the beer available? Well we’ve got Banks’s / Marstons brewing in Chapel Ash at the huge Park Brewery site. We’ve got the excellent Sacre Brew just off the Bilston Road, Morton Brewery in Essington, Newbridge Brewery in Bilston. And the above mentioned pubs serve (or will be serving) top local ale such as Holdens, Beowulf, Fownes, Slater’s, Kinver, Springfield and so on.

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