Back in 1840 Bromsgrove was famous for the fact there were 59
You could have had quite a pub crawl in those days...
we've lost most of the old drinking holes over the years but there are
still plenty of good pubs to visit in the town. These are my
feelings about those that I choose to frequent. Many of these
pubs have seen big changes since I created this website. Please
click here if you want to go back in
||More of a yard really! Sunny in the afternoon.
The Queens Head is a Victorian pub of great charm and character and
is a lovely site to see when approaching the town via Stratford
Road. Inside it has an interesting layout which results in what
is quite a small pub feeling bigger. Only serves food at
lunchtime. Probably the closest thing you'll find to a
'traditional' pub in the town centre and it should be supported for
that reason! If only I could persuade Claire about that though -
she is put off by the professional drinkers that seem to be in there
most of the time...
||A real sun-trap
Having been run by Jason since May 2010, here you'll find a traditional
boozer right in the heart of the town.
Being a Marston's pub, the range of real ales is restricted to brands
owned by that group. But with a constantly changing selection
from Banks's, Marston's, Jennings, Brakspear, Ringwood and Wychwood,
that's not really a problem! This is backed up by the fact that
the pub won the Redditch and
Bromsgrove CAMRA Autumn 2011 award for Pub of the Season.
Golden Cross Hotel
bottled Westons and more!
||Concreted area that is shaded in the afternoon.
There has been a Golden Cross Hotel on the current site for a long
but the current one only dates back to the 1930's. It's a
building and much of it's exterior charm was preserved when it became
of the first JD Wetherspoon's pubs to open in the Midlands back in
However, it was at this point the Hotel part of the name ceased to
ending its historical role as a place to stay for good.
If you've been to a Wetherspoon's pub you'll know what to expect in
terms of food and drink available. And the prices! No
it's so popular. Where it does win over many other
hostelries is that it was a pub to start with. This gives it far
more character and charm internally.
What I like most about it is the excellent range of real ales that
almost always available. Marvellous.
Food is served all day, every day.
The Black Cross
||Concrete slabs surrounded by car park. But a real sun
Now here's an historical pub for you. Dating back to 1640 it
every bit the old coaching house that it once was. Inside you'll find
distinct areas. At the front is the bar, down the side is the
room and at the back is the lounge. In the lounge you'll find a
panel in the floor exposing an old well discovered when the pub was
When I first started drinking in the town this was my favourite pub
in the town by a
The landlord and landlady - Bill & Pat - had run the place for a
few years and had it well sorted. There were also some long term
bar staff who really knew what they were doing. One of them
Ronnie - was the nicest and most streetwise old lady you are ever
to meet in a pub. Friday nights were fantastic. Familiar
good music and good service. And it was during one of those
nights that I met Claire so this pub really does have a special place
Since those halcyon days, the pub has had it's ups and downs and has
even been completely closed several times. During a couple of
visits around Christmas 2017, I was pleased to find the old place
little changed, ticking over nicely and serving real ales in good
condition. Fingers crossed that continues for many years to come.
The Hop Pole
||Birmingham Road (junction with Blackmore Lane)
||Large grassy area with decking. Sunny in the afternoon.
Back in around 2000, The Hop Pole was a favourite pub of mine.
The owners were Julie and Pradip and the pub was cosy and
traditional. Claire and I liked it so much we had our wedding
there! In 2003, it underwent a makeover that saw the original two
rooms knocked through. Thankfully, it didn't change my opinion of
the pub and it became the town's premier music venue under the
ownership of Jeff (R.I.P.).
Jo has been running the pub since December 2015 and doing a great
job. There are up to five well kept
ales on tap, and Stowford Press is there to keep me happy. There
are numerous regulars, surely the sign of a great little pub!
The Hop Pole is one of Bromgrove's premier music
venues. Check out it's website
for latest news.
||Birmingham Road (junction with Burcot Lane)
|| + real cider from the cellar!
||Slabbed and shady. Not the best...
I'm not too sure of the age of The Crabmill but looking at it's
exterior I would have to place my bet on 18th century. It really
is a nice looking building and is in a very nice position opposite All
For the seven years from 2008 to 2015, the pub was run by a lovely
couple, Don and Sheila, but they had to retire due to Don's ill health
and he sadly passed away in the spring of 2017. By this time the
pub had gone downhill so far that his wake was held in the nearby Hop
Pole. Thankfully, a new team moved in - the McHale brothers - and
they have done a great job on bringing the pub back to life. If
you're into sport, this is the place to go to get the best atmosphere
during those big matches. As someone who doesn't like sport, this
sadly means Claire and I have to walk past the packed pub during those
events and head to the Hop Pole instead. I'm always disappointed
by this as I miss out on the real cider they serve!
Slug and Lettuce
||Stonegate Pub Co
||Excellent! Despite being
side of the High Street
the position of the neighouring building means it gets sun
in the afternoon.
This pub is a conversion of three shop units that had been
empty for several years. The building itself was originally a
Victorian house known as The Gables but, despite being a listed
building, it had fallen into a state of disrepair (see for yourself...).
The quality of refurbishment of the building is good and many original
features have been preserved within - the windows at the back, the
and some decorative coving have all been kept.
For a few years, I was happy to pay the odd visit here as the place has
the feel of city centre bar and made a nice change from the other pubs
in town. But November 2016 saw a makeover that ruined it for
me. Done up in the style of a Parisienne tart's boudoir, it is
now the haunt of yummy mummies and those with a taste for overpriced
lager. And all the good things about the old pub went with the
refurb; Happy Mondays - GONE; Aspalls Cider - GONE; Real ale -
GONE. Okay, they still do 2 for 1 cocktails but the price has
increased and now you have to have two the same! Talking to other
pub goers around the town, I'm not the only one to be avoiding this
place now. But, hey, each to their own. Just because I
don't like it doesn't mean it won't be right up your street so give it
a try and make your own decision.
||Smith & Jones (Barracuda Group)
||Roof terrace on the sunny
side of the High Street
This pub originally opened as The Rousler in June 2006. The
Rousler didn't last long and it had a name change in an effort to try
and change the image it had gained a a good place for youngsters to go
for a fight at the weekend. The story in the local paper said
that it hoped to become a family pub and they even got rid of the TVs
(and sport had been a dig draw for the Rousler). And so it became
The Grapevine with the biggest improvement being the introduction of a roof
terrace that is a great place to catch the evening sun during
2014 saw another name change as the pub became The Grove. The
interior took on a new stripped out and modern appearance that apes
bars like the Brewdog chain. I actually quite like it though I'm
not sure why!
of the pub near the windows is nice but the rest suffers from the fact
that it is basically a converted and extended shop unit. Most of
the pub relies on artificial
lighting and the rear section is
dark and unwelcoming.
Little Ale House
||21 Worcester Road (corner of Station Street)
choice of REAL ciders!
||A few benches out the front when the weather is good
Bromsgrove's newest pub is a micro-pub. It
opened its doors on Friday 11 October 2013 and I paid my first visit on
There's no getting away from the fact that it's rather an odd
place. It's basically an old shop unit and very little effort has
been made in making it feel like a traditional pub. The seating
is a real mish-mash with the strangest part being the long bench seat
down the left hand side that is so high that you need a step to get up
there and beer barrels to rest your feet on!
But this is a pub that is all about providing a great range of real
ales and ciders and an atmosphere that harks back to the good old days
with no music or TV. In fact, its small size and unusualness has
lead to me and Claire talking to more strangers in this pub than any
other pub in town - the art of conversation has returned.
Beer is served direct from the barrel and up to 6 are available
(although some are usually settling). Cider has proved a big
seller too so up to four real ciders and perrys can often be found.
Sensibly, the opening hours are 12 midday until 10pm Monday to
Sunday. This is how the pub was promoting itself early in
Terry Bacon has stuck his neck out and taken a big risk opening this
place but it seems like he's hit on a winning formula. Despite
the removal of a discount for CAMRA members in early 2018, the reasons
to return to the Little Ale House
just keep stacking up.
||6 Worcester Road
||Independent bottle shop, cafe and bar
||Changing range of bottled and canned ciders
||A couple of tables out the front!
Okay, let's get this out in the open - this isn't a pub! But the
drinking scene has changed dramatically in recent years and what it is
could well be a model for small scale venues in the future.
After a seemingly endless period of development (about 2 years!), it
finally opened late November 2017. Our first visit was for a
coffee (great coffee, BTW) and to have a look around. So it's a
coffee shop, an upmarket off licence and a bar. Behind the
counter are 6 beer taps serving an ever changing range of interesting
kegged beers. If you've been in a BrewDog bar, you'll get an idea
of what you kind of thing you might get the chance to try. And if
you've been to BrewDog, you'll know that you'll have to pay a premium
to get it…
Run by George and Jack Bayley with a real enthusiasm for the
products they sell, both are always willing to help and advise.
recommended if you fancy trying the kind of beers you won't find
anywhere else in town.