The Wellington—A Cask Ale Rarity

Birmingham, West Midlands, England

We’ve used Birmingham Airport a number of times before but had never ventured into Birmingham City Centre. Thanks to Caroline’s aunt and uncle, who live in nearby Tanworth-in-Arden, we drove part way in and then took a train into the city. It’s not as if we have been avoiding Birmingham and its incredible canal system. It was usually just the grab the car mentality and head out to explore the English countryside and see the relatives.

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But having seen the vibrant core of Birmingham and its wealth of old and new buildings, including the much heralded £189 million public library, and found a most wonderful pub, The Wellington, I am happily ready to return soon.

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The Wellington is a traditional pub totally dedicated to real ale with 16 cask handpumps. And what a glorious sight it is to see 16 ebony handles lined up in a row! Big screen monitors list all the current real ale offerings, with the percent abv, so it is easy to find a real ale to your liking. There is no food served but pub goers are welcome to bring in their own food.

Having secured a fresh pint of the hop happy Oakham Citra, brewed in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, I settled in to talk with family and occasionally glimpse across at the locals.

A man seated opposite produced a loaf of best white bread and stood it on its end beside his pint of cask ale and a wedge of orange cheddar encased in parchment paper alongside a slab of butter. Having procured a plate and knife from the pub, he proceeded to spread fresh butter on a slice of bread and then cut enough cheese to cover the bread. He reached into the bag for a second slice and buttered that too, placing it face-down on the cheese covered bread. He cut the sandwich on the diagonal and then began to eat his lunch with gusto, pausing for a sip of ale every now and then.

After we had been joined by a cousin of Caroline’s, we toured some of Birmingham’s canal system, and then returned to The Wellington, where I got them all on the excellent cask ale Oakham Citra.

37 Bennetts Hill, B2 5SN

0121 200 3115

10 am to midnight