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“A Miserable Experience”

The Craven Arms Birmingham
Ranked #13 of 145 Nightlife in Birmingham
Attraction details
Reviewed 28 May 2014

I visited the Craven Arms after hearing about it through both TripAdvisor and CAMRA Birmingham's Pub of the Year nominations. It has been quite highly ranked by both so it was with quite high expectations that I made the effort to give it a try, despite it being quite out of the way compared to anywhere else nearby.

Well, beautifully traditional from the outside, The Craven Arms is a proper old fashioned pub. Inside it has all the stuff you'd expect from just such a place. If you've ever been to The Wellington, The Post Office Vaults, The Black Eagle or The Old Contemptibles then you'll feel right at home. Or at least, perhaps you might feel at home so long as you get a warmer welcome than my girlfriend and I did. I don't expect some sort of King's welcome and admittedly, we went on a Tuesday afternoon when the place was like a ghost town saloon, but you'd have thought the barman might have been a bit happier to see some extra trade coming in. After the other patrons had stopped staring at us we made our way to the bar where I looked over the range of real ales. There was a good selection, but unfortunately for myself most of the tasting notes read "dry" or "hoppy" where I prefer darker beers. I went with the Mild in the end which was very good and well kept. Although it was a shame that we had to disturb the barman from his conversation with (I presume) a regular. He might have been having a bad day or something but we definitely felt from his surly attitude that we should just drink up and leave.

Which is exactly what we did. Even after returning our empty glasses and thanking the barman we didn't get any sort of acknowledgement, let alone a "Thanks." I've drank in some lovely pubs in the past but I wouldn't consider this one of them. It's a shame really because I would have loved to stay and try all the other beers regardless but thanks to the barman (whom I also believe to be the manager) and the general lack of atmosphere we didn't feel comfortable in doing so. In terms of beer quality from the pint I had, the pub is doing something right. And I'm sure on a Friday or Saturday night the Craven Arms is buzzing with activity but sadly I have no wish to return at all.

7  Thank CitizenWolfie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"real ale"
in 22 reviews
"the pub"
in 20 reviews
in 9 reviews
"good selection of ales"
in 5 reviews
"great traditional pub"
in 3 reviews
"guest ales"
in 3 reviews
"ales on tap"
in 3 reviews
"chip butties"
in 2 reviews
"gough street"
in 2 reviews
"lovely beer"
in 2 reviews
"good beer guide"
in 2 reviews
"quiz night"
in 2 reviews
"friendly bar staff"
in 3 reviews
"old victorian"
in 2 reviews
"well worth the effort"
in 2 reviews
"german market"
in 2 reviews
in 23 reviews

135 - 139 of 154 reviews

Reviewed 4 April 2014

refurbed by black country ales chain this is a decent back street pub apart from the most miserable pub manger ever he should not be in the job as mine host,ales quality ok, they also stocking some craft keg beers at £6!! a pint

1  Thank johnbrum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 February 2014

A great old pub well worth a visit and a great contrast to the nearby Mail Box which is full of poseurs and drinks are double the price! The bar manager lacks tact, best not to ask him anything he needs to obviously be miserable by himself!

A cheese and onion COB wow and local pork pies. Watch some of the ales that are 7%

A good and reasonable start to a night out in Birmingham.

2  Thank Acallerinspects
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 February 2014

We popped in here for a few drinks before dinner. The place is very nice inside (traditional city centre pub) and the beers were very varied and of excellent quality. The pints were full - no need to ask for them to be topped up. I was drinking the Black Country BFG, my eldest son tried a couple of different ones (High Tea and a double IPA), my other son was impressed by the Czech beer (Krucovice). Thoroughly enjoyable visit.

1  Thank GerMar60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 12 January 2014

We were drinking the Chase Porter from Beowolf - What an amazing pint. And what a cracking find this pub is - just yards from the awful Mailbox is a Real Ale haven - thank you Black Country Ales. This is a pub I will return to many times - of that you can be sure. Friendly staff, an amazing choice of great beers, not full of idiots either - an oasis in the turgid desert that most of Birmingham has become.

2  Thank Peter A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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