The Best Midlands Breweries

I got asked to do a piece on the best Midlands breweries for the September issue of Area Culture Guide – here’s what I managed to get down before I got too thirsty and left my laptop behind in search of beer.

View the real thing in all it’s pretty formatted glory on pages 48-54 here or pick up the real thing at stockists around Birmingham. It fits your pocket and looks like this…

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Okay, we know you all love your beer, but how many of your favourite tipples are being brewed a few paces from your front door? Here’s a few of the Midlands craft breweries that have been keeping you quenched through the summer months.

Purity Brewing Co

@Purityale

Pure Bar and Kitchen may have skyrocketed Purity Brewing to the forefront of craft beer notoriety in Birmingham recently, but their creations were winning awards aplenty even before they opened up their doors on Waterloo Street earlier this year.

Continually expanding the range since their inception in 2005 (they’ve just released Lawless Lager, in an attempt to wean wary punters away from mass-produced swill) Warwickshire-based Purity are now one of the best and brightest craft breweries, not just in the Midlands but throughout the whole of the UK.

With the hoppy Saddle Black and Longhorn IPA emerging as delicious editions to the core range of UBU, Pure Gold and Mad Goose which you’ve probably already seen gracing the face of pump clips everywhere, Purity are well and truly cementing themselves as the big daddies of Birmingham beer scene right now.

What to start with?

Their UBU is a fantastic example of an amber ale, a dark (compared to their others) and deliciously malty beer perfect to serve alongside sticky bbq pork ribs or a Sunday roast.

Where to drink it?

You’re guaranteed to spot the Purity delivery van stopping off at most decent establishments all over the city every week, with a lot of pubs selling their core range on cask and the Longhorn on keg. To experience their full range, and a whole host of other UK and international craft beers, head to Pure Bar and Kitchen and treat yourself to the crispiest pork scratchings in Birmingham while you’re there.

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Two Towers Brewery

@TwoTowersAle

It would be strange to discuss Birmingham breweries without mentioning Two Towers. The Jewellery Quarter based outfit has really come to the forefront of city’s real ale scene in the past year, and having expanded into next door’s premises, owner Mark Arnott-Job is making sure their range of ales (10 and growing) are getting around the city.

These guys are Birmingham through and through. Not only are the Two Towers tours listed up there on Trip Advisor’s top things to do in the city, but last year they even brewed a pale ale in collaboration with the Electric Cinema, so even when watching the Coen brothers do their thing you can’t escape drinking one of their scrumptious creations. And of course, Like all good breweries, witty names for their beers are rife at Two Towers – Jewellery Porter anyone?

What to start with?

Their Complete Muppetry is sure-fire starting point. Buy yourself a polypin from the brewery and you’ll find your mates want to stop by your house a lot more than they used to.

Where to drink it?

Their ales pop up every now and again on rotation in many a Birmingham boozer. The Jekyll and Hyde regularly have their ales on rotation on and their bottles can be found well stocked in both Cotteridge Wines and Stirchley Wines. Hotel la Tour have also started selling their bottles so if you’re ever in the mood to drink great beer on a Friday night while someone plays a baby grand piano, you know where to go.


Freedom Brewery

@FreedomBrewery

Let’s just ignore the fact that Freedom Brewery were founded in London, because since moving to their new Abbots Bromley premises in Staffordshire back in 2004, the specialist craft lager microbrewery has taken the Midlands by storm.

During the past 6 years production capacity has increased by 300% and the range of beers, have won more than 25 awards. With 5 different types of lager featured in their core range, Freedom are helping to revitalise a style that can often be overlooked within the craft beer community.

What to start with?

The Freedom four, a helles pale lager, is a fruity, extra-hoppy take on the classic German style and would cut through that greasy fish, chips and curry sauce on Saturday night better than that can of Rubicon you were eyeing up in Frydays.

Where to drink it?

With all of the Freedom creations being oh-so tolerable to even the most stubborn of drinkers, their beers have slowly made an impact on the Birmingham market and you’ll frequently find it across the whole of the second city. Even the Slug and Lettuce at Brindley Place sells their Pioneer now, so get to it.


Silhill Brewery

@silhillbrewery

The fledgling Solihull brewery may only be 4 years old, but they’ve already made waves on the Midlands’ real ale circuit, establishing themselves as a self-confessed ’boutique brewery’, boasting some modern, interesting beers and going lengths to bridge the gap between a lot of the keg beer styles that have engulfed the craft beer world.

Not only are they routinely churning out excellent golden ales and darker alternatives, Silhill are brewing their take on the beers we have come to know so well, creating super-hopped IPAs and American pale’s – always with very Midlands twang.

What to start with?

The Blonde Star is their triple hopped juggernaut of an ale, perfect for a summers evening barbeque when you might need reminding of just how well suited a cheeseburger and a hoppy beer really are.

Where to drink it?

The Silhill range are regularly on rotation in the Old Joint Stock just off Colmore row. While you’re there I guess it would be just plain rude not to indulge in one of their skyscraper pies.


Titanic Brewery

@Titanic_Brewers

Producing more than 2 million pints of their beer each year, Titanic are one of the more established breweries in the Midlands, and have a line up of ales that all other breweries would struggle to replicate. From their brewing base in Stoke on Trent, their liquid creations not only feature on the bar of their many pubs across Staffordshire but also in our very own second city. While the Titanic stout is served extensively in Birmingham, their bottles of Iceberg and White Star are available in most supermarkets, so there’s no excuse.


Green Duck Beer Co

@greeduckbrew

From their Stourbridge brewery, Green Duck have been concocting a plethora of real ales for the past two years and are wasting no time in quacking the beer market in the Midlands (sorry). For more duck related puns see their whimsical pump clips often spotted across the Midlands, or better yet visit their new brewery bar where they serve their ale straight from the source.

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