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This Birmingham pub has been named the best in the West Midlands

National Pub and Bar Awards 2017 has named the best pubs in the West Midlands

These are the best pubs in the West Midlands according to the National Pub & Bar Awards 2017.

The Old Joint Stock Pub has been named the best in Birmingham as the West Midlands' county winner.

As the West Midlands’ county representative, the Grade II listed site will go through to the UK final which will be held at BAFTA on Tuesday, May 23.

There are 93 other finalists in the running for the national title from counties across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

They include the following five finalists from the wider West Midlands region – with distances measured from central Birmingham as a rough guide to how long it would take you to visit each one.

Here is the full list of winners below:

The Old Joint Stock Pub

Tim Easthope The old Joint Stock Bank is now a watering hole for the city's drinkers
The Old Joint Stock

Situated just opposite St Philip’s Cathedral , the Fuller’s pub is famous for its pies, glass cupola at the centre of its ornate ceiling already has ‘Master Cellarman’ status within the group.

It has a little known patio garden at the back and even a professional 100-seat theatre upstairs – where future productions include The Gin Chronicles (April 29-30), and Quentin Crisp: Naked Hope (May 5-6).

If you sign up to the pub’s online mailing list via the website here you’ll get a either a free pint of Fuller’s finest – or a glass of wine – on the house.

Loretta Brennan
Midlands' Cask Marque beer inspector Tony Millington at the Old Joint Stock in 2005

Built in 1862 by Julius Alfred Chatwin, the Old Joint Stock was originally designed as a library before becoming the Birmingham Joint Stock Bank.

Lloyds Bank then took ownership of the site in 1889, the year when Birmingham was given official city status.

After becoming a pub in late 1997, it is now the UK’s highest seller of London Pride beer.

Pub manager Paul Bancroft, 50, has been general manager nine years and was delighted to hear the news when the Birmingham Mail broke it to him.

Graham Young The Old Joint Stock from the first floor dining areaThe Old Joint Stock from the first floor dining area
The Old Joint Stock from the first floor dining area

Paul said: “On behalf of my deputy, Michael Lacey, and the rest of our 42-strong team who are awesome, we are absolutely thrilled.

“We literally get thousands of people coming through every week and have a capacity of 750-800 at any one time if we have events and functions on upstairs.

“Even when we are that busy, we work very hard at keeping every customer happy.

Graham Young View behind the main front bar of The Old Joint Stock
View behind the main front bar of The Old Joint Stock

“We haven’t just stood still here.

“Last year we had a spell selling Sadler’s Peaky Blinder beer and might bring that back again.

“We have developed function rooms and our own professional theatre which is about to go to Edinburgh this year as well as putting on shows around the country with the British School of Acting.”

The Bridge Inn at Michaelchurch Escley, Herefordshire

The Bridge Inn The Bridge Inn at Michaelchurch Escley, Herefordshire
The Bridge Inn at Michaelchurch Escley, Herefordshire

This 16th century riverside inn and restaurant is a farmhouse with rooms. Situated on the edge of the Brecon Beacons, It also has a campsite with glamping. Motto: ‘Eat, drink, sleep’.

Distance from Birmingham: 84 miles.

Visit the website here or tel 01981 510646

The Boathouse Bar + Grill, New Street, Shrewsbury, Shropshire

The Boathouse Bar The Boathouse Bar + Grill, New Street, Shrewsbury, Shropshire
The Boathouse Bar + Grill, New Street, Shrewsbury, Shropshire

A historic pub on the banks of the River Severn with great views of the river and the Quarry park, the pub’s features include a sun-drenched terrace and extensive beer garden.

Distance from Birmingham: 50 miles

Visit the website here or tel 01743 231 658

The Fitzherbert Arms, Swynnerton, near Stone, Staffordshire

The Fitzherbert Arms The Fitzherbert Arms
The Fitzherbert Arms

The pub dates back to 1818 and is at the centre of the old village of Swynnerton on Lord Stafford’s estate. Completely refurbished as a joint project between Lord Stafford and pub entrepreneurs Mary Mclaughlin and Tim Bird, the once ‘dying pub’ reopened in February 2016.

Distance from Birmingham: 40 miles

Visit the website here or tel 01782 796782

The George Townhouse, High Street, Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire

The Bridge Inn The Bridge Inn, Shipston-on-Stour
The George Townhouse

Blessed with late 18th century features, the three-and-a-half storey building is the tallest in the street. The George was given a grand makeover in 2016, including all 15 en-suite bedrooms.

Distance from Birmingham: 48 miles

Visit the website here or tel 01608 661453

The Swan Inn at Hanley Swan, near Malvern, Worcestershire

The Swan Inn The Swan Inn, Hanley Swan
The Swan Inn, Hanley Swan

The Swan has five en-suite bedrooms and describes itself as "Worcestershire’s best gastro pub". It is now open for breakfast at weekends from 8am.

Owner Barney Reynolds says: "We've been here two-and-a-half years so we're six months away from completing our three-year plan and we are here for the long term to build the business further.

"We've gone from 750th on TripAdvisor to fluctuating between 7th and 12th. These days, the internet is your best friend even though you do get the odd wallly who will post something for whatever reason."

Distance from Birmingham: 33 miles.

Visit the website here or tel 01684 311 870.

Pub & Bar magazine editor Tristan O’Hana said: “This is an industry that never stands still – the operators of the best pubs know that they have to be at the top of their game 100 per cent of the time.

“Our 94 County Winners are shining examples of that energy and creativity. They are what makes the pubs and bars of the UK so renowned. Congratulations to all of the finalists.”

When is it open?

Graham Young The Old Joint Stock
The Old Joint Stock

From 8am-11pm Monday to Friday and from 9am-11pm on Saturday and 10am-5pm on Sunday.

The Old Joint Stock Pub & Theatre Venue

4 Temple Row West, Birmingham, B2 5NY

Tel 0121 200 1892 or visit the website here

What does The Good Pub Guide say?

Graham Young View from Colmore Row of The Old Joint Stock
Leafy view from Colmore Row of The Old Joint Stock

Last September, the Old Joint Stock was the only Birmingham pub named in the The Good Pub Guide 2017 .

Its review says: “Even when packed to the gunnels (which it always is at peak times), the efficient staff here manage to remain friendly and helpful.

“The interior is impressively flamboyant: chandeliers hang from the soaring pink and gilt ceiling, gently illuminated busts line the top of the ornately plastered walls and there’s a splendid cupola above the centre of the room.”

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Which were the best pubs in 2016 according to Pub and Bar magazine?

Graham Young The Lord Clifden on Great Hampton Street
The Lord Clifden on Great Hampton Street

Last year’s West Midlands’ winner was The Lord Clifden from Birmingham.

The Stagg Inn, Herefordshire, The Lion in Shropshire, The Red Lion in Staffordshire, The Royal Pug in Warwickshire and the Crown and Sandy’s in Worcestershire also made the final in 2016 when The Church Inn in Mobberley, Cheshire was crowned the best pub in the UK.

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