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Pub Of The Month - July 2020 with ROBCamra on the Pub Forum

The Vine, Brierley Hill

Delph Road
Brierley Hill
DY5 2TN

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 9 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Nick Davies left this review about The Vine

Little point in repeating PSM's comprehensive account below, suffice it to say that after too long I finally made the pilgrimage. Wild horses won't prevent a repeat performance sooner or later, hopefully when someone else is driving and thus more opportunity to sample the delicious beer in such fantastic surroundings.

On 23rd January 2019 - rating: 10
[User has posted 496 recommendations about 488 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Delboy 20 left this review about The Vine

What can I say that hasn't been said about the Bull & Bladder? A gem of a pub. I don't think the Bitter can be beaten. I am lucky enough to live within walking distance of this pub (And Ma Pardoes) and it remains one of my favourites.
If you haven't visited, you really should!

On 24th December 2018 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 1049 recommendations about 1010 pubs]


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Gill Smith left this review about The Vine

This Batham's brewery pub is always popular and both the bitter and mild were going down well with our group on Saturday. Well described on past posts.

On 21st November 2017 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1306 recommendations about 1196 pubs]


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Ian Mapp left this review about The Vine

2nd visit in 3 years. All perfectly described here.

Only thing to add is the landlord of 28 years (!) is retiring soon.

Things do change.

On 11th August 2017 - rating: 10
[User has posted 277 recommendations about 276 pubs]


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Pub SignMan left this review about The Vine

The Black Country is a great part of the country for fans of traditional pubs tied to local small scale breweries and the Vine, as the outlet for the excellent Bathams Brewery, ranks right up there with the very best. Unfortunately upon arrival the front of the building was obscured by scaffolding, which meant I could only catch the odd glimpse of the fine facade and the infamous Shakespeare quote was completely hidden from view. You enter into a corridor with a number of rooms off to either side. One such doorway, immediately to the right, takes you into a terrazzo floored front bar with the servery along the back wall sporting a nice dark wood counter and a bar back with colourful glazed tiling. Sturdy benches and low stools are arranged around the other three walls which have been decorated with some great old articles and memorabilia relating to the pub and brewery. Back into the corridor, which has some fine tiling of its own, depicting the Bathams bull logo, there is access to a front lounge in what used to be a butcher's shop, where smart seating can be found in a deceptively sizeable space. The room behind has a slightly more spartan feel to it, but is decorated with all sorts of interesting bits including an impressive set of bulls horns and a certificate for the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes, as well as lots of old black and white photos. Seating is limited to regular chairs which serve four or five mid-size tables. There is a serving hatch in the corridor, roughly opposite this room and beyond is access into a final room - an elongated rear bar which has a small and plainer servery to the front and long, rather uncomfortable, banquettes down either side with a dartboard to the rear with a large trophy cabinet next to it. There are some great old photos of the pub and its former customers on one wall and some pleasant leaded windows on the other side and the room seemed to be where the younger customers congregated, with the front bar limited to the old boys and the side rooms preferred by those looking for a bit of privacy. The corridor opens out a bit to the rear into what feels like a narrow courtyard of sorts with picnic benches down one side and the toilets at the far end.
No surprises on the bar - just the two regular Bathams ales of Best Bitter and Mild to choose from. Somehow I've never managed to find Bathams Mild before, so I was keen to try a pint, which the friendly barmaid served up for me. It was a cracking pint and every bit as good as their outstanding Best Bitter - this is how you do a core range of beers! These two beers seemed to be the order of the day amongst the old boys in the front bar, and I guess such good throughput must really help keep the quality at top levels.
This is a great traditional pub that should be a must for anyone with an interest in historic pub interiors, but it benefits greatly from also being the tap for one of the country's most consistent brewers. The fact that Bathams rarely seems to travel much beyond the Black Country means that a visit here to catch it at source is pretty much essential. An absolutely top notch pub and one I sincerely hope to return to soon.

On 8th April 2017 - rating: 9
[User has posted 2472 recommendations about 2472 pubs]


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Aqualung . left this review about The Vine

I have to say that I find Ale Monster's review below somewhat biased towards Batham's and their small estate of pubs. The trouble is that I feel exactly the same way and can't think of anything to add so it's a 10 rating from me as well.
The Batham's Mild was top notch at £2.30 a pint. On Saturday lunchtime just after midday it was quite busy. Sadly I didn't have time to hang around for more than a quick one.

On 3rd March 2014 - rating: 10
[User has posted 2143 recommendations about 2143 pubs]


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Ale Monster left this review about The Vine

An excellent traditional pub, this is the tap house for the superb Bathams brewery which was established in 1877. The original building was built in 1828 but not used as a pub until 1834 bought by Bathams in 1905 but due to subsidence caused by the extensive mining industry in the area the pub was rebuilt in 1911 and brewing moved to the current site behind the pub. The pub is also known locally as the Bull and Bladder, apparently this is due to the left hand side of the pub once being a butchers shop many years ago. The interior has four rooms linked by a central corridor which has nice brown glazed Bathams tiles on the walls, a serving hatch in the right wall towards the front, the corridor widens out towards the back of the pub and there are some tables and benches along the left hand wall. There is a small public bar in the front right of the building, a long lounge in the back right, a small snug in the front left (former butchers) and a second tiny snug half way down the left side of the corridor which used to be the brewery supervisors office. The public bar has the counter across the back wall with fixed wood and red leather bench seating in a U shape around the other walls which have old photos and framed newspaper clippings on them, the floor is marble/granite effect and there is a nice stained glass window at the front. The lounge backs on to the public bar and shares a double sided counter, in the back wall there is a small stone fire place and cast grate with a dart board above and a trophy cabinet on the wall to the right, fixed burgundy leather bench seats down either side of the long room and the floor is vinyl, there are windows in the left wall which indicates that the central corridor may not have originally extended back as far as it does now. The front left snug which was previously a butchers has a large Tudor style moulded stone fire place with cast iron grate in the left wall with a large mirror above, red fabric bench seating arranged in to four large booths, half dark wood panel walls, a patterned carpet and a nice stained glass window at the front. The second smaller snug has large plate glass panels either side of the door, a nice Victorian cast iron and tiled fire place in the left wall and only a couple of free standing benches. The inscription at the top of the frontage used to read “Blessings of thy art, thou brew’st good ale” which is a quote from Shakespeare’s Two Gentlemen of Verona. There is a car park on the other side of the road opposite the pub.

Regular ales are Bathams Mild and Best Bitter with XXX making an appearance in the winter (GBG 2013), I find it hard to believe that this pub has ever been out of the Good Beer Guide! Bathams is a fifth generation family run brewery and is rightly very proud of their heritage, they run their business in a very strict traditional manner and therefore only serve Bathams beers. They do have a winter warmer seasonal beer so at most you will only ever find the three ales in any of their eleven pubs. The Best Bitter is so popular that most of the tied pubs are supplied with 54 gallon hogsheads. The Breweries reputation for quality is very important to them and therefore they are understandably reluctant to sell the beer to pubs outside of their own estate unless it is a free house and they are happy with the pubs standards, to retain control they do not sell to wholesalers but they do have contracts with a couple of local breweries who have small estates themselves such as Holden's.

A truly great traditional pub, owned by one of my favourite breweries. I have heard people refer to this place as one of the Black Countries Holy Trinity of pubs, the others being the Beacon (Sedgley) and the Olde Swan (Netherton), as one of the previous reviewers said “pub heaven”. If I were to take part in a word association exercise and someone said “happy” I would respond with “Vine”. I find it absolutely impossible to pass this pub without popping in for at least one pint and maybe a pork pie or a bag of scratching’s. It’s probably healthy for the future of my marriage and kids that we don’t live within walking distance of this place! It’s taken me many visits to finally review this pub as when I am there the last thing on my mind is to make notes on the décor. If I don’t manage to visit this place at least once every three months then I must be dead or might as well be!

On 8th April 2013 - rating: 10
[User has posted 199 recommendations about 199 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Quinno _ left this review about The Vine

Another superb Black Country offering. This Batham's brewery tap is a classic, unspoiled pub with various rooms leading off a long central corridor. Known locally as the Bull and Bladder due to a butcher’s shop previously located next door, the 1920's stylings of the exterior and the small right-hand bar are a delight. As is the beer - two Bathams ales are usually offered (Bitter and Mild on my last visit…Batham’s ales are just divine so that’s all you really need!), invariably in top quality and cheap to boot. The food offering is old school Black Country – pork pies, faggots etc. The regulars are friendly (though on by my visits the staff haven’t been) and it’s easy to settle in here for a session if you enter the cosy lounge to the left of the corridor. The front bar has various clippings about the pub and surround and you get a real feel for the history of the area, where the family-owned Bathams brewery has been going since the 1870’s.

And be sure to catch the Shakespeare quote on the pub exterior: "Blessings of Your Heart, You Brew Good Ale". I couldn’t put it much better myself. Make sure you visit this place. I’d give it a ten if the staff smiled a bit more.

On 24th November 2012 - rating: 9
[User has posted 3997 recommendations about 3985 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Steve C left this review about The Vine

The Vine (aka Bull and Bladder) is the Bathams Brewery tap which is a must visit pub for anyone who loves a decent boozer. I was lucky enough to visit on Friday afternoon a month ago and found a pub populated with friendly staff, locals and banter. To the right of the entrance at the front of the pub is a small public bar with a counter that supports hand pumps that were drawing Bathams bitter and mild. There is also a selection of cobs and some pork pies that were fantastic. The bar is doubled sided and the back bar is longer and a little more comfortable than the public bar. A dartboard can be found on the rear wall of this bar. There are another couple of rooms along the left hand side of the pub, one of which is full of royal memorabilia. There is a corridor with benches along the wall that runs towards the toilets that are found at the rear of the pub.
Outside the front of the pub is a small seating area that was being used by smokers during my visit.

I had pints of the mild and bitter during my visit and found both to be excellent. There was no other ale available, but I didn’t notice anyone who was complaining.

I’d travel far to visit this pub again.

On 1st November 2012 - rating: 9
[User has posted 3586 recommendations about 3565 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about The Vine

The Shakespeare quotation boldly written across the top of the building is often remarked on, but for many visitors it is the lower inscription that brings them here. This reads "Batham's Genuine Home Brewed Mild & Bitter Beers", and that is exactly what you get - usually just two beers on handpump, Best Bitter and Mild, but two of the best brews in the country (and splendid value at only £2.28 for a pint). Inside, there is small, busy public bar and larger, quieter lounge bar - separated by a serving hatch - on the right-hand side of the corridor; with a dining room and another small room to the left. There is also a patio out back, next door to the tall brewery building. With a great atmosphere, and full of friendly regulars as well as Bathams pilgrims, this is to many (me included) pub heaven.

On 31st October 2012 - rating: 10
[User has posted 6076 recommendations about 6076 pubs]

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