When we received the opportunity to attend the press night for New World Trading’s newest Birmingham venue, The Canal House, we were intrigued, especially when we heard they had over ’60 ales on offer’.
We have had a positive relationship with The Botanist (New World Trading Company’s other Birmingham based venue) having attended one of their Ale Tastings, and also ran a competition for one of our followers, along with 8 friends, to receive a Free Ale Tasting. We have always been impressed by the quality and diversity of the beers they have on offer and hope to see much of the same at The Canal House.
The setting is beautiful, using the canal surroundings to its advantage, its faux canal house design sitting comfortably with the marina and former industrial buildings surrounding it. The attention to detail is impressive with lots of little touches inside and outside to enhance the theme.
We are the Midlands Beer Blog, so my priority was to check out the beer list, whilst my wonderful wife couldn’t pass up the opportunity of trying one of the impressive cocktails. The beer list is diverse, with a mixture of styles and well known brewery names along with more ‘crafty’ fair. Beers from the likes of Peroni, Thwaites sit alongside Beavertown, Magic Rock, Wild Beer Co & Lervig. Being big fans of Belgian beer, I was impressed to see Trappist beers, Orval and Rochfort also included in ‘The Ale Inventory’. Check out @theanthologyofales for more detail about the beer on offer.
While my wife supped on her elaborately named cocktail, I opted for ABC’s Oatmeal Pale Ale ‘A the K’. The bar man who served us was attentive and enthusiastic, and told us about how much he had enjoyed learning about the beers they stocked. We followed this up with a Fourpure ‘Juicebox’ before we boarded the Canal Boat Ale Tasting trip.
The boat trip was a special event for the media day, and was designed to introduce those attending to the beers available at venue. Being a self-professed beer geek I already knew details of the beers and beer in general, and enjoyed sharing my knowledge of Trappist beers with the other on the boat. The Ale Tasting offer a good opportunity to learn about different beer styles for the uninitiated.
After the trip we carried ours, and everyone else’s, remaining Orval to our tables. Our tables service was fantastic, with the waitress showing great knowledge of the food and drink available. I’m not a keen lager fan, but felt I owed it to you wonderful readers to try the tank fresh Budweiser Budvar, and I was pleasantly surprised. This beer really benefits from being served fresh, streets ahead of what I have had from the bottle or tap previously and went perfectly with my Fish & Chips.
We are not a food blog so I won’t bore you with my thoughts, besides, there are other blogs out there who are eminently more qualified to speak on that matter including Bite Your Brum.
If you like The Botanist, you will like The Canal House, they share a lot of DNA, and there is little revolutionary about the venue, but it offers a nice venue, and sitting next to the canal drinking some decent beer is a pleasant experience.
It would be unlikely I would choose to visit The Canal House or The Botanist just for the beer, and it wouldn’t get a ticker excited, but not all my friends like beer (regardless of how much i evangelise). These venues offer decent food, decent selection of spirits, cocktails and some interesting beers,so feel it would raise a smile for most people with in a work group night out. I also think the more places that offer good beer, the better.
*the media night was a free event, and we did not pay for food and drink, but this did not impact our views, we care too much about beer to lie. Check out or disclosure page for more details.