At the beginning of 2017 as some of us were still coming to terms with the fact that Donald Trump really was going to be inaugurated as US President there was a bright spot on the Birmingham beer scene with the announcement of a new craft beer bar opening on Constitution Hill on the edge of the Jewelry Quarter. Bob and I popped in to meet Sallie & Josh McFadyen, a brother and sister who had spent extensive time in pubs and bars in London before moving back to their home city of Birmingham to become their own bosses with the Lone Wolf bar. We were impressed by the look of the bar, their enthusiasm and desire to support local breweries, and the fact they were going to expand the amount of taps from 4 to 10 so soon after opening. However, during our chat we became aware of a large dog shaped problem on the horizon in that Brewdog also had a distillery called Lone Wolf – but surely that couldn’t mean anything could it? Well yes, the punk sensibility went out of the window, it made the national press, and both companies got a lot of publicity out of it, not all of it good for Brewdog. So in mid March Josh and Sallie relaunched the bar as the Wolf. Looking back they said it “seems a bit of a distant memory now!!! I think it’s fair to say that although it was scary at the time, ultimately it did create a lot of awareness for the pub, not a bad thing when you’ve only been open a couple of months!”
Another feature of the Wolf once it got into its stride were the many Meet the Brewer and tap takeovers they have had during this first year beginning with Five Points and featuring breweries both local and from further afield, the latter including Pirate Life from Australia. Although some have been more successful than others these events have not only helped to build a strong customer base but also raised awareness of, for want of a better term, craft beer in Birmingham, and it is something they are keen to continue. They say that their first year has been interesting and that in that time the beer scene has grown, and “One amazing thing we have found since we opened is the amount of support that everyone has given us. We do feel part of the scene now, that’s one thing I love about Birmingham, we all want to encourage each other as we all want the same thing… an amazing Beer Scene in Birmingham!!!”
And now we have reached the milestone of their first birthday with celebrations planned for both Fri 19th and Sat 20th Jan. The Friday sees the launch of their collaboration brews that they did with 3 breweries that they love,” first one was with Twisted Barrel, this beer is a Cherry Soured Black IPA. The next one was with Burning Soul, a Blueberry Maple Imperial Stout and the last one was with Blackjack, an Orange IPA.” I’m not sure who came up with these but they sound very interesting, and make a visit to the bar to raise a glass to their continued success well worth it…I know we’ll be there doing just that.