Birmingham, the carefree city that once pounded to the rythm of metal casting and pressing, owes its heritage to the great industrialists who brought canals, manufacturing, and prosperity to millions. Among them were philanthopists and visionaries who, like our own founder William Nicholson, believed that wealth creation and social duty were inseperable.
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So it's entirely appropriate that four of the city's finest pubs now bear the Nicholson's name. As guardians of the heritage of Britain's alehouses, we pick the best - pubs that are brimming with character and craftsmanship. Each Nicholson's pub has its own story to tell. They welcomed the villains and eccentrics of a city built on inventiveness.
In our pubs, generations of Brummies have found friends to laugh with, shoulders to cry on, and a welcome that never fades. If you're looking for the soul of this great industrial city, the Nicholson's ale trail is your guide.
Famous for... goldsmiths, silversmiths and privacy
This glorious red-brick Victorian pub is where the goldsmiths and silversmiths from the nearby Jewellery Quarter quenched their thirsts. By 1880, there were 700 workshops employing the best-paid workers in the city. As well as the beer, they came for the privacy of The Shakespeare's seperate rooms.
Famous for... original Victorian features in the heart of the city
This Victorian pub retains many original features including the superb tiling round the bar area. The location on Lower Temple Street puts it at the heart of Birmingham. In the 18th and 19th centuries the area was redeveloped and went upmarket. A city guide from 1840 likened nearby New Street to Bond Street in London.
Famous for... standing on a street that dates back to 1398
Our name comes from Bacchus, the Greek and Roman god of wine. The ancient name is appropriate for a pub that stands on a street with a grand history that dates back to 1398. A 19th-century town guide described New Street as 'the Bond Street of Birmingham'.
Famous for... an insult hurled at British Soldiers by Kaiser Wilhelm
The Old Contemptibles takes its name from a select band of British soldiers who served in France and Flanders in 1914. They adopted the nickname after Kaiser Wilhelm II gave the order to exterminate the "General French's contemtible little army". Recently, the last survivor passed away aged 104. And though they may all be gone now, there's no reason why we can't continue to drink to their name.
To avoid disappointment, please check individual pub pages for opening times before your visit.