It’s that time again, when we all rediscover our patriotism for a few weeks and start singing Three Lions with more enthusiasm than Russia’s department of poisoning.
Yes, the World Cup 2018 is upon us, with the first England match kicking off tomorrow. I don’t claim to be any kind of a football expert, but I do enjoy getting lager rowdy with large groups of men in pubs, so for that reason I’ve put together 12 fun places to watch the games across the city centre. Some of these also do cracking food, lucky for you.
Found hidden within the walls of an old train bridge, Archway has Birmingham’s biggest outdoor screen. Most recently it’s been used for cult film screenings, but during the England games this will become a large open air space to watch the footy. Rumour has it there’ll be street food and a bar, plus plenty of seating. Flag waving optional.
This canal-side pub has invested in a huge screen for the beer garden, which happens to be one of the best sun traps in Brum city centre. There’s loads of space outside and a great selection of beer and food, so bring your mates and let the good times roll. It’s also dog friendly, in case your pooch enjoys a penalty shootout.
The Lord Clifden
Want a beer garden and plenty of atmosphere? The Lord Clifden up in the Jewellery Quarter is a prime spot to get your football fix. And hey, if you’re with someone that doesn’t care about the score, there’s always a ping pong table and huge sausages to keep them occupied.
Known as ‘that really nice bar at Digbeth Dining Club’ Mama Roux will be hosting exclusive booking-only screenings of the England matches. Obviously there’s a well stocked bar and being ticket only the riffraff won’t be there. Those bulldog tattooed Brexit wonders will probably be at the Bull Ring Tavern down the road, let’s be honest.
Sun on the Hill
Central and easy to get to after work, this pub has a big screen high up (so you always have a good view) as well as lots of smaller ones littered about the place. Booze and food offers will be available, and they do a good value roast on a Sunday; ideal for the second game.
I’ve not eaten at The Rebel yet, but I’m reliably informed this new Jewellery Quarter addition has an outside screen that’s “bloody massive” and chicken wings worthy of your attention. If you like copious amounts of meat and balls flying about, this may just be the spot for you.
Less than five minutes walk from Moor Street, this Irish pub has an outdoor screen and access to lots of cheap beer and pub grub. They’re happy to have kids there too, if you have young hooligans to consider.
If you’re down the Broad Street end of town, this bar within the Bierkeller complex offers a big screen, buckets of beer and enough testosterone to ensure you leave having grown a beard. I’ve watched a match here before and can tell you it does get very busy, so if you want a good view get there early.
The Prince of Wales
Not strictly city centre I know, but this boozer is a much loved Moseley staple and somewhere I frequented most weekends when I lived nearby. They always have the big sporting events on multiple screens, and the garden is massive with its very own tiki bar.
If you’re based around Colmore Row or the financial district and want to catch a game during or after work, Primivito is ready for you. One more for the suits, this bar has just had a state of the art screen installed in the second bar and plans to show the weekday games.
El Borracho de Oro
Don’t forget restaurants are getting involved too. This Spanish restaurant on the outskirts of Edgbaston will be hosting viewings of both the England and Spain games, with rustic tapas and chilled sangria galore. If you’re after a less “lads lads lads” experience this could be for you.
The Old Crown
Big sandwiches and beer galore, this Digbeth pub is always geared up for big events like the World Cup. There’s an outside bar too, so you won’t miss a minute of the game if you’re watching in the yard with Big Keith.
Got any other suggestions? Let me know below.
Disclosure: I have no affiliation with any of the venues included in this post. This list is not paid for, it’s simply my thoughts in a bid to be helpful.