If you follow my adventures on social media you’ll know I like a beer.. or five. So when I was invited to Sadler’s Brewhouse & Bar in Stourbridge for a private tour and tasting of their latest lager it was a no-brainer.
A stumble away from Lye train station and just 20 minutes from Birmingham city centre, some call Sadler’s a hidden gem. But, for those in the know, this family-run brewery has actually been around a long time. About 150 years, actually.
Boasting almost iconic status within the Black Country boundaries, it was founded in 1891 by a chap called Nathanial Sadler and is still run as a family business, with Chris Sadler at the helm. Bonus fact, I actually went to school with Chris, way back in the days when Brexit wasn’t a word and I wasn’t quite old enough yet to enjoy the craft beer his family so lovingly have been producing for so long.
Now supplying both pubs and shops with their award-winning brews (as well as providing brewery tours) these guys offer cask, keg, can and bottle beers and have expended their site to allow locals and visitors an enjoyable experience.
The Peaky Blinders story
So why visit Sadler’s Brewhouse & Bar now? Well, the launch of Peaky Binder Craft Lager cans (I have a cheeky limited edition offer for you at the end of the post!) is a good place to start, especially when you find out this family have some pretty astonishing ties to the real life gang this tipple features via mugshots on the tins.
The brewery tour not only gives you a close-up insight into how beers are made but also a detailed background story of the history surrounding the business. As well as brewing, the family also owned public houses, some of which were regularly frequented by some of the most prolific members of notorious Peaky Blinder gangsters. The story goes that The Windsor Castle – a pub that’s still popular now – was a regular haunt for many of the gang members. Owned by the Sadler family, many pints were sipped and much fun was had. I reckon I’d have fit right in to be honest..
The venue and bar
Walking around the current brewing site, you could be forgiven for thinking you’d walked into the Black Country Museum until you step inside. Outside you’ll find cobbled pathways and a gorgeous red brick building; inside a mixture of rustic and industrial aesthetics.
There’s an on-site bar, complete with old cask barrels for tables, where you can enjoy beers and bar food if you want to line your stomach. It’s got a prohibition vibe to it that’s quite cool, plus live music events are a regular fixture come the weekend. You might even get a glimpse of the coveted bus bar outside, if you’re lucky. It’s a unique place to spend a few hours, no doubt.
The brewery experience
Sadler’s has a rich and long-standing legacy when it comes to both the on and off-trade in Birmingham and the Black Country, holding a genuine place in the areas brewing history. They’ve now also sponsored two of Brum’s biggest local football clubs in a bid to drive awareness of its lager, so you know they mean business.
The Saturday brewery experience is below the bar area, so you don’t have to go too far to get learning. Led by the head brewer, Sam, the tour is an informal walk around the brewery allowing you to get up close to the equipment and sniff some hops. You’re welcome to ask questions and get your beer nerd on before heading back to the bar to sample some ales and grab a bite to eat, like this satisfying ploughman’s lunch I scoffed.
So let’s get to it – is the lager any good? Not to make a terrible pun (it’s happening..) but it’s pretty blindin’, bab. I also like that the new cans carry artwork featuring original members of the famous street gang – it looks like a smart offering.
Boxes of 12 are £12 and 24 packs are £24 but (because I made pals with someone in the know) you can get 15% off with the code BITE15. That means a dozen beers is just over a tenner! Get yours here – discount is automatically applied at checkout.
Sadler’s Brewhouse & Bar, Station Drive, Stourbridge, DY9 8ER
Disclosure: This post is in partnership with Sadler’s. The tour of the brewery was complementary but words, opinions and photos are mine.