Monday, April 11

Raiding Codsall's Crown Joules

As something of a confirmed pub enthusiast, there are certain brewery companies that I hold in high regard for the kind of watering holes they create. Black Country Ales, Batham's, Holden's and Titanic are among my favourites for both ale and ambience, and to that list I must also add the Joule's Brewery of Market Drayton. The Coopers Tavern (Burton on Trent), the Red Lion (Market Drayton) and the Dolphin (Shrewsbury) are just some of the Joule's pubs I have considerable affection for, and now the brewery has an outlet virtually on my doorstep...

- The Crown -

When the Chip Foundation visited Codsall back in February I reported the ongoing refurbishment of the Crown, a longstanding landmark that watches over the village square. Now with the makeover complete, Dad and I set out with a mixture of curiosity and anticipation, riding the number 4 bus to Bakers Way terminus ready to see the finished result. The pub now bears the hallmark of Joules' house style, namely flagstone floors, solid wooden furniture and plenty of red cross breweriana - I very much like it, although it perhaps doesn't yet have that imperceptible sense of cosiness I particularly look out for. The customary Joule's beer range (Pale Ale, Blonde and Slumbering Monk) is augmented by a tempting selection of guest brews including Moorhouse's (White Witch), Oakham (JHB) and Peerless (Milky Milky) offerings, so there is much to be commended.

The changes at the Crown further bolster Codsall's growing reputation as a beer destination. Dad and I therefore make sure to try out the other local hostelries too. The Bull sits on the corner diagonally opposite the Crown and is a very presentable Banks's boozer boasting several selections from the Marston's portfolio. Just down the road we have the Station, somewhere I have commented on before but it more than merits a revisit, especially with the enticing prospect of supping Holden's Golden Glow among all the railway memorabilia. The lesser-spotted Holden's XB is also available on this occasion alongside Dancing Duck's Imperial Drake oatmeal stout at 6.5% ABV (for once I actually resisted the lure of the darker concoction). Both pubs prove to be lively and welcoming, a pleasure to visit.

- Finest Firs -

No crawl of Codsall can be considered complete without a visit to the Firs Club, even if we have to do battle with the doorbell to gain admission. As Wolverhampton CAMRA's reigning Club of the Year we have high expectations of this place but there is no danger of disappointment; in fact Dad is blown away by the quality of his Three Tuns XXX and no wonder, it was superb! Codsall is in easy reach of Wolverhampton either via train or bus (routes 4 and 5), and with the option of including a call at the wonderful Hail to the Ale in Claregate along the way, a visit to the village is respectfully recommended!

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:38 pm

    Nice blog, sorry it's taken me so long to catch up with it.

    Agree with your appreciation of Joules (and the other family brewers). Took the train Wolves to Shrewsbury to visit Bricklayers on Saturday; seems I should have broken journey at Codsall. I think it does take a while for pubs to feel "lived-in".

    Will read your earlier posts now...