PwC and think tank Demos recently named Birmingham the most rapidly improving city in the country in which to live and work. The city is vibrant, expanding, multi-cultural and exciting. With growing investment, large-scale construction, the Commonwealth Games and a high-speed link to the city of London on the horizon, the future for Birmingham is one of prosperity. Wether you’re a devoted oenophile or a weekend wine lover, Birmingham has a fast-growing range of great wine bars. We took some time out and visited Birmingham’s best wine bars (tough job, right?) so that you guys can too!
In no particular order, ladies and gentleman: Birminghams best wine bars …
The Oyster Club
Brain child of Adam Stokes of Adams (one of Birmingham’s best Michelin star offerings) The Oyster Club is not strictly a wine bar. Officially it leans toward being a restaurant; however, the option is available to dine and drink in a more casual manner at the best seats in the house, the bar. It is for this reason, coupled with its simply fantastic wine list, that The Oyster Club more than deserves to feature in this list.
We dined at The Oyster Club on a Friday night, the vibe was uptempo and metropolitan. We started with Meursault and Oysters and ended with Wagyu Burger and Barolo. This place has sophistication by the bucket load, perfect for a special occasion or an after-work treat.
43 Temple St, Birmingham B2 5DP – www.the-oyster-club.co.uk
You will be hard-pressed to find any wine-related media with even the faintest scent of Birmingham that fails to mention Loki: a hardened veteran of the Birmingham Wine Scene. Having recently expanded, Loki now has two locations: one in the City Centre and the other in Edgebaston.
I visit Loki at least twice a month, I love the relationship I have with the friendly, knowledgable staff. I have spent many a Friday night in the bar with good friends and more bottles than I can count on one hand. Pop in one afternoon or early evening before a night out on the town.
Great Western Arcade, 36 (City Centre) & 10 Greenfield Crescent (Edgebaston) – www.lokiwine.co.uk/edgbaston/
I stumbled across Kilder whilst in pursuit of the best beef Burger in Birmingham (Original Patty Men for those interested) Nestled fashionably under the arches supporting Birminghams rail facility Kilder is a temple of funky food, beer and wine.
Whilst writing this post I dropped in to Kilder on a Saturday afternoon. Diverse, vivid and animated: I admire the juxtaposition of its varying range of consumers, Kilder really is open to, and enjoyed by, all. We tasted our way through a wide selection of wines, craft beer and tried the most EPIC grilled cheese. Owner, Scott, also shared with us some of his favourite funky wines: Kilder rocks!
5 Shaw’s Passage, Birmingham B5 5JG – www.kilderbar.co.uk
The Bubble Lounge
With heritage born of the late, great and wonderful Gerard Basset, there is a certain level of expectation that any discerning consumer has upon entering any wine bar at Hotel du Vin, the Bubble Lounge is no exception. Located on the picturesque Church Street, just off Cathedral Square, the Bubble Lounge has an ever-growing number of gastronomic neighbours; however, the lounge, with its antique and decadent surround serves well as either a stand-alone evening destination or a post-meal gustatory experience.
25 Church St, Birmingham B3 2NR –www.hotelduvin.com/locations/birmingham/bar/
Arch 13 at Connolly’s
Connolly’s, the parent of Arch 13, is a family owned and run business with a heritage that extends back into the 19th century. The firm has been shipping wine into Birmingham since 1906. Arch 13 is again (as with Kilder) found in the arches of Birminghams busy train network, this time in the bustling and vibrant setting of The Jewellery Quarter.
Abigail welcomed us to Arch 13 with open arms. A great mix of people and an even better selection of food and wine, the blue cheese and air dried beef toast was so good we doubled up! Honestly I am disappointed I haven’t found this place sooner, I mean 2001 Jaboulet Hermitage and 1973 Madeira by the glass? I think this is my new local!
220 Livery St, Birmingham B3 1EU – www.arch13bar.co.uk
Grace + James
Grace + James is the only bar on the list not located in the City Centre. The wine list at Grace + James changes by the day and focusses on organic, biodynamic and natural wines. The bar can be found on the spirited York Road in Kings Heath, a short (15 minute) journey from the City Centre.
Sunday evening can signal desertion for many businesses, not Grace + James. As I parked in York Road the benches outside of the bar were filled with smiling patrons, the inside of the bar no different; what better sign do you need? Quality cheeses, pickles, quality cut meats and a great atmosphere. Couple this with some delicious natural, organic and biodynamic (yes, I said it) and we were in heaven. This is more than worth a short ride out of the city.
23 York Rd, Birmingham B14 7SA – www.graceandjames.xyz