Stirchley is fast becoming a beer enclave just outside the city centre. In addition to the legends who are Cotteridge Wines and Stirchley Wines in the past couple of years we’ve seen Birmingham Brewing Co and Wildcat open (who are actually planning to move to bigger premises just up the road). Glasshouse Beer Co and Attic Brew Co have started to brew with taprooms planned in the near future and they will shortly be joined by new bar on the block Cork & Cage.
Most of you will be familiar with Clink and Paper Duck, in Digbeth and Harborne respectively, and one of their owners Richard Sadler. It is Richard along with his business partner Nick Maloney who will open Cork & Cage hopefully before the end of the year.
I sat down with Richard and Nick a few weeks ago to get a first glimpse at their plans for the bar. Richard told me the aim is to create more of a ‘neighbourhood bar’ which will become part of the community and a place for people to gather and enjoy a good beer. With 10 taps planned Richard is able to indulge one of his passions on 3 of them by serving lambic and gueze beers. 2 of the taps will be drawn directly from the cellar without chilling meaning these Belgian stars will be served at the optimum temperature.
They plan to have a small fridge in the bar but realise that with 2 of the country’s best bottle shops just up the road it would be pointless to try and compete on a larger scale. There will also be a small but well curated bottle list which customers will be able to drink in or take away. The idea is to encourage people to share bottles together in the bar as happens at Beer Gonzo in Coventry. The remaining taps will focus on more traditional styles of beer such as German pilsner, English pale ales as well as the Belgian gueze and lambics. I did ask if there was a plan to include any local beers but the guys said given their proximity to some cracking brewery taprooms it wouldn’t make sense to sell their beer in the bar too but they did say they may look at developing a house beer with one of their neighbours.
The process is taking time to complete, you may have seen Richard finally getting the keys in the last week after over 13 months of work. The planning application for the change of use is due to be reviewed early in December however the guys don’t foresee any issues with this. One part of their process has been to have a local consultation which gave locals the chance to ask questions and find out more about the bar and I think this only highlights how much a part of the community the guys hope their bar will become.
The plan is for the bar to be open Tuesday to Sunday opening at lunchtime and going on into the evenings. The capacity will be around 40 people with a plan to put in long benches to further develop the sharing atmosphere.
To complement the beers they are working with their friend Rami, a Turkish chef based in the city. He will be serving a range of Turkish mezze (small plates) throughout the day from a changing menu prepared on site.
Talking to Richard and Nick and hearing their commitment to the new project (Nick is leaving his full time job to run the bar) I am very much looking forward to this new location opening. It’s only a 10 minute walk from my office too so I have a feeling I’ll be a regular!