When I pop into Birmingham I generally go to the best places I've discovered so far and rarely try anywhere new. When I was in the Craven Arms last week a bar called Tilt was recommended to me so last night I decided to check it out. I had gone into Brewdog for a quick drink and a bite to eat and I felt like a bit more 'craft' was needed. I wasn't disappointed.
It's only a short hop from New Street. Head up Corporation Street and then sneak down Warwick Passage and you're there. It's an odd wedge-shaped building at the entrance to an old arcade. A bit like a ,micropub but without the casks of beer. Some communal bench tables at one end and smaller, more individual ones scattered about elsewhere. Plenty of space which I like.
The bar area is tiny. There's one small counter with a couple of fine looking cakes at one end. That's the thing about this place. It's also a coffee shop and on the wall opposite the bar the wall has three rows of neatly arranged clipboards. The top row has the eight beers (six were on last night). The middle row is dedicated to coffee and on the bottom row I saw a tea menu. Not being a tea or coffee drinker I reluctantly studied the beer list.
Every beer sounded incredibly tempting. Breweries on show tonight were Beavertown, Kernel and Brew By Numbers from London, Thornbridge from Derbyshire. Vocation from West Yorkshire and Electric Bear from Bath. The latter was a brewery I had never seen before so naturally I started with that one. This was a 9.5% ABV Doppelbock called Heisenberg's Double Decoction and what an amazing beer it was. Massive complex malt flavours but packed with hops too. Citrusy orange notes and a big boozy sweetness to the finish. I can't wait to try more from this brewery.
Whilst consuming my first drink I chatted to the young guy serving. He told me they had been open less than a year and had plans for the top floor eventually. He was very enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the beers and was happy for me to take a few photos. What you don't see though when you first enter is the room to the back which is packed with pinball machines all in full working order and ready to be played. There was also a Pac-Man lurking in there too. Downstairs there was another area with more pinballs. This place has bags of character and whilst I am not a pinball wizard I was tempted. Next time for sure.
I had time for one more drink before heading back to Moor Street station. Looking at the beer lists I wanted all of them but the Bloody Obnoxious, a bloody orange DIPA won the day. Beavertown's Bloody 'Ell was one of my favourite beers of 2015 and this is a supercharged version coming in at 9.1% ABV. Priced at £5 for a half it had better be good. Needless to say, I wasn't disappointed. A stunning beer.
If you love 'craft' beer you won't be disappointed with Tilt I'm sure. I will certainly be adding it to my list of places to go on my regular trips into Birmingham. This bar is actually handy for all three Birmingham stations so perfect for someone with time to kill while waiting for a connection although you may stay longer than you intend.