Mixologists in Birmingham have been shaking (and stirring) up a storm on the UK’s cocktail scene for several years now. Whether you’re after somewhere to relax with a refreshing beverage or an after-work party-bar with eye-catching cocktails, the city has everyone covered. There are creative concoctions to taste dotted all over Brum. But now we have further confirmation of just how amazing Birmingham’s cocktails are.
Yesterday evening (February 7), Top 50 Cocktail Bars announced its winners for 2023 and several Birmingham spots made the cut. Hand-picked by industry experts, the Top 50 Cocktail Bars champions independent bars that make “Britain’s drinking scene exciting and innovative.” Organizers recruit over 100 industry experts to make up the voting academy, from bartenders and owners to writers and influencers to curate this extra special list.
Jumping an incredible 25 places from last year – its first entry on Top 50 Cocktail Bars – Couch in Stirchley was Birmingham’s highest performing cocktail bar, coming a very respectable 12th. We’ve been a fan of the neighbourhood bar’s out-of-the-box thinking when crafting cocktail menus for a while. Each drink is based on iconic popular culture references, such as women in music, TV and history.
Top 50 Cocktail Bars notes “the high design of the cocktail menu itself, which is graphically designed and set out as a series of picture editorials.” While Couch’s interior is also described as “clean and spacious with stools at the bar and bistro tables dotted around the main bar area.”
Only two places behind Couch on the Top 50 Cocktail Bars is equally loveable, yet vastly different, The Pineapple Club. “The venue itself is fresh, vibrant and spacious with a strong range of drinks offerings as well as an equally compelling bottomless brunch offering,” said Top 50 Cocktail Bars. While its latest menu highlights independent businesses in the Midlands and the UK, “aiming to educate drinkers on the people who make their drinks.”
A little further down, at 32, is Birmingham’s newest cocktail bar on the list. Offering “approachable luxury in Birmingham’s hip neighbourhood” of Digbeth, Passing Fancies is the brainchild of Matt Arnold, Eve Green and, former Couch bar manager, Tommy Matthews.
The bar’s name is a nod to the trio’s desire to regularly change with the times. While the layout is “akin to ‘the kitchen at a house party’.” While Top 50 Cocktail Bars also references the expansive flavour profile of its cocktails and a food menu as tasty as its drinks.
The last Birmingham spot on the list is Fox & Chance (40), which offers “world class tipples and a trip back in time in Birmingham’s centre.” Expect a more old-school cocktail bar than Birmingham’s other offerings. Fox & Chance reflects the city’s history in the bar’s décor, especially the West Midlands railway-inspired bathroom. Top 50 Cocktail Bars also makes special mention of The Winter Adonis cocktail: “perfect for colder months, featuring a mix of walnut, Oloroso sherry and maple and orange.”
If you would like to see the full Top 50 Cocktail Bars list head here.