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Brickmakers, Norwich

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user reviews of the Brickmakers, Norwich

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

I can only say that I always have a good experience in this pub. As for cleaning up it is usually done by Pat who has a good laugh with us all and does not mind our continued presence.
miaow - 7 Mar 2014 11:52
Just want to add to what has been said. I have been coming to the Brickmakers Arms since 2004 and have been here lots of times.
Firstly the staff have always been very fantastic, they are always very helpful and happy....which is more than can be said for other pubs. The drink has always been good and for a venue very fairly priced. The bands they have playing here are always exceptional and the locals who use the place are very easy going. I have never seen any trouble here on any of my visits although I know before the current management had the place it was known as a very rough pub. To go from that to winning venue of the year not that long after is testament to the hard work and effort put in by management and staff. I just want to use this open forum to thank Charlie, Em, Pam and the team for what has been 6 years of great nights out and I hope they continue to stay and keep the high standards up. Well done guys :)
MaxxiValentyne - 21 Oct 2010 23:04
I felt a bit confused when reading some of the comments below. I wondered if people had been visiting the same pub as me! Particularly as regards staff and service. I have always, without exception, been treated courteously by the friendly staff and served promptly at the bar. I have always seen incidents with problem customers handled quickly and with a minimum of fuss.

I concur with the lady that said that this is one of a very tiny number of venues that I am happy to visit by myself.

The music is obviously biased towards Rock, but if you check the listings there is a fair amount of variety available. I have heard a Swing band, Rap artists, Blues, Country, Northern Soul and of course both Emma Hall and the Lee Vasey Band have regular slots. Sound is well mixed and appropriate to the type of band playing, and the lighting rig is excellent . Karaoke and the Quiz on a Sunday are a fun alternative to the bands of the week and a nice way to round off the weekend and get your head ready for work on a Monday morning.

Several people have mentioned overzealous and early cleaning. I personally have not seen cleaning start before the last drink is served. However it wouldnít actually bother me if it was, so perhaps I didnít even notice. I have certainly always been impressed by the standard of cleanliness, in general, and in the toilets in particular. The ladies loo always has complimentary deodorant and hairspray available and usually a nice moisturiser as well! I have no idea about the mens as Iíve never been in. :-)

As for The Brickies being an unofficial gay bar... I can only say that that I feel The Brickies is a pub where you can be yourself and not feel judged. Whether this includes sporting full body tattoos, piercings, dying your hair green, wearing full Goth regalia or being gay it really doesnít make a difference. Itís a pretty tolerant place and the management seem to value and support this tolerance.

Thatís my two pennies worth anyway.

technominx - 21 Oct 2010 11:56
great music but the bar staff and drinks are pretty rubbish.
8/10 for the music
strawdog - 3 Oct 2010 15:49
P.S The gay thing, is only their if you look for it. On a blues rock night you want to try convincing yourself that it's a gay bar? Thought not.
rbed - 9 Sep 2010 14:47
I know opinions are opinions, but some of the reviews on here do seem to hold a more personalised edge to them.

I find most of the less than complimentary reviews of the Brickmakers, to be very misleading. Even to the point where i suspect these reviews have been written by people who have been ejected from the pub for being drunk and disorderly or have just not fitted in. I'm a regular so will try and call it from my many years and nights visiting the pub.

I'm afraid to say that if you had to put up with half the abuse that I have viewed customers giving other customers, and bar staff, in the Brickmakers over the years, the owners would have the right to every now and then be more wary of becoming " pally" with people who they don't know, as i've seen apparently good fairing people quickly turn from good meaning customers into obnoxious prats. This is normally after having a skin full and then being told, and rightfully so by the diligent staff, that you've had enough. Never goes down well with people who are just out to cause trouble.

The Brickmakers to me is my top pub in Norwich. It retains that bar and pub atmosphere that has long since died from this part of the UK. The bar staff are always friendly to me, they always ask politley when they want you to leave at the end of the night, or when they're planning on packing up, and to my train of thought they are entitled to as it's their buisness. Who cares if they are getting ahead of their duties by mopping up or tidying up, grow a pair, they're not physically belt throwing you out of the door.

In my 6 years of visiting i've never been thrown out before the time displayed on the door. I guess that makes me liked, very lucky, or those who have been very unlucky, or unable to read a time sheet properly.

The customer isn't always right regardless of what people think.... especially after several pints. Service is always prompt, and they always help with customer querys prompt and to the point... no beating around the bush which is how things should be done. If you act like an ignoramous, you are treated like one.

There is always a music night for everybody, everyday of the week, which is fantastic for music lovers! Originals, tribute acts, blues, rock, established, non established, young, old, cheesey, obscure or rawkus, everynight of the week has a different genre of music on. It is also a popular stop off point for those who are planning on visiting the rock themed nightclubs at Hades and the Waterfront in the city center, later in the evening due to its excellent location on the main arterial roads into and out of Norwich.

It's surroundings may not be the most upmarket but i like it, especially with all the, sterile, characterless, trendy wine bar surroundings being rammed down our "modernised britains" throat. The toilets are always clean, if not always flushed, but this is hardly the bars fault. It's nice to visit a pub that captures the essense of what a music bar ... or an english pub...should be about.

If people don't like the brickies then it's fair enough, but some of the reviews on here just seem so far of the mark. Perhaps people should have put up more of a fight when the other music venues in Norwich started to close down so a wider choice was available.

People have to just bite the bullet, that like it or not. Its the only proper, and best, music pub in Norwich. Far above its other competitors, the closest being the King Eddy (whose standards for hosting bands, and surroundings are just not in the same league, although still a good venue).

Let's face it the music scene in Norwich is practically dead, and with two extremes of audienes, the thickle narrow minded dinosaurs who believe everything should have stopped after Cliff Richard, or the pubesent teens who just want to scream down a mic and believe everything predating 2000 is rubbish! it's nice to have a pub where ALL music lovers, regardless of opinions, can find sanctuary for free music, regardless of tastes.

As someone who's played the Brickmakers, the equipment and facilities are amazing, high end specifications that bring the best out of musicians by making them thinking they are playing a venue bigger than they are, with a large stage area, smoke effects and an impressive lighting rig. The sound people on the night is hit and miss as each one has their own opinion on what the sound should be like, but are more often easy to get along with.

Kareoke and quiz nights on the Sunday are entertaining, regardless of ability or IQ, always a laugh and good for the community spirit.

It does sometimes seem to turn into a kindergarden though with lots of under 18's being in the pub which creates a bit of a tension when a teenage drama kicks off. To be honest they're far better behaved than some of the 'mature' customers in the pub.

The Brickies does express that ID for abover 16's is required on the door. This is a pub for true individuals and liberal attitudes, young, old, straight, homosexual, transgendered, outspoken, roudy or the silent majority.

The Brickmakers makes no apologies for what it is, and if you don't feel comfortable in their it is a win win for all involved that you visit another pub, as the packed attendences night after night would denote they are hardly pushing for buisness. End of the day it gets a 9 out of 10 from me, and i believe its nonmination for best UK music pub speaks entirely for itself review wise regardless of opinions.

Top pub, and one of the last good music ones we have left in Norwich!


rbed - 9 Sep 2010 14:36
Great pub, great staff and a thouroughly great night out. I use this pub all the time, as luckily for me it's only just down the road. I love it because although i am a single woman, it's one of the very few pubs i still feel safe enough to walk in on my own. I always know i'll be welcomed with a smile and there's even someone stood at the door to say goodnight when you leave. Keep up the good work guys!!
the_woman223 - 3 Feb 2010 12:17
Sadly from what I see and hear the local tossers have firmly taken over this pub once again. Itís a good pub with good music but no control over who comes in and even less idea of how to make people leave. Persuasion is good but if the people you have asked to leave take an hour or more to go that has created a bad atmosphere for all the other customers. These problems donít happen every day so Iíd still say to check the place out but when there is a problem donít expect any quick resolution. Still whole lot of good bands so wear your body armour and things might be ok.
James.the.one - 2 Feb 2010 19:59
Iíve drank in this pub for the purpose of seeing bands for many years and although the current owners have given it a good go they have totally lost control as far as customer behaviour is concerned. Friday night I witnessed customers who were a real pain being asked to leave and they simply refused. So they (the owners) decided to stop serving until they did. By stop serving I mean stop serving everyone in the pub until these idiots decided, in their own time to leave. I donít go to this pub more than once every few weeks when there is a band on that I would like to see and every time I see the same thing people being out of order and although they are asked to leave they actually leave when they are ready. This pub is gathering one of the worst reputations in Norwich for this. Any control they ever had has been lost. Sad because it used to be ok.
Mike.B - 31 Jan 2010 21:48
good pub - good live music - wish they would change the beer though - speckled hen IS rank - cant ta drink more than 1 pint - its oily and metallic tasting - and IPA is like water
angstdata - 17 Jan 2010 10:57
Should be the best pub in Norwich but it isn't. Miserable staff, look like they couldnít smile if you paid them. Good music but the rest is crap.
jenny25 - 29 Oct 2009 20:56
I agree whole heartedly with the last comment, not quite sure whether you other guys have personal issues with this pub but I have spent a couple of nights at The Brickmakers in the last month and I have found it to be a refreshing experience. It is not often I go into a pub and feel so welcomed and safe. The staff were extremely friendly and went out of their way to ensure I wasn't left waiting for my pint. Yes the inside could do with a bit of a refurb but the toilets were spotless, the real ale is top notch and the band was excellent and I agree, awesome tech stuff on the stage for the bands. I will be spending a lot more of my time at The Brickmakers, it used to be a place I steered away from due to reputation but I will defiantely be back for more, its nice to see a local pub putting on some quality bands and still valuing its customers. Keep it up!!
djfoxi - 3 Jan 2009 02:31
The Brickmakers is a fantastic music pub, and I have enjoyed many bands there over the years. I am surprised to read some of the comments below, as I have always found the pub to have the most incredibly diverse, yet friendly, clientele and staff. I think some of the staff have changed, but isn't that the nature of pub work! The eclectic mix of live bands they have playing there usually ensures there is something I want to see and ultimately enjoy and I have always come away having had a good night.
bk2000 - 3 Jan 2009 00:31
Great music pub, first and foremost and I must say i've never noticed the gay overtones or the surly staff. However, i'm forced to drink cider because they only serve a Speckled Hen, which I won't drink on principle because of the sods who brew it and because it tastes rank. Sort the beer out and i'll come in more often, stay longer and drink more than 1 bottle of Magners!
dd1962 - 7 Dec 2008 01:08
Not officially a gay bar, well you could have fooled me. Music is usually good but the bar staff are always too busy cleaning up to bother serving you. About an hour before close they all sod off to do Ďstuffí and you can be waiting for ages for one of them to pass through the bar to serve you. Iíve seen people walk out because of waiting too long.
simon70s - 5 Dec 2008 19:05
Very clicky place. Not officially a gay bar but you are not of that persuasion then you wonít gell with staff or many of the regulars. No problem with gay thing but I donít like being outnumbered. Well behaved pub and you can see a lot of effort put into the music and stuff but still a bit creepy. Your face either fits or it doesnít.
frank1965 - 22 Nov 2008 18:56
Got to agree with the last comment. Iíve used this pub for years to see bands which of course is its strong point but it really seems if your face doesnít fit youíre made to feel about as welcome as a pork pie in a synagogue. Staff seems to change on a weekly basis, which is never a good sign. Drinks are fine, I donít drink beer but Iím told it is well kept. Toilets spotless but then they should be. Hard to define what Iím trying to say but just not friendly, too clinical. Iíll continue to use it to see bands but still creepy place.
angelacorby - 2 Mar 2008 20:33
I'm big into my blues and rock and this pub does this very well, really good stage. Problem with the rest of the pub is it's clicky as heck. You're either in with the in crowd or your not. If your face fits you get served real quick other wise you can't get near the bar. Pity it's a great music pub.
sally.g - 19 Oct 2007 22:05
In recent years has gone from one of the best pubs in Norwich to one of the worst. Music is good, no probs there but the staff, especially the owners are the most miserable people you could meet. They might as well just wear tee shirts saying 'we don't want to be here' or we've had your money now sod off. Cleaning starts about an hour before they are supposed to close, you try to have your last few pints with buffers, hoovers and mop buckets everywhere. Time is called when they feel like calling it, sometimes five to one sometimes five past twelve. Come on guys, most businesses clean up after the customers are gone, I know you've had a long day but haven't we all, if you don't like it then your in the wrong game. My wife works in WH Smith but they don't clean up an hour before they close, nor do they close when they feel like. Pub of the year, I don't think so, remember who actually pays the bills, it's those sad sods called customers that get treated like crap. If your taking are down recently it's not to do with the smoking thing, it's 'cos my local, The Blueberry if full of your hacked off customers. They may close earlier than the Brickies but at least they close when they say and every night, not vary it hen they feel like it. Good pub going to waste 'cos of people who've lost the plot.
anonymous - 16 Oct 2007 08:02
Dont often get to this place but like to see a band occasionaly. First thing that struck me was from about 11 oclock at night they go cleaning crazy,mop and bucket out and buffer too.Im not being harsh but if I go out in the evening for a drink I dont want to be reminded my flat needs cleaning, that sort of stuff should be after everyone has gone.Also been told they serve until one, but tonight it was last drink at five past twelve. Heard a guy say he just finished work at eleven and got a taxi from the other side of the city for that reason, stick to your hours please, its not fair!
poppi - 16 Oct 2007 07:35
With the demise of the Romany, The Brickmakers only serious music rival in the city, The Brickies is now top of the tree. Pub itself is a bit tired and shabby and a bit of furniture has seen better days. Toilets are spotless and the beer is fine. Locals can be a bit rowdy but that's not an awfull thing. Pub obviously dominated by it's live music. Big stage, good PA and mixing desk, new lighting rig that is really quite impressive. New second 'live' room mainly for all the emo (shit) bands that no one wants to hear. Can hardly hold a candle to the general quality of bands that are on. The legend in his own lunchtime Lee Vassey performs there every Sunday afternoon. Good jam session on Monday, even if it is a bit clicky. Bands like Choir Boys, Hamsters, Buster James, Tea, Adam Bomb, Worlds Apart, Emma Hall Band are regular contributers. Recent air conditioning makes the place a lot more pleasant when they are busy and they do get very, very busy. If you're into live music this is the place for you if not it's not. Never been in during the day so I can't comment but I believe it's not very busy.
The_Man - 3 May 2007 21:51

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