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Black Country Arms, Walsall

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user reviews of the Black Country Arms, Walsall

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

There is only one thing wrong with this pub – but we’ll come to that later ! First of all we need to note that the name is actually Black Country Tavern, not as listed on this site.

The pub is located on a hill, so one side is higher than the other. The entrance is on the lower lever, and you turn immediately right to get to the bar. And what a bar ! There are I think 12 handpumps dispensing a widevariety of beers, including 3 or 4 of their own Black Country Ales. I was tempted by the M & B Brew XI (a blast from the past), but eventually settled on halves of Fixed Wheel Coco Mocha Stout and Dow Bridge Praetorian Porter – both were gorgeous.

As a Black Country Ales inn, it is note out in their recognisable house style. Plenty of polished wood furnishings, and brass around the bar. There is also an upper floor (where the toilets are situated) which is almost as large as downstairs, and is in much the same style. It also includes a dartboard.

Food is served (lunchtimes and all day Saturday, I think). It is basically “pub grub”, but there is a wide variety, and the prices looked very reasonable. I did eat this time, but will certainly do so on my next visit.

And now to the fly in the ointment. Although the bar is pretty big, in front of it are a number of chair/stools which are unvariably occupied by people drinking at the bar – making it almost impossible to get there and order your drinks ! For that reason I have marked it down to 7/10

Martinsh - 13 Dec 2015 22:34
It`s a good `un, if your in Walsall it`s a must visit - nuff said!
Blastbeat - 12 Aug 2015 11:33
Hey, ILookLikeMe - your review is absolutely spot on ! The only difference to my experience is that I have up and went to Wetherspoons instead !
Martinsh - 8 Feb 2015 19:18
Desperately slow service and unfriendly regulars seated in a line at the bar and not moving a muscle to allow others customers to get served was not an auspicious start to a Sunday afternoon session. The high standard in ale quality and comfortable seating went someway to redress the balance, but a rather mixed experience of a highly regarded pub which, for this visit at least, did not compare favourably to the nearby Lyndon House. A lukewarm 6/10.
ILooklikeme - 8 Feb 2015 16:58
Huge choice of beers, welcoming and truly pubby environment, worth a visit. Crowded on a Saturday afternoon as it should be.
rainlight - 31 Aug 2014 09:51
Second port of call on 3 May to celebrate the mighty U’s remaining in league 1, and winning at Walsall to boot. Excellent pub, very tall building and with drinking/eating areas on three levels so it doesn’t feel crowded or like being in a vast open barn. Marvellous selection of ales but once I’d tasted the Black Beauty Cream Stout from Packinghouse brewery that was it, this wonderful stout joins the Colchester Cream stout and the Nottingham Sooty Stout as three incomparable ales. This ran out and so I was forced to have a different ale, which although I can’t remember the name it stood up well to the lingering taste of that black nectar. We also ate here, one of my mates had the curry special which was good, I had the burger and potato wedges which did the job and at £4.95 what more could you want to go with your pre match pints? Fantastic place and well worth the trip. 9/10
Monkdawallydahonk - 12 May 2014 12:00
Camra says that this is the number one pub in the Walsall area, and I agree. It is noted for a massive choice of beers, and all served in top condition. Excellent food, entertainment, support for charities, a brilliant landlady, plus only nice people seem to go there.
quaffed - 22 Apr 2014 11:31
Visited here before going to watch Port Vale at the Bescot, good choice of beers and ciders, friendly locals,efficient service and the food looked good value too. We had the BHB which was in good nick.
Comfotable pub on several levels and would not hesitate to return.,
robbie2k - 1 Dec 2013 15:41
Pubs like this are few and far between, the beer choice is vast, and they are all good quality, probably assisted by the popularity of this venue and exellant cellar management. Great food, friendly staff and chatty customers, plus plenty of room to spread out .
quaffed - 3 Aug 2013 14:33
Had a great pint of Brew XI! Dropped by Saturday afternoon and there was an easy atmosphere with shoppers dropping by for a swift one. Fantastic range of ales and the food as also good - worth the wait! Recommended
foaminghead - 14 Feb 2013 10:56
Excellent pub with 16 handpumps, 15 of which were on and the other being changed! Well worth a visit.
alexw - 15 Jan 2013 22:32
Once again another great visit to this pub. Ale was absolutely top notch. Tried an unusual ale with Blueberry hint and its one of those you could happily sip all day. The other ales were also well kept (shame I did't get to try them all)Excellent friendly service from staff and although I didn't eat,I did hear from a few that the food was yummy. A real gem of a pub with 16 handpulled ales on,a great choice to choose from too. Wish there were more pubs like this one.

If you go to Walsall,this is a MUST visit.
markredfox73 - 9 Oct 2012 11:26
I agree with other reviews here this is a good place for ales - I didn't count how many but there was certainly more than 10. Sat upstairs and ok not the best of views (this is Walsall after all) but it did look over the old market square. Recommend you pop in and try it yourself made a change from the standard Wetherspoons bars in the town.
ianatwalsall - 24 Sep 2012 15:41
With time to pass in Walsall (my first time in the town), I was on the lookout for a decent pub - no easy task these days. I came across this pub and was very pleased with my find. Enjoyed a tasty pint of Pig on the Wall Mild in a relaxed. welcoming atmosphere. Well worth a visit.
wobblybob - 7 Aug 2012 16:49
I returned to the town of my birth for the beer festival last weekend, and before that went on a bit of a wander to remind myself why I don't live here anymore. But I have an amazing knack of sniffing out an excellent pub, and it wasn't long before I happened across this place. I am SO glad I did! In fact I nearly decided to give the beer festival a miss and just stay in here instead.
hadda - 19 Apr 2012 17:29
Now this is a delightful pub, easily the best in a surprisingly disappointing town centre for beer drinkers. I can't work out whether to call it multi-roomed or one room on several levels, but it's definitely worth visiting. I think there were something like 16 real ales & ciders on when I last visited; the Highland Dark Munro was a superb mild-style beer.

The only slight drawback is the pub's location. Being on the edge of the market means that it can be a bit unattractive to approach at night but that's not their fault and hopefully won't distract from what is without a doubt the best pub for miles around and well worth a detour.
djw - 18 Apr 2012 12:20
Large Town Centre pub with a strange lay out. Beer range absolutely brilliant and well kept. Staff and customers chatty and freindly. Not surprised that it's in the Good Beer Guide and has been the local CAMRA Pub of the Year. Will visit again.
villagefamily - 17 Apr 2012 11:53
Excellent beer quality and range. Food was pretty good too, if a little slow to arrive.
oftenscore6 - 4 Mar 2012 13:46
Great selection of ales available and staff that know what they're on about. Great interior
yamyampublover - 1 Nov 2011 16:07
Visited a few days ago on a Wednesday lunchtime and while I can see what Snarling Mallard means about the interior, I found it inoffensive and at least it's clean, warm and welcoming, with lots of seating in many different areas, including up on a mezzanine.

The beer was excellent. Tried Black Country Ales' Pig on the Wall, Wooden Hand's Black Pearl and Morton's Essington Gold. Very well kept, good cellar temperature and served with a smile by a friendly barmaid. I'll definitely be going back.

Walsall CAMRA pub of the year 2009 and 2010, plus local darts league champions. Good to see.

See pic for the ales board from that day.
Mick_P - 9 Sep 2011 10:46
Can't see what all the ranting is about over this place - except maybe that there aren't too many decent ale pubs in Walsall. Yes, the ale was good (Black Country Pig on the Wall in this case) but the place reminded me of, and felt like a Wetherspoons, albeit one of the better ones.
anonymous - 27 Feb 2011 12:54
Came down from Cumbria following Carlisle Utd and a few groups of us decided to stop off at this pub,as Id read good reviews about it.
What can I say....ale heaven.....not enough time to get through them all (although wouldve if I wasnt at the game).Around 15 hand pumps on.
A friendly clean pub,every pint was served to perfection,a nice selection including Black country ales, and some from the West Country too (Devon and Cornwall). With my mates we all chose different ales and tasted most of them in the end. My favourite pint was Elderquad..cant remember the brewery
Wish there were more pubs like this..It was like a mini ale festival.Other lads who were drinking in there with us said the food was excellent and they also commented on the high quality of ale. Prices were also very reasonable too compared to many other places. Hope Walsall dont get relegated so we can have a trip here next notch and if youre in Walsall get yourself in for a few ales.
markredfox73 - 22 Nov 2010 20:27
In the 2011 Good Beer Guide which meant we could "discover" it last night. Indeed an impressive interior and a good range of ales, including quite a few stronger ones including stouts and specialities. Friendly service, and a good all-round experience. It was a Tuesday, so maybe that's why it was so sparsely populated. I hope it is better patronised at other times and can avoid the sad state of the pub opposite .
Stamfordian - 3 Nov 2010 09:53
A rather splendid old building that has been nicely refurbished both inside and out. From the front, you will note the graceful arched windows and bold columns at ground floor level, and looking upwards one can see the distinctive Black Country Ales/Traditional Inns logo inset into the stonework at roof level. Inside, the eye is immediately caught by a bar with a fantastic array of 16 (if I counted correctly) handpumps, including two ciders. Being spoilt for choice from the range of house beers and guests, I opted for the BFG (2.40) and wasn't disappointed. The layout has been opened out a bit at some stage, but there are plenty of different seating areas at various levels meaning that it retains quite an intimate feel. Overall, very good indeed, and I was just a bit surprised that there were not more customers in.
rpadam - 5 Jun 2010 23:13
Wonderful pub and yet again the highlight of yet another dismal football trip to Walsall FC. Why this pub isnt in the CAMRA guide is beyond comprehension. (Ive had the arcane procedural reasons explained to me, but as CAMRA branches clearly dont apply the same rules to their favourite landlords/pubs this is clearly iniquitous and downright ludicrous).

The beer range is fantastic (around 12 to 14 including lots of local ale), the food is good and good value, and its a lovely building if set in a pretty depressing location. The beer quality was also superb and pints were topped up without having to ask. It was busier than our last visit, which was good to see. The beer highlight was the Rhymney Dark, a lovely dark toasted stout, also tried the Art Brew stout which was good but didnt have as much depth of flavour, and on the lighter side the Avalanche which had the hop power to cut through the taste of the dark beers. Will definitely visit again when Colchester return to Walsall FC next year. 9/10 pubs dont get much better than this.

Monkdawallydahonk - 24 Mar 2010 08:55
Great real ale pub with plenty on offer. 2 ciders (black rat and chedder valley) and around 12 real ales with some very unusual selections including a green real ale in honour of St Patrick.

The atmosphere was quite good with the pub pretty busy on a Friday evening. Friendly staff who know their ales which is no mean feat given how many hand pulls they have.

BlueRobin - 14 Mar 2010 18:48
Excellent pub. Beers were on good form and the food was excellent value. Easily the best of the 4 GBG pubs we visited.
Huey - 20 Feb 2010 13:51
Visited here before Saints win at Walsall on 5 December. 13 ales and one real cider, beer mostly from Black Country, Tring and Lancaster breweries. Beer quality was fine, food was cheap and very good. a few foreign beers too. Owned by the same outfit that run the Wellington in Brum. Worth checking out.
GuideDogSaint - 16 Dec 2009 22:01
Ispy - 15 Nov 2009 17:10
Have visited a couple of times recently , early evening. Very nice refurbishment and great choice of beer, but the place sadly lacks atmosphere. Probably because it's been pretty quiet when I've been in, but because it's so big you can hear other peoples' conversations whether you want to or not.
I really hope this place succeeds because it could be a great addition to the local scene and a welcome antidote to some of the other town centre "offers".
saddler - 4 Oct 2009 11:02
Superb pub in a bit of a run down market area, lovely building with many rooms. Visited on 14 February when Colchester played at Walsall and definitely the highlight of the day! Around 14 ales mostly local and the many me and my mates tried were excellent. A couple really stood out. Excellent food too, with a couple of local dishes. I had the faggots which were wonderful. Friendly pub and clearly had more people in than were expected, must have been all the Colchester real ale lovers. Will definitely return next season, a must if you visit Walsall.
Monkdawallydahonk - 11 Jun 2009 11:19
Nice to see this place has now re-opened, and I must say, for the better.
Fine selection of ales, all kept well!
I would give this pub 10/10, but for one main reason! Lack of atmosphere!
Its such a shame, because the building alone is worth a visit.
I have been there twice now, the last time on a Friday night and it was like a morgue in there. The music was bearly audible and the long bar made the 3 people that were standing up it look miniscule. It was like drinking in a library!
I do enjoy sampling new ales, but the atmosphere of a pub is the back bone of every establishment.
Jakman - 6 Jun 2009 20:20
Super place. Always visit when researching in Walsall.

A spacious 18th-century building, that was linked with the old guildhall and at one time served as part of the magistrates' court

A plethora of tasty ales adorn the bar, rotated, with regulars like Pig on the Wall Mild, so there is always plenty of choice, which often means that we stay for a few.

Archivist - 13 May 2009 16:30
A marvellous pub. The refit looks just like the Green Dragon it used to be, the beer is excellent, and the music loud enough to hear but quiet enough to hear over.
stymaster - 19 Apr 2009 22:22
This is a simply brilliant pub! The many ales are superb and the atmosphere is comfortable and relaxed. There is also traditional Black Country food, which looks and smells wonderful, but I have not yet tried it. The staff are really friendly. I cannot recommend this pub highly enough - I used to come into Walsall for a pub crawl, but instead can easily sit in here for hours.
generalstaal - 14 Apr 2009 19:27
The best pub of our visit to Walsall on 14th February. I seem to have lost my notes now the pub has been listed, typical. There was a vast array of beer on the 16 hand pumps. It covered all the beer styles from golden to amber and dark ales. I seem to remember having two of the dark beers; one was a Black Country ale and the other was from Titanic. The pub re-opened on 24 November 2008 around when I suggested it. The pub was previously called The Green Dragon and more recently The Cobra Lounge. There has been a licensed inn on the same site since 1627. It is a nice looking traditional pub that is on two floors. The food looked rather good that some of our group tried.

Love_good_ale - 6 Apr 2009 20:22

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