British summers can be unpredictable at the best of times but all the more reason to know the best sun traps and where to dart when the sun starts shining especially as lockdown eases.
If you’re stuck in Brum, you couldn’t be further away from the ocean or a nice beach, so the next best thing? A cool beer garden or sun terrace to while away the day.
Brum has a great selection of watering holes, and in this article we suggest some of the best beer gardens and roof terraces around the city. We have selected large, small, cool and traditional outdoor spaces which we feel are worth checking out when those rays break through and you’re in need of a refreshing cold dink (updated 11th April 2021).
Birmingham City Centre
The Wellington, Bennetts Hill. One of Birmingham’s most famous and long established real ale and craft ale pubs situated right in the heart of the city. The ‘Wellie’ is just off New Street and this old Victorian pub has a fantastic selection of real ales which are frequently changing. The elevated beer garden is a great little green oasis and gets very busy with office workers and real ale enthusiasts. *Reopens 12th April 2021
Henman & Cooper is one of the city’s hidden secrets. It looks more like an office from the outside, but inside this stunning old Victorian building is a superb cocktail bar with a touch of opulence. Located in the centre of Birmingham’s business district, Henman & Cooper boasts a compact rooftop terrace and beer garden which can be accessed by lift of the spiral staircase. If you’re looking for some interested rooftop views in a swanky location this should be on your list. *Reopens 12th April 2021
Dishoom. Dishoom is a renowned family of Bombay Cafés & restaurants dotted around the UK. The brand started out in London and now exists in Birmingham catering for those with a penchant for Indian cuisine and exotic drinks. Serving Bombay breakfast, lunch, afternoon chai, dinner & late-night tipples guests can enjoy the Dishoom experience out in the terrace whilst watching the world pass by – the cocktails are absolutely superb and some of the best in the city! *Reopens 12th April 2021
The Canal House. Welcome to The Canal House, boasting one of the best beer gardens in Birmingham City Centre! A dog friendly pub within close proximity to Broad Street, serving hearty pub food and delicious cocktails daily, with unrivaled views of the Canal Basin. *Reopens 12th April 2021The Canal House. Welcome to The Canal House, boasting one of the best beer gardens in Birmingham City Centre! A dog friendly pub within close proximity to Broad Street, serving hearty pub food and delicious cocktails daily, with unrivaled views of the Canal Basin. *Reopens 12th April 2021
John Bright Street is an up and coming area of the city centre. You can find a host of bars with outdoor seating to chill with drinks, such as Cherry Reds, Brew Dog and Turtle Bay, and The Stable Pizza Company. The Stable has a vast amount of ciders on tap and the outdoor seating area is now enclosed. A family friendly venue and lots of live music and DJs too ( Stble picture credit Brum Hour) *The Stable reopens 20th May, Cherry Reds reopens 14th April, Brew Dog & Turtle Bay reopens 12th April.
Brindley Place Bars. Developed out of some of Brum’s oldest industrial wasteland, Brindley Place now boasts a large selection of very fine eateries, restaurants, galleries and most importantly, canal-side bars. There are several well established commercial chain style wine bars with pleasant outdoor seating such as Bank Bar & Restaurant, Slug & Lettuce and All Bar One. Canal-side bars such as The Pitcher & Piano (which has outdoor seating on two levels) are a popular alternative to Broad Street nearby. The Malt House is just across the water (with a great outdoor balcony). All the afore-mentioned reopen on the 12th April 2021 and The Malt House reopens 17th May.
Mailbox Canal-side Bars. The Mailbox is now a firm favourite on the city’s destination list when looking for a bite to eat or a drink. The development takes full advantage of its location next to the Birmingham Canal Navigations. Several bars and eateries provide a safe and relaxed space for diners catering for a variety of needs. Aluna, Gas Street Social, Churchills and Penny Blacks have a perfect canal-side location with a great range of ales, wines and cocktails. Aluna reopens 17th May, the rest reopen there-after.
The Distillery. A Birmingham based Gin Distillery and bar a stone’s throw away from BrindleyPlace. Serving pub food and boast a beautiful canal side beer garden. Dog friendly, families welcome! *Reopens 12th April 2021
The Loft. Craft beers, contemporary cocktails, locally sourced food menu, speciality gins and fully heated garden in the heart of Birmingham’s South Side entertainment district. *Reopens 12th April 2021
Marco Pierre White’s, The Cube. The Cube is that great big architectural box at the canal-side end of the Mailbox. If you take the lift to the 25th floor you will find Marco Pierre White’s rooftop bar & terrace, the views are far reaching across the West Midlands. Entrance is free, but dress smart during the weekend. The main bar serves cocktails, spirits, and a limited selection of beer and cider on draft. If you turn right out of the lift you’ll find the Champagne bar with even more impressive views! *Reopens 17th May 2021
Gosta Green. A typical student pub inside a beautiful old Victorian boozer down on Aston’s university campus. The beer garden is quite extensive. There are two large seating areas in the back courtyard and possibly Birmingham’s only outdoor pool table (under a shelter). This is a ‘Scream’ themed pub so expect some BIG discounts. The real ale is fairly extensive and well looked after. *Reopens 17th May 2021
The Jekyll & Hyde. Part of the ‘Bitters ‘n Twisted ‘ family, this small and quirky bar has an arty vibe with weekend DJs, a cinema club and Victorian gin parlour upstairs. The beer garden is compact but big enough to accommodate a small crowd of revelers. The artwork around the walls and inside provide something unique not just in Brum but for the UK. The cocktails are well worth the ten minute walk down Corporation St from city centre, or a two minute tram to Bull Street from Grand Central. *Reopens 1st June 2021
The Woodman. Situated in the city’s Eastside, The Woodman serves great beer and hearty food. A short walk from Moor Street station and the Bullring, this old school Victorian boozer is yet to come into its own, but for those who fancy something slightly off the beaten track they have benches out front and to the side which overlook the beautifully urban Eastside Park. *Reopens 12th April 2021
The Jewellery Quarter
The Clifden. Featuring a brilliant range of craft beers from local Birmingham brewers as well as fab beers from Beavertown and Laine Brew Co. The Clifden’s beer garden is legendary and underwent a make-over after the sale from U.A.B. Good local pub food, the best craft beer with music and Sunday Roasts still at the heart of this historic boozer! *Reopens 12th April 2021
Saint Pauls House. Birmingham’s boutique hotel, bar & restaurant situated in the historic Jewellery Quarter. The venue encompasses a restaurant, bar and boutique hotel. The design and concept suggest a nod to the casual yet contemporary buzz of Shoreditch. With opulent finishes throughout, a vibrant food and drink offer and a carefully selected team, top notch cuisine and a gorgeous outdoor terrace. *Reopens 12th April 2021
The Actress & Bishop. One of the city’s most established live music bars, The Actress & Bishop remains a solid indie venue with DJs and live musicians performing regularly and opening until late most nights of the week. The outside seating offers a perfect location to soak up the relaxed atmosphere of St Pauls Square, busy on weekends and more chilled during the week. *Reopens 12th April 2021
The Red Lion. Another of the U.A.B. pubs, this cool little boozer is tucked away in the heart of Jewellery Quarter and has some refreshing real ales on tap. The pub is music orientated with DJs and occasional events up stairs. The beer garden out back is small but a sneaky little hide-away and a perfect spot to enjoy the mid day sun. *Reopens 12th April 2021
The Rectory Bar. The Rectory is a unique restaurant and vibrant bar in a city centre location overlooking St Pauls church. The Rectory Bar & Restaurant in the calm oasis of St Paul’s Square on the edge of the historic Jewellery Quarter, is all about relaxed, sophisticated drinking and dining in stylish, modern surroundings. There is limited seating out front but a secluded court yard to the side provides a peaceful sun trap with a great selection of drinks on offer. *Reopens 12th April 2021
The Church Inn. There are only a hand full of rooftop beer gardens in the city, and this medium sized space above the Victorian Church Inn, Hockley, is ideal for an afternoon drink in the sun. It’s perfectly situated to soak up the rays until sun sets over what was once and possibly still is, the jewellery making capital of the world. The whole building has a very authentic feel with arty decor and some of the finest cocktails and ales served anywhere in the Midlands. *Reopens 12th April 2021
Hockley Social Club. Digbeth Dining Club has left its home on Trinity Street and has invested in a 10 000 sq ft warehouse which has been converted into a bar and food court area with outside beer garden. Hockley Social Club will be showcasing a rotation of weekly street food vendors as well as serving cocktails, wines, and beers. Punters can expect the usual suspects like Strip Club street food, Flying Cows, Budhha Belly, Kebab Cartel, Fat Snags, and Urban Cheesecake. *launches 15th April (4pm to 11pm Thursday to Saturday, 4pm to 7pm Sunday).
The Button Factory. The Button Factory has a large roof terrace, but it also now boasts two ground level beer gardens to help guests lap up the sun – if you’re lucky! Pobably the bar with the largest outdoor seating area in the JQ? Not the cheapest for a drink but food is good and occasional DJs. *Reopens 12th April 2021
The Floodgate. The Floodgate is an experiential craft beer and cocktail activity bar. Experience an action-packed, fun-filled adventure to a backdrop of music, graffiti and an explosion of colours. There’s Baseball, Curling and PitPat Table Golf and a selection of Floodgate Special cocktails to enjoy such as the Strike Out (Absolute Kurant, Triple Sec, Strawberry, Mango, Lemon Cranberry) and Classics such as Daiquiri (White Rum, Maraschino, Sugar, Lime). Beers on tap include Brooklyn and Carlsberg, with plenty of bottles and wines with in-house street food as well. The outside beer garden is extensive and party covered. *Reopens 12th April
The Old Crown, Digbeth. Promoted as Birmingham’s oldest working pub, The Crown is a Jewell in the heart of industrial Digbeth and the Irish Quarter. Many improvements have taken place over recent years. This old inn has a pretty impressive array of evebts, from DJs to live music, quizes to sporting events and best of all.. is the superb spacious beer garden. A great pub with a big heart! *Reopens 12th April 2021
The Night Owl. The Midlands’ finest soul and retro club. An intimate live music venue set in the heart of Digbeth. Based on Lower Trinity Street, The Night Owl is the perfect club for any fan of music from days gone by. Since its opening , The Night Owl has gone from strength the strength, expanding its music genres to include much loved retro genres spanning decades (as well as record collections!) Expect live bands and DJs every week, and some special events. The outside courtyard is a fab space to soak up the vibes (and sun if it’s out!). *Reopens 17th April 2021
The Ruin Bar and Kitchen. Cask, keg, coffee, cocktails, kitchen. The Ruin’s quirky take on an old pub building… Inspired by the DIY approach of cities like Berlin and Budapest Rich the landlord has put effort rather than expense into a creating place where people can relax and enjoy the basics – good drinks, good food, good company and good music. The pub has been around since 1785 and gone through many changes since then. An excellent beer garden which wraps around the pub featuring cool street art. The outdoor space is undergoing a revamp! *Reopens mid April 2021 starting with weekends
The Anchor. One of the oldest public houses in Digbeth, Birmingham, England, dating back to 1797. The current building was constructed in 1901 to a design by James and Lister Lea for the Holt Brewery Company. Taken over By Raising Bars LTD on 8Th August 2016 – Julian Rose-Gibbs and his team including Jacob Clarke and Jason McGreen began sympathetically refurbishing the boozer without closing to enable the regulars and existing staff to become part of the transformation. A wide selection of drinks are available including several local brews. The beer garden out back is one of the funkiest hidden spaces in Brum. *Reopens 21st May 2021
Nortons Digbeth. Digbeth’s most contemporary traditional Irish pub. 500 capacity live music venue. Family made and family run, free live music every weekend, gigs throughout the week, great food, Sky and BT sports, craft & local beers, they’ve got it all covered! Sláinte bab! The owners are so dedicated to making this a Digbeth success after so many set backs so go support them asap. *Reopens 12th April 2021
The Spotted Dog. A fab old Irish-ish boozer and a traditional one at that. This old pub has an authentic feel and often plays host to live music, DJs and other social events. This makes the list as it has a rather large covered beer garden, full of interesting nick-nacks which change on a regular basis.. perfect if you want to sit and drink outside when there’s a chance of rain, which is most often in the UK. Just go in for a drink anyway! One of the best pubs in the world – pic does not do it justice. *Reopens 12th April 2021
Birdies Bar. Birdies is a tropical outdoor cocktail bar in the heart of the Custard Factory. Offering some popular cocktails, beers and street food. *Reopens 12th April 2021
Dead Wax Digbeth. Selling itself as beer, vinyl, pizza! Deadwax has quickly built a cool reputation for its Brighton vibe here in Brum. With live music, alternative DJs and a beer garden which is big enough to join your mates for a bit of beer chugging and wine wazzling! *Reopens 12th April 2021
Zumhof Biergarten. Digbeth’s first Tankovna featuring fresh unpasteurised Pilsner Urquell delivered to direct from Pilzen once a week into our tanks, over 60 rotating speciality biers and the best local brews including Digbrew and Purity brewing. Umpah bumpah beer garten! *Reopens 12th April 2021
Mama Roux’s. Expect big party vibes in Digbeth with stage takeovers from Birmingham’s best party brands and a brand new cocktail menu to tickle your tastebuds inside and out. Walk ins only. Table limits of two hours may apply in peak times. *Reopens 12th April 2021
Roxy Ball Room. Booze & Ball Games! Digbeth is the right location for the first Roxy Ball Room venue in Birmingham. With 10 Full-sized bowling lanes, Ping pong, Pool, Beer Pong, Shuffleboard, Pizza & cocktails and a party soundtrack to ease things along. There’s a new outdoor beer garden too! *Reopens 12th April 2021
Hennessey’s Bar. Hennessey’s Bar is a family owned bar situated in the Digbeth area of Birmingham City Centre, minutes from the Bull Ring & Selfridges. The large outdoor beer garden is perfect to sit in whilst sinking a few pints of the black stuff! *Reopens 12th April 2021
Chance and Counters. Chance and Counters offers a cool twist to gaming bars by way of a huge array of board games. The beers and food are pretty ace too! The seating area outside helps it make this list, the Custard Factory Courtyard is a great spot to soak up the sun and a few bevvies. *Reopens 14th April 2021
Harborne & Edgbaston
The Plough, Harborne. The Plough is run by Adam Johnson, formerly of Global Grooves and the legendary Circo Bar (pulled down for what is now the Radisson Hotel). This stylishly quirky pub is situated at the bottom of Harborne High Street and is a well loved and long established haunt for those in the know. The food menu is extremely popular with locally sourced produce, free tables can be hard to find on a weekend. It’s a quirky and cool vibe inside and out with a top notch refurbished beer garden. You have everything you need here in this cosy suburban boozer-cum-bar. *Reopens 12th April 2021
The Paper Duck. An independent bar situated in the heart of Harborne with a small beer garden. At The Paper Duck, they’re passionate about craft beer, wine, cocktails, and cheese. Serving craft beer across 18 ever-changing draught taps, as well as a fully stocked fridge of cans and bottles to drink in or take-out. All of the wine served is vegan friendly, with many of them being organic / biodynamic / low intervention / and containing low levels of sulphites, if any at all. *Reopens 12th April.
The Bell Inn, Harborne. Harborne is one of Brum’s leafiest suburbs and tucked away in a quiet corner is The Bell. This pub sits in a semi-rural location next to St Peters Church, in fact you would find it hard to believe you are in a city at all. The old country lane which leads to The Bell is surrounded by greenery, a cricket ground and the peaceful Grove Park is nearby. The Bell has a tiny bar serving a selection of wholesome real ales, but inside there is ample seating. On a sunny day, the large outside terrace overlooks an old bowling green (which is still in regular use) and St Peters Church overlooks the green. Possibly the most serene setting for a pint in the city. *Reopens 12th April 2021
The New Inn, Harborne. There are plenty of seats on two sides of the pub and a large former bowling green which now hosts a pretty amazing village green on sunny days, very family friendly and popular for picnics. *Reopens 12th April 2021
The Blue Piano, Edgbaston. The Blue Piano promises to delight your palate with a varied menu of South East Asian flavours. Taste the cuisine from from Singapore, Malaysia and Cambodia, all in one evening. Enjoy an extensive array of beers, wines and cocktails in our bar area or relax and unwind in our unique courtyard garden with some groovy live jazz when conditions permit. *Reopens 12th April 2021
The Highfield. A Country Pub in Town – Edgbaston. Serving high quality fresh seasonal food & great beers, wines & spirits all at pub prices. Open all day, seven days a week, serving breakfast, lunch, drinks & dinner, an Edgbaston local with a decent sized beer garden! *Reopens 12th April 2021
The Physician. The Physician is one of the latest additions to the Brunning and Price group of pub restaurants. Serving the usual food and drinks expected within your usual chain but a great beer garden and stunning decor. Dog and child friendly in specific areas of the pub. *Reopens 12th April 2021
The Edgbaston. The Edgbaston is an award winning Boutique Hotel & Cocktail Lounge. Award winning cocktails, Bar Food Menu & Afternoon Tea with a stunning art decco interior. *Reopens 19th May 2021
The Fighting Cocks. Beloved of Moseley’s colourful community, The Fighting Cocks has become somewhat of an icon in this trend-setting Birmingham suburb. Original 1800 period features are set against a contemporary design, providing a perfectly offbeat backdrop to the friendly banter drifting over from the bar. The beer garden is a welcome retreat from the hustle and bustle of the front bar and Moseley High Street. *Reopens 17th May 2021
The Prince of Wales. Serving beer since 1861. Out front is the real ale bar, an old style boozer in the heart of Moseley with all the characters you would imagine propping up the bar. Then there is the fabulous Victorian cocktail bar and beyond this, a cigar shop, a wine stall, a beer garden, events marquee and a Hawaiian beach bar and lots of quirky events. See their other venture in Moseley, The Dark Horse for a small enclosed seating area out front – great for eating one of their delicious pizzas. *Reopens 12th April 2021
The Patrick Kavanagh. There is always something happening at The Patrick Kavanagh. If your after Comedy, Open Mic nights, Live music or Live Football it’s all regular fare at the Pat Kav and it’s also home to a small, shabby chic beer garden. *Reopens 17th May 2021
The Village. A laid back cocktail bar & restaurant in the heart of Moseley Village. Ales, Gin Goblets, Cocktails, Coffee, Beer Garden. Veggie, Vegan and GF dishes on a homemade menu. Your urban home from home. Open daily to fulfill all your eating and drinking desires and needs. Whether it be at the bar, the dining area or on the outside terrace. *Reopens 12th April 2021
Stirchley & Kings Heath
Attic Brew Co. Tucked away, on a quiet unsuspecting street in Stirchley, exists vegan friendly Attic Brew Co. Literally a stones throw from Bournville train station, Attic Brew Co. has been carefully honing its brewing techniques whilst quenching the thirst of many an inquisitive Brummie. There are various music and food events to compliment the fab beer and a cool little beer yard out front! *Reopens 16th April 2021
Couch, Stirchley. Neighbourhood Cocktail Bar specialising in timeless concept menus in the heart of Stirchley. Couch pride themselves on handcrafted cocktails inspired by film. Each completely original drink is based on a different film from True Romance to Lost in Translation. A select wine list and rotating special cocktail on draught. Cosy little back yard, so check! *Reopens 14th April 2021
The British Oak, Stirchley. Taken on by the people behind the Prince of Wales and Dark Horse in Moseley, this beautiful old real ale pub has been brought up to date and sports one of the best beer gardens in the area. There is also a pavilion and lawn of the British Oak Bowling Club out back. *Reopens 12th April 2021
The Juke, Kings Heath. Good beer, good music, good people! The Juke is a bespoke craft beer bar and eatery with an authentic vintage, free to play Jukebox. The kitchen is home to some of Birmingham’s best street food traders, whilst the taps are full of hand picked craft beer with a cosy relaxed outdoor seating area enough to soak up the cool Kings Heath vibe. *Reopens 12th April 2021