A decent work-a-day Wetherspoons pub which sells cheap drinks and food to the masses.
The name of this pub refers to a series of paintings on the theme of Sleeping Beauty by pre-Raphaelite Birmingham artist Edward Burne-Jones, who was born right here in Bennett’s Hill in 1833. JD Wetherspoon opened it in 2000 as a hotel and bar.
It’s described on a sign outside as being a ‘non-smoking pub’ (time they took the sign down perhaps?). Inside it’s a mostly carpeted long, open-plan room with high tables in the middle on the right with a long bar on the left. At the end of the room there’s more of a formal eating area. The walls are painted in light creams and dark pinks and the numerous TV screens show subtitled 24-hour news during the day and sport in the evening. There’s a tiled floor around the bar area and it’s open till 1am on Fridays and Saturdays.
Being in the centre, The Briar Rose is popular with people from all walks of life - in particular with workers trying to keep their lunchtime and after hours expenditure to a minimum. Shoppers stop in here too for a break from the High Street but on the whole it seems to attract more men than women, probably because they're waiting while their other halves to finish their shopping. Fridays and Saturdays attract the under 20 crowd.
The Food and Drink
On draught there’s a decent selection which includes Guinness, Carling, Coors, Foster’s, Stella, Heineken and Pedigree at £1.99 a pint. There's also four real ales which change over weekly. In bottles there’s the usual range, plus Polish lagers Zywiec and Lech and Czech beer Közel.
There are various drinks offers to look out for including a double Smirnoff and Red Bull for £3.89. And the food covers sandwiches, salads, jacket potatoes, wraps, main courses and grills. They do different themed food nights too, like a curry night and a grill night, when a grill and a drink is £6.49.
The Last Word
The Briar Rose is smart enough and if it’s value for money you’re after, you can’t go wrong.