Here's our guide to Brum from an issue last season. We're almost positive that nothing has changed. Nothing at all. Birmingham has a special place in our hearts because that's where the fanzine is printed. In fact, Dave, our super ink monkey, is a big Blues fan and editor of their own fanzine, Made In Brum. Pick up a copy if you see one for sale.
Cacophonous, raucous, intimidating, vibrant... Not anymore. The St Andrews experience has taken a nosedive in recent seasons. Whereas it used to be rightly famed for being one of the most exciting in the country visit, it's now more likely to provide Jasper Carrott with more "hilarious" ready-made material as the crowds dwindle and the mute button is pressed on those who still bother to show up.
That was a bit depressing wasn't it? It's not that bad, we'll keep right on to the end of the road, and be there quicker than you can say CAMRA Pub Of The Year anyway.
Fans of pubs next to a Morrissons car park are in for a treat as the only drinker within an easy walk to the ground that tolerates away fans, The Cricketers Arms, is positioned exactly there on Green Lane.
Troubling the 15 minute walk to the ground dept. is The Anchor on Bradford Street; a real ale paradise with more awards than Bradley Wiggins. It isn't specifically an away pub, but the Blues fans in here will take you under their wing rather than offer you out for some toe-to-toe nonsense. It's a rare TSLR five star rated away pub with a list of beers that will have your eyes popping out on springs. Licking your lips already? Us too.
Other options you say? Well, The Old Crown on High Street is Birmingham's oldest pub; devoid of home fans, normally, and plays the old friendly staff and service card. And on Bennett's Hill there's your ye olde traditional Wetherspoons (The Briar Rose) and another real ale champion in The Wellington.
With the exception of the aforementioned Cricketers it's best to avoid the pubs near to the ground. If you're unsure then stick to the city centre. You'll be given very short shrift for making fun of their accents too so don't be thinking that's funny after six pre-match pints or you're almost guaranteed trouble.
Taxis from the centre will set you back around six quid, but if you want to avoid that, a top tip from a local is to jump on a train from Moor Street to Bordesley, a station that's only used on match days. It's not quite as close as Falmer to the Amex Arms, but nearly, and nowhere near as busy.
TSLR recommendation: The Victoria, John Bright Street
Thanks to Danny Last.