Canalside is a quaint, traditional pub ideally situated, right next to the tow path, and a hop away from the black and white roving footbridge crossing over the canals.
Most of the warehouses and industrial buildings around Gas Street Basin have been modernised and developed into offices, hotels, trendy cocktail bars and restaurants but Canalside remains an iconic, independently owned spit and sawdust pub.
The pub’s interior is segmented into three rooms, warmed by two fireplaces and watered by two bars. There’s a selection of local ales on tap, the food is home-cooked and the plate of curry and rice I had cost less than a fiver.
Val has been managing Canalside since the 1990s. She told me that she takes an avid interest in Birmingham’s wildlife and in preserving the canals’ waterfowl. After I explained to her about what I was doing she sent me to the adjacent canalhouse to meet with her friend Roy and told me to ask Roy about local animals and trees. She then provided the project with a hand pump label for the locally brewed Backyard Brewhouse Bitter.