See the Black Country and Staffordshire pubs in latest Good Beer Guide

It's a double celebration for pub landlord John Smith as he marks a quarter of the century at the helm with his pub being included in a prestigious pub guide.

John Smith, landlord of The Chindit pub in Wolverhampton, which is once again in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide
John Smith, landlord of The Chindit pub in Wolverhampton, which is once again in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide

The Chindit in Wolverhampton was also selected as the local launch venue for the Campaign for Real Ale Good Beer Guide 2021.

The pub, thought to be the only one in the country named after the Chindit Regiment which served in Burma during the Second World War, is one of 12 pubs in the city which make it into this year's guide.

The latest edition of the guide features a total of 263 pubs across the West Midlands, Staffordshire and Worcestershire, with a number of pubs appearing for the first time. The growing popularity of micropubs, often opening in former shop premises, continues, representing a number of this year's entries.

The Bitter Suite in Lichfield features in the guide. Pictured front, Leon Jennings, and behind the bar, Martin Lawrence.

John, who took over The Chindit 25 years ago this week, said it was good to have something positive to celebrate after a difficult year.

"We were closed for exactly six months during the lockdown, and I was ill over the summer with pneumonia, but we're ticking over now," he said.

He added that the pub attracted a lot of family groups, so the restrictions banning different households from mixing had not hit him as hard as it had some pubs.

John, 64, added that the most rewarding part of the job was seeing the reaction of customers when he discovered a new ale.

The Chindit, thought to be the only pub in the country named after the Second World War Chindit regiment, could be described as one of Britain's first micropubs. Originally an off-licence, it was converted into a pub in 1958, and its name was chosen by the first landlord, who served with the regiment. The guide highlights the display of regimental memorabilia and original Wurlitzer jukebox among its interesting features.

The Plaza at Rugeley is a new entry

Two new micropubs make it into this year's guide, the Shell-ter at Shell Corner, Halesowen, and the Wheelie Thirsty at Old Hill, although the Wheelie Thirsty bar in Lye, which made last year's guide has since closed.

There are five new entries in Walsall, with the J D Wetherspoon St Matthew's Hall, the Victoria, and Walsall Arms all making this year's guide. There is also a return for the Pretty Bricks, which missed out last year, and Walsall Cricket Club also earns a place, alongside the Black Country Arms, Butts Tavern, the Fountain and Lyndon House Hotel which all retain their listings.

Not far up the road in Rushall, the Manor Arms is another new entry for this year, which this year installed a large marquee where different households can mix in keeping with the coronavirus restrictions. The Falcon and Robin Hood in Willenhall keep their places, along with the Turtle's Head in Aldridge and the Jigger's Whistle in Brownhills.

The Windsor Castle in Lye, created in 2004 when John Sadler launched the Sadler's brewery at his former printing works, returns to this year's guide after a short absence. The Sadler family now runs The Print Works brewery from the site, having sold Sadler's in 2017.

No pubs in central Dudley make the 2021 guide, though, with The Malt Shovel and Lamp Tavern – the town's only entries in last year's guide – dropping out this time.

The town's outlying areas fare better, though, with Sedgley's Clifton joining the Mount Pleasant and Beacon Hotel, while the Jolly Crispin in Upper Gornal – at the moment celebrating its 200th birthday – keeps its place alongside the nearby Britannia.

There are two new entries in Brierley Hill, with the Rose & Crown and Waterfront Inn joining the Peaky Blinders themed Garrison and The Vine. The Bird in Hand in Wordsley retains its place, as does the Robin Hood at Amblecote.

The Old Bull's Head in Lower Gornal is a new entry for 2021, while the Cottage in Kingswinford and the Old Chainyard in Coseley feature once more.

The Navigation at Greensforge, near Dudley

The canalside Navigation at Greensforge, just outside Dudley, is a new entry this year, while the Hinksford Arms, a bit further along the waterway towards Swindon, also features. The Cross Inn at Church Hill in Kinver, and The Cat at nearby Enville, retains their listings.

Halesowen has five entries, with the Shell-ter Microbar at Shell Corner being featured just a year after opening. The King Edward VII is another new entry, joining the Waggon and Horses, the Hawne Tavern, and the Crafty Pint H'ales'owen micropub.

In Wednesbury, Ye Olde Leathern Bottle joins The Bellwether, and Tipton's Rising Sun joins the town's Fountain and Tame Bridge.

West Bromwich has three listings in the new guide, with the Crown & Cushion, the Three Horseshoes and the Royal Oak all retaining their places.

Wolverhampton's listings are unchanged from last year, with The Chindit being joined by The Combermere in Chapel Ash, the Great Western, The Hogshead, Lych Gate, Posada Royal Oak, the Stile Inn, and The Swan at Compton. Micropubs are also well represented in the city, with Hail to the Ale at Claregate, the Starting Gate at Penn, and the Keg & Comfort in Oxley all keeping their places. The Barley Mow at Penn Common and The Vine at Wednesfield are also listed, as is The Horse & Jockey in Woodcross.

Lyndon House Hotel in Walsall

Stourbridge has three entries this year, with the Queen's Head, Red House Boutique and Waggon & Horses all featuring again. The Unicorn, a short distance up the road in Wollaston, is a new entry for 2021.

Kidderminster has five entries, with the Weavers at Park Lane taking the place of the Station Inn, and the Beer Emporium, King & Castle, Olde Seven Stars and Weavers Real Ale House retaining their places.

The Tap House at Hartlebury and the Bell & Cross at Clent are new for 2021, joining The Swan at Chaddesley Corbett.

Bewdley has four pubs, with the Black Boy, Great Western, Bewdley Brewery Tap and Old Waggon & Horses all featuring again

The Britannia in Blackheath and Plough & Harrow in Cradley Heath make the guide once more, along with the Tivi Ale micropub which is in for the second time, having only been launched in 2018.

Stafford has four new entries for 2021, with the Bird in Hand, Shrewsbury Arms, Spittal Brook and Sun joining the Greyhound, Bod and Slater's Bar. The Star & Garter, Olde Rose & Crown, King's Arms and Floodgate Ale House drop out of this year's guide.

Three of Stone's pubs, the Borehole, Royal Exchange and Swan Inn, retain their places in this year's guide, while the King's Arms Hotel in Eccleshall is new for 2021.

Lichfield has four entries, with the Belgian-themed Beerbohm, the Bitter Suite and Whippet Inn microbars joining the more traditional Horse & Jockey once more.

The Bridge Inn and Cross Keys at Hednesford are present once more, along with Sankey's Tap House at Burntwood and the Linford Arms and Newhall Arms in Cannock.

The Plaza at Rugeley is new for 2021, appearing alongside the town's Rusty Barrel and Vine Inn.

The Star Inn at Penkridge retains its place, along with The Swan at Whiston and The Dog at Whittington.

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