The Eagle and Ball can be found on Gospal Street on Birmingham's Eastside. It's a surprising find tucked down the side of the extensive building works going on around the Birmingham City University campus. The Eagle and Ball is one of Birmingham's fine historic public houses. It's been there in various guises since 1840 but was reborn in 2015, fully refurbished with a modern(ish) look. It's now the student union bar for Birmingham City University but don't let that put you off....
Unlike the faceless, Fosters fuelled and nightclub-esque student pubs I knew in my University days, The Eagle and Ball is a proper pub with cask and keg ales are on offer, as well as a plethora of bottled beers. Now the range is not as extensive as some of the pubs in Birmingham and there is your normal student fair, but the ale they have is good.
Sadler's (an excellent Black Country brewery) makes up most of the menu, with a full range of bottles and Peaky Blinder on tap. Peaky Blinder, named after Birmingham's early 20th century criminal underbelly, is an excellent brew. Perfectly named, it is dark and smokey while it's full bodied sweetness coats the mouth.
The crowd is an interesting one. The first time I went I didn't realise is was a student pub and I wouldn't have known. It was a Saturday afternoon in summer and the students must all have been at home. But go on a Thursday night when there's a club night and it's very clearly student central. Last night it was a real mix with groups of young people in their twenties, as well as older groups of real ale aficionados. We even bumped into Brian- know to many as the purveyor of fine cheeses at the Wellington's fine Cheese Night (Last one of the year on the 26th of October- see you there!)
I think The Eagle and Ball is the best student pub I've ever been to. Hats off to Birmingham City University for seeing it's potential and creating a real ale pub loved by students and the rest of us alike!
Highly recommend if you are after a pint (or a quick go on a quiz machine) on the Eastside.