Post office vaults are where the grown ups hang. Boasting the largest variety of local and European beers in Birmingham, 'The Vaults', as my cousin and his friends call it is a one-of-a-kind grubby pub in the heart of town.
The only real pub in the city centre. It doesn't try to be something it isn't. There is a bar, plenty of seats (stools at the bar, too), a simple food menu, and a friendly inn-keeper behind the bar - I mean general manager. Instead of the pretension of many city centre pubs, it simply sells decent drinks which you can knock back from 11am until the early hours.
I've only been in once, and I don't need to go in again because it was a bit grimy for my liking, a bit 'real' for me. Think of your local, filled with a mix of city-dwellers who like their drink.
When we visited I found it quite amusing to see office workers visibly unwind once they'd necked their first cider, and shrug off the formalities of the office.
The general manager is a happy chap, and will talk to you all day about what they import if you like. We only stayed about an hour, however, and it was filling up, but from our chat with the gm, it turns out they stock 343 different beers - ale, cider, and lager.
It doesn't look like it would hold so many varieties, but all good things come in small packages don't they?
Unlike a lot of pubs there aren't simply two or three different beers, ciders, and ales, there are hundreds, and the prices vary, but they've tried to keep it simple: Local beers are £3.40 a pint International beer starts from £3.80
Wines are £4.00 per glass (price varies per bottle)
Spirits start at £3.00 per shot and rise to £4.50 for a double.
The atmosphere is fantastic: relaxed, calm, but full of characters you'll find in town. No riff-raff, but a mix of casual cats, both regulars, locals, and those who just want to wind down.
I liked it because we only went in 'for a quick one' and I'm not a drinker. However, I can understand the appeal for the majority of the alcohol swiggers. I tried some of my friend's Belgian bottle of cider, which was surprisingly fresh and smooth. From what I could tell from my other friend's darker liquid, it seemed 'deeper', and it definitely had a depth when I caught a whiff.
If you're not drinking then I wouldn't recommend it, but then again my bottle of cloudy apple juice (2.00 for 500ml), was fresh and crisp, and because it smells kind of like cider, I felt part of the crowd.
The Vaults host a number of events of an adhoc basis, which can be found on their website, but mostly The Vaults is a cool place to hang, drink with your mates, and try some Norwegian beers, which are some of the most popular.