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Published March 26th 2022
If you like your ale with a bit of history then step in here
A new pub in a Staffordshire town actually boasts a historic blue plaque due to the centuries that the building has existed. And what an imposing structure it is, both from the outside and once you enter. The gleaming white grade II-listed building, which dates from around 1690, has had various occupants over the years, most recently as a firm of solicitors. But it is now providing a completely different type of service as the Sheriff of Tamworth pub which opened in the centre of the town at the end of last year. Unfortunately, the Sheriff of Tamworth can be hard to find as this beautiful timber-framed building is unable to carry any real signage, and certainly not a traditional pub sign or name prominently displayed on the front. What it does have is temporary notices in the windows, although, on the days the pub is open, it is allowed to display the name on railings which serve to screen a couple of outside tables.
The Sheriff of Tamworth sits in an imposing grade ll listed building
Also displayed at the front is a blue plaque bearing the name of Tamworth Heritage Trust. The plaque contains the name of Susannah Willington, whose family apparently occupied the building for nearly 200 years. In fact, the name of the pub is said to be a reference to one of the former occupants of the building, namely the Sheriff of Warwickshire when Tamworth was in that county prior to becoming part of Staffordshire. The inscription on the plaque confirms the building's construction of around 1690, and also states that it was used by various firms of solicitors in recent times once it left the Willington family.
Nowadays, the building, as the Sheriff of Tamworth, is currently only open from Thursday to Sunday, with opening times of 12 noon to 11pm, except on Sunday when it closes at 8pm. Once inside, visitors will be greeted by a compact two-room bar area occupying the entire ground floor. The smaller of the two rooms, on the right as you walk in, is the actual bar with several beer taps on display and a table for customers. Next to it is a much larger room with two lengthy rough wooden tables with metal stools, as well as several additional tables apparently having originated as wooden ale barrels.
The Sheriff of Tamworth is said to offer a variety of regularly changing cask ales, together with lagers, ciders and around 25 Belgian bottled beers. On the day my friends and I visited, the pub had two prominent guest ales on, a Honey Porter from the Notts-based Milestone Brewery with a 4.9 per cent strength, and a daunting Mad Brewer Mayhem IPA from the Leatherbritches Brewery at Ashby, which came in at 6.2 per cent. Other beers on offer included a Leffe Blonde at an even stronger 6.6 per cent and a more manageable 4 per cent Camden Pale Ale.