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Mitchell's & Butler's Ltd.


proper brummie kid
I've got two flags from the cupcakes, as my husband and I had one cake each!! I thought it was a lovely keepsake of the ocassion. We left quite a while after you - I think it was getting on for 1 pm when we went outside, and then I took a couple of photos. We crawled slowly up Cape Hill, as I wanted to see what my grandparents old house now looks like. If I hadn't known the number, I wouldn't have recognised it!


We went to St. Matthews Church Windmill Lane (off Cape Hill) to see a family name on the War Memorial. A very kind couple also showed us the stained glass window behind the Altar. I think it was paid for by one of the Mitchell family as long as he could appear, so his face was used for one of the figures.


master brummie
I had the pleasure of meeting forum member Mark Young in Key Hill Cemetery today (Mark is William Butler's great great grandson). He was visiting the Butler family grave with his wife and his sister before going to BBC WM Radio to be on the Carl Chinn show.
You can listen to the show on here:

Mark's interview is on at approx 1:35:20. :)

philip duncan

Brummie babby
Just saw your photo of the old M&B brewery on cape hill. I was brought up there in the 50s & 60s. My fether was a dentist. His practice was right opposite the brewery at 151 Cape Hill. His name was George Duncan.

philip duncan

Brummie babby
Hi. The photo of your grandfather and his shop brought back memories. We lived at 151 Cape Hill. My father was a dentist. George Duncan. There was also a newsagent called (I think) Highams. Also a small tailors shop. Across the road by the brewery gates I seem to remember a little pub called The Locomotive Engine. Happy days!


proper brummie kid
You put this message on quite a while ago, but I haven't been on this website for some time. My memory of the Beehive goes back to the early 1950s. My grandparents lived on Cape Hill, and there was a back entrance to their garden. It was how they got their car up the back and into the garage. As well as getting the car up, it was also a short-cut to walk down, and my grandfather used it regularly to go to the Beehive and collect his beer. He carried an empty milk jug to go down, and brought it back home full of beer. As a young child, I remember walking along Raglan Road with my mother. When we met Grandad I asked what he was doing. He showed me what he had in the jug, and said it was brown milk he'd been to get, and was just on his way home. As I got older, I knew what the 'brown milk' really was, and he and I would laugh together about it. My parents lived on Cape Hill, a bit further down. When I was born in 1947 we were living behind my grandfather's shop. I'm sure your parents would have known my grandfather. His name was Ernest Minchin. The shop was at 199 Cape Hill, and my grandparents lived at 159 Cape Hill.


proper brummie kid
Don't know where that was - anywhere near the group of houses with the unadopted road? I used to think that was a really funny thing to put on a road sign! We left in about 1953. I had gone to Cape Hill school until then. I used to go up Raglan Road each day to get there, rather than walk up Cape Hill. I remember coming home one day and it started to hail. I didn't understand what was happening - all I knew was, it hurt! Missed quite a lot of schooling because of illness. My birthday was in October so I must have started after Christmas (you didn't go to school until after your 5th birthday). I was taken ill after a couple of weeks, and didn't return until May or June. Everyone grew cress on cotton wool on a saucer, and a couple of children arrived one day with my saucer, as the teacher didn't know when I'd be back. By that time I was in a coma, but still at home. When I came round, I remember Mom telling me someone had been, and she showed me the cress. Funny what you remember, isn't it?

philip duncan

Brummie babby
Hi there. Yes I think I remember your grandfather Ernest Minchin. I would have been very young then. He had an electrical shop at the bottom of Cape Hill. There was the Beehive pub on the corner of Raglan Rd and also a newsagents ( Highams) a small tailors shop and your grandfather shop. My father was a dentist , George Duncan. We lived at his practice at 151 Cape Hill. Next door was a doctor.( Dr Aiken).
I havent been back there for many years now. I believe everything has changed now.The brewery is not there any more I know. I presume that most of the places I remember as a child no longer exist. I left Birmingham in 1965.


Hi Philip, Dr. Aitken was our family doctor when I was born! I still go to the same surgery but it's moved round into Raglan Rd. now.
M&B is like a little village now. Windmill Lane markets have gone and have been replaced by a shopping centre called "Windmills"....yes it's all changed!


proper brummie kid
Hello Philip.
The newsagents was where I used to get my comics from. It was only a couple of doors away from where we lived, so I was allowed to go there, feeling very grown-up, and My Higham would greet me with "Here's your Tiny Tots for little dots" (Tiny Tots was the name of the comic.) When I grew out of it, I moved on to the Beano and then Bunty. The shop next door to us was a grocers, and the lady had been a cook before she opened the shop. She would cook meals which the workers from M & B would come and fetch in the dinner break. Moving down the road, there was a cafe, and part of my job during school holidays was to go and fetch sausage or bacon sandwiches for our lunch. Although we moved from living behind the shop when I was about 6, during school holidays I always spent my time at the shop, or popped up the road to 159 to visit my grandparents.
The last time I was on Cape Hill was in 2011 when I was invited to the old brewery for a book launch. It was a very different Cape Hill from the one I remembered, with many of the shops and houses at the lower end being demolished for the new road.


gone but not forgotten
Hi zambodie
The real story is the brewery serve or dish out good mild in kegs or barralls what ever you want to call them
But the real reason and what you may have been told by your friend the true story is a myth
Just like he stories of the guiniss ( Oh its better in Ireland , ) than Here , and the other part of the story is they get rats out of the
liffy ,( That's the big River running through Dublin City as you would see if if you weren to go to Dublin Today
Compete and utter nonsence, its Neither of them there no rats added to the vatts nor is there diffents in there and oiur Guiniss
I would never drink mild because its slops in most cases when it is served at a public house
It all depends on the public house and the publican,
There is some gathers that operate and do this practice today and have done so for many years
And sell it off at a pound a pint like wise the offers of a pound a pint because of its sell by date is gone past its date
And top up with left covers from the drip trays , but also there is a brewery out on the market and they have been operating for years now
Across the country whom have corners the beer trade oriniganly they bought all pubs out of date lagers and they added a substance
To the lagers and it gave them a extra ten days of life to make it nice and gassie and drinkable
This practice first started by a certain brewers in our country and are doing very well indeed today
I cannot name this brewers for legal reasons when they first came to brum with it there was a club just off broad street
Was there first customer for 12 months before moving into a certain pub hence then its big time
And every body is Happy and no complaints From customers and the public
I was in the management for Mitchell's and butlers across the county and also ran many pubs
And another manager and myself on the day in question met a person from this brewer whom told us both
Over lunch of the very first customer in brum whom they was dealing with and told us of there add option to expand the ,life for extra ten days
Best wishes Astonian,,,,,,

paul stacey

master brummie
my favourite beer M&B Mild, drank it from 14 years old, you couldn't even buy mild beer in the south when in the army, and it is still difficult to find now a days, but I agree with Alan, that Guinness beer is the same in Ireland as UK or Hong Kong for that matter. Paul


Super Moderator
Staff member
I'm not a connoisseur of Guinness, so cannot comment on any differences between Ireland and the UK. However it is not the same all over the world. In Africa, in particular Nigeria, malted barley is not used, but malted sorghum, and the alcoholic strength is also higher there.

paul stacey

master brummie
Neither am I Mike, I have travelled quite widely my self most of the continents including Africa, and I have had the odd pint here and there and never noticed any change in taste or colour from the UK.Paul


OldBrit in Exile
I have had Guiness on tap in the USA and I apart from been COLD I can tell no real difference. I also have the bottled Guiness and its OK but not like on tap. Must admit I was not a Guiness drinker when I lived in Brum. Double Diamond I did drink a lot, of couse a good pint at the local pub my fav. Never was a big fan of M&B or Ansells. John thirsty Crump


Brummie babby
Remember Trevor from the 1980's(had the compulsory bubble perm of the time!), was on "shop floor" and got promoted to position of Brewer, very nice bloke no airs and graces, he used to live in Hall Green at the time as I recall.