Given Enough Gin I Could Rule the World
Those in search of a discreet and rather well stocked gin bar in Birmingham should hunt out 40 St Pauls
Review by Andy Barnham
With the recent explosion of craft gin distilleries in the UK (48 craft distilleries are being built this year alone, according to Jamie Baxter from 45 West Distillery who is also responsible for building more than a handful of these himself), it is no surprise that the number of gin bars is also on the rise. The most recent newcomer to the scene in Birmingham is 40 St Paul’s, just a stone’s throw from the city’s Jewellery Quarter, and is so new that even locals are having trouble finding it. Situated at the northern tip of St Paul’s Square, 40 St Paul’s is handily marked on Google Maps and should not be confused with the residential property at 40 St Paul’s Square, though should you mistake the two, the residence concierge will, grudgingly, be able to guide you in the right direction.
With only a discreet ’40’ above the door, 40 St Paul’s is furnished with half a dozen tables and a smattering of high chairs for those who wish to sit at the bar, with the one room establishment reminiscent of a large living room, albeit a large living room rather well stocked with gin. When it opened in July earlier this year, 40 St Paul’s offered 58 types of gin. Barely two months later and the shelves are now arranged, with tetris like precision, with 143 different gins serving, as you’d expect, G&Ts alongside a gin focused cocktail menu. The gin highlights include ANTY Gin, a joint venture between Nordic Food Lab in Copenhagen and The Cambridge Distillery limited to 99 bottles per batch (they’re currently on Batch003) containing among other ingredients real ants, Nolet’s Silver Gin (from the family behind Ketel One Vodka) which contains rose, peach and vanilla botanicals, St George Terroir from the USA with a bouquet aimed to transport you to the middle of a Californian forest, and the flagship of the Beefeater Gin range, Crown Jewel Gin first distiller in 1993 but discontinued in 2009 and since relaunched to the 1993 recipe.
Specialising in gin 40 St Paul’s is certainly a destination bar for those who enjoy the particular spirit and with so many options to choose from, a quick visit barely scratches the surface of the various botanicals available. For those who don’t like gin, or maybe rather just haven’t found an appealing gin and tonic combination, there is a small selection of other tipples available (vodka, rum, whisky and beer). So set aside some time, pull up one of the only 24 seats available, and see where your gin journey takes you.
Enquiries: 40 St Paul’s, 40 Cox Street, Birmingham, B3 1RD/ 40stpauls.co.uk