THE Stourbridge and Halesowen branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) is encouraging people to "get back to the pub" as boozers across the borough welcomed back punters indoors today (Monday May 17).

Pubs across the Dudley borough were among food and drink venues across the country opening their doors to indoor drinkers and diners once again as restrictions eased after months of lockdown.

A spokesman for the Stourbridge and Halesowen branch of CAMRA said of the re-openings: "CAMRA encourages everyone to get back to the pub. Local pubs have been through a disastrous time with lockdowns, closures and outdoor only opening.

"Your local needs you and you need your local. You can now meet a few friends inside the pub and enjoy a fresh pint of draught real ale and perhaps a snack or meal. Act responsibly and cautiously and you'll be safe and very welcome."

Indoor drinking resumed at all 41 venues in the Black Country Ales portfolio including the recently revamped Starving Rascal at Amblecote which welcomed customers inside for the first time since undergoing a revamp after a period of closure.

Stourbridge News: Drinkers enjoy a pint inside the revamped Starving Rascal at AmblecoteDrinkers enjoy a pint inside the revamped Starving Rascal at Amblecote

Graham Manwaring, head of pubs at Black Country Ales, said it was good to welcome pubgoers back inside and he added: "We're happy that we're moving forwards in these difficult times.

"It's been difficult for licensees with the restrictions but they're happy to be up and running and having customers's progress."

He said 95 per cent of Black Country Ales pubs are operating on a first come first served basis - with one or two operating a booking system at weekends or busier times.

All Wetherspoons pubs across the borough have also re-opened for indoor drinking and dining including The Chequers in Stourbridge and The Cross at Kingswinford which only opened last summer.

Wetherspoons spokesman Eddie Gershon said pubs have been busy and reporting a great atmosphere and he added: "We're delighted to welcome back staff and customers.

"We have all the safety measures in place – test and trace, directional signs,screens, hand sanitisers etc.

"Pubs are an important part of their respective town’s social scenes and economy so it's great that they are now open."

Beat Brewery in Lye was also among venues welcoming back indoor drinkers today.

Stourbridge News: Beat Brewery. Pic - Shaun Fellows/Shine PixBeat Brewery. Pic - Shaun Fellows/Shine Pix

The brewing company, located on the Old Forge Trading Estate off Dudley Road, has during lockdown expanded its taphouse to boost capacity significantly when all restrictions are lifted.

Stourbridge News: The team at Beat Brewery in LyeThe team at Beat Brewery in Lye

Director Rachel Hunt said the stop-start nature of lockdown restrictions had "not been very kind to our industry" and it is hoped pubs and breweries can now look to the future.

Bathams Brewery also re-opened its two closed pubs on Monday and a spokesman said: "All 12 tied houses are now fully open all day."

Stourbridge News:

To help encourage people to spend their money locally as businesses emerge from months of restrictions and closure - we have relaunched our Love Local Business campaign.

This follows our successful campaign, of the same name, which we ran in the News Group last summer and over Christmas.

The aim is to promote the fantastic traders we have in our towns and urge readers to give them their custom at this key time.

As part of the Newsquest publishing group, the Stourbridge News reaches a large percentage of the local population with its print publication, record online audiences and social media.

Businesses wishing to be featured in the campaign can call 01905 742372 or email