Tuesday 26 February 2019

British Pie Week 2019 - Birmingham Pie Night Announced!

The countdown to British Pie Week continues with our most exciting announcement yet! Pierate are going to rummage and pillage the pies at Pieminister Birmingham once again as we host a Pierateer Takeover in British Pie Week 2019 - just like we did last year!

Pierateer Rob visiting Pieminister Birmingham
Pierateer Rob visiting Pieminister Birmingham
Being held from 5:30-7:30pm on Monday 4th March, the night will be a chance for pie fans across the Midlands and friends of the Pierateers to catch up on what's been going down on the Pierate Ship, and most importantly to eat and rate some delicious pies! It's going to be a great way to kick off British Pie Week 2019 and comes just days before we go to the 11th annual British Pie Awards to provide our live feed of all the pie action!

Pieminister Birmingham at 16 Waterloo Street
For those who don't know, Bristol pie giant Pieminister opened up a shop in Birmingham city centre in mid-2017 and we've frequented it a number of times already. However we certainly hadn't waited until they opened a shop in Birmingham before rating one of their pies, for we have rated 19 Pieminister pies in total and one of our very first reviews over 8 years ago was from Pieminister!

Since then we've tried some of their "Pie Election" winners (when pie fans got to choose which old favourites to bring back to the menu for British Pie Week 2015) and we were even crazy enough to try their Cricket pie in 2017! Yes, that's right - it had actual whole insects in it!!

So here's the details of the pie night and how you can get involved:

Kick off 5:30pm
Delicious pies on offer at Pieminister - we've rated 19!
We'll be arriving at the Pieminister Birmingham store at about 5:30pm, where we'll have some dedicated Pierateer Takeover tables set aside for us! (We advise you book up to avoid disappointment!)

Pick your pie!
While there are a whole host of pies to choose from on their menu, as it will be British Pie Week the shop has a special Mothership offer on Monday. For those who don't know, a Mothership is your favourite pie with mash, peas, crispy shallots, Cheddar cheese and gravy - all for just a fiver! And that includes their British Pie Week 2019 special - Lady Baa Baa (yes, you guessed it - a lamb pie!!)

Who rate all the Pies?!
During the two hours Pierateer Rob will be around to chat pies, give you a bit of info about how to rate a pie on the 7 Cs of pie rating, as well as a brief update on what we've been up to recently! And if he can, he'll try to answer your pie-related questions (like when is a pie not a pie?!) Just look out for him in his black Pierate t-shirt and don't be afraid to come up and say hi!

And while we'd be delighted to see a few of you there on the Monday, if that date or time doesn't suit you then don't forget that British Pie Week lasts all week and the Pieminister restaurants up and down the country have a fab pie-motions on, a different one each day. More info at https://www.pieminister.co.uk/pie-week-19/

This pie night is open to friends plus readers of our pie blog and entry is free - you just pay the pie shop for your food and drinks as normal - but to attend we advise you ring and book into the Pieminister Birmingham Store on 0121 285 3743 (as places in the restaurant are limited).

We hope to see some of you there!

In the meantime, you can find out more about The Pierateers or about what we've been up to in previous British Pie Weeks on the world's leading pie review blog! Plus we'll soon be posting our British Pie Week #PiePledge article - with our full plans for British Pie Week - but for now why not watch our short video clip to find out how you can get involved in British Pie Week too?

Pierate is a pie review website charting a course to find the ultimate pie. For all the pies we have reviewed have a look at our Pie Rankings or find pies of a particular flavour under Pies: Categorised.

Make sure you
and let us know your thoughts!
continue reading "British Pie Week 2019 - Birmingham Pie Night Announced!"

Monday 25 February 2019

Best Pies in Birmingham 2019

Birmingham City Centre Pie Reviews

Pieminister Birmingham Pie Review
Pierateer Rob in the Birmingham Pieminister Pie Shop
Are you wondering what the best pie in Birmingham is? Well then, you've come to the right place - Pierate, the Pie Review Blog! Like any big city, Birmingham has had its fair share of pie providers come and go over the years and so with it having been over three years since we last updated you on what pies to eat in Birmingham, we thought it worth updating you!

With Pierateer Rob based in Birmingham for over 14 years now, we've reviewed quite a few pies in England's second city. And while we admit there's still a number of the little beige delights still tucked away in various shops, stalls and pubs around the city that we haven't got our hands on yet, we've rated loads of top Birmingham pies and our mission is to try and pie rate them all!

So without further ado, here are our top 3 recommended pies in Birmingham, as well as a number of honourable mentions:

1) Pieminister - Waterloo Street

Pieminister Steak Pie Review
Pieminister Steak Pie Review
Opening on Waterloo Street by Victoria Square in Summer 2017, it has been great to have a new addition to the pie scene in Birmingham in the form of the very successful Pieminister pie shop chain. We have had many a great pie in the shop in Birmingham since it opened, enjoyed a Birmingham pie night there last British Pie Week and look forward to returning in British Pie Week 2019! We have reviewed almost 20 pies from Pieminister and they have nearly all been Pierate Recommended or Pierate Highly Recommended, with scores of 5/7 or higher for most of them and a top score of 6.42/7 for their Beef and Brandy pie! The most consistent and highly rated pie shop in Birmingham.

2) The Stable - John Bright Street

The Stable Beef Pie Review
The Stable Beef Pie Review Cross-Section
The marketing of The Stable near New Street Station focuses on three things - pizza, pies and cider! While friends of mine have thoroughly enjoyed their pizza and cider, I can confirm that the pies there pie rate very well indeed! Scoring a fantastic 5.96/7 the "Steak Out" beef pie was packed with great content, with a nice flavoursome filling mixing steak and vegetables. The pastry was crisp but not overly thick. Definitely worth an outing!

3) The Botanist - Temple Street

The Botanist Chicken and Chorizo Pie Review
The Botanist Chicken and Chorizo Pie Review
Tucked away on a side street just off New Street, the Botanist has a great relaxed vibe to it and some top pies to match! There are some quirky elements to the restaurant, such as food served on trowels and drinks from mini watering cans, but the important thing for us is that the pies are packed to capacity with good content. The highest rated was their Chicken and Chorizo pie, which pie rated at 5.5/7!

Best of the Rest

It's also worth noting that we have had some top pies at the Old Joint Stock by Birmingham Cathedral, which is a Fullers Pie and Ale House, as well as some quirky pies at The Pie Factory pub in Tipton.

Honourable Mentions

It's also worth noting a few comings and goings in the Birmingham pie scene since we last updated you on the top pies in Birmingham.

Firstly, it is with great sadness that we found out the Jekyll and Hyde Pub on Steelhouse Lane stopped serving food around this time last year. Having served us some amazing pies at our Birmingham Pie Night in 2017 and our top rated pie in Birmingham (6.45/7 for a Steak pie in 2013), they have sadly now stopped serving food (and thus pies).

Also in this time we've seen the coming and going of Square Pie, who we were very excited to see open in Grand Central but sadly the company went into Administration in February 2018.

We also can't write an article about pies in Birmingham without reference to the sad closure of Urban Pie in the Bullring a few years back, who once referred to us on their blog saying "Pie bloggers the Pierateers have been hit with Urban Pie fever - even the pie experts love our pies!"

Of course, we'll keep our eyes on the pies in Birmingham and look forward to rating some more pies in the city soon!

Pierate is a pie review website charting a course to find the ultimate pie. For all the pies we have reviewed have a look at our Pie Rankings or find pies of a particular flavour under Pies: Categorised.

Make sure you
and let us know your thoughts!
continue reading "Best Pies in Birmingham 2019"

Wednesday 13 February 2019

Countdown to the British Pie Awards 2019

British Pie Awards 2015 Judges
Judges at the British Pie Awards, including Pierateer Sam

Back for their 11th year - and in British Pie Week no less - the British Pie Awards returns as a highlight of the year in pie. Held in the heart of Pork Pie country, pie makers, pie enthusiasts and - most importantly - the pies themselves head to Melton Mowbray every year for the judging of up to 1,000 pies in just one day and to crown their supreme champion. Having returned last year to the beautiful St Mary’s Church, located in the heart of Melton Mowbray, the judging will take place on Wednesday 6th March and the Award's Lunch will be on Friday 8th March.

British Pie Awards 2014 - Church
The British Pie Awards will again be in
St Mary's Church in 2019!
This year will see Pierateer Rob return to provide media coverage of the Awards, where last year 962 pies were sent in from across Britain and beyond. With over 625 pies rated on our pie blog we've had no shortage of pie judging both at and outside the Awards, so this year we will let others have the pie-leasure and instead focus on insightful media analysis of the day with yet another "British Pie Awards - Live!" blog.

So following our "British Pie Awards 2018 - Live!" article, on Wednesday 6th March we'll again be providing a pie-filled day of photos, interviews and behind the scenes info!

With previous years judges including Food and Drink TV producer Andy Clarke, Channel 4's Felicity Spector and pie judging regular Xanthe Clay from the Daily Telegraph, in addition to pie author Martin Tarbuck - who you may recall wrote pie review book "Life of Pies" - and fellow football pie pundit Jonny Smith, we look forward to finding out who will be judging this year. And we will also be recognising newly crowned Queen of Pies AND our latest Honorary Pierateer Katie Peal at the Awards!

And while the British Pie Awards use a significantly different set of criteria to us, rather than the 7 Cs of pie rating that we have used to rate over 625 pies on Pierate, there are very few pie experts they could call on with more ex-pie-rience than us when it comes to judging the pie-fect pie!

This isn't the first time we've attended the British Pie Awards! Oh no! Find out more in our other articles here:
Judges in 2018  |  Media in 2017  |  Judges in 2016  |  Judges in 2015
Judges in 2014  |  Helpers in 2013

Pierate Rip Off Britain
Pierateer Rob on Rip Off Britain
Last year was another exciting year for Pierate at the British Pie Awards, with over 5,000 of you viewing our live blogging from the pie event of the year, our post-event review and preview articles.

This year providing the media analysis once again will be Pierateer Rob, who you may recognise from TV shows "The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice" and "Rip Off Britain: Food".

So what have we got to look forward to at the British Pie Awards 2019?

Well... first of all you need to know how long it is until British Pie Awards 2019, which is happening on Wednesday 6th March at 11am:

Of course if you are a pie producer, you also need to remember you only have until 5pm on Friday 15th February to make your application! This year the organisers have made it even easier to enter your pies with an online form available, so don't miss out on this fantastic way to promote your pies!

Celebrating the Great British Chippy in 2019

Bridal Pies Review British Pie Awards 2015
The amazing Speciality Class "Bridal Pies"
at British Pie Awards 2015
We're looking forward to once again seeing what pie producers come up with in the Speciality Class, following an amazing selection of entries in the 2015 Speciality Class of Bridal Pies, some royally good pies in the "Pies Fit for the Queen" Speciality Class in 2016 and some fantastic pies available in the public services in 2018.

For the 2019 Awards, the Speciality Class will celebrate pies sold in the Great British Chip Shops up and down the country!

This year there are expected to be more pies than ever following the announcement of another new category - the Vegan pie class. Unsurprising following the rise of Vegan food in the past few years, including a number of vegan pies and even exclusively vegan pie shops, this is a welcome addition to the classes at the Awards in 2019. Plus there will also be a new award for the Best Young Piemaker!

All that remains to be said is you won't be surprised to hear we will once again be covering the event and providing regular tweet updates from Melton Mowbray as we once again get involved in the greatest pie show on Earth, so check back on Wednesday 6th March for more pies than you can possibly imagine!


The Pierateers are on a mission to find the best pie they can and you can see a list of their pies rated so far in the Pierate Pie Rankings or find pies of a similar flavour on the Pies: Categorised page.

Make sure you 
and let us know your thoughts!
continue reading "Countdown to the British Pie Awards 2019"

Monday 4 February 2019

Countdown to British Pie Week 2019

The countdown to British Pie Week has begun!

British Pie Week 2019 - which runs from Monday 4th March to Sunday 10th March - is now just one month away and we're busy at Pierate HQ making our final pre-pie-rations for the big event! We're planning another Birmingham Pie Night (like the Pie Night we had in 2018) and once again we'll be attending the British Pie Awards, which will be happening in British Pie Week too!

British Pie Week Pierate
British Pie Week 2019 is from 4th to 10th March!
Those of you on Twitter may have noticed #NationalPieDay trending recently, for on 23rd January it was America's National Pie Day - where Americans spend a whole day celebrating the pastry beauties.

But in Britain this is simply not enough! We can't compress all our pie-excitement into one day! Oh no! We need a whole week to celebrate and enjoy the wonder of pie, which is why we are proud backers and - some would argue - the strongest advocates of British Pie Week! Yes, it's a week dedicated to pie!

It's official! The British Pie Week 2019 Logo has been launched! Check it out in our "British Pie Week 2019 Logo Launch" article!

Some of you may well have come across British Pie Week before, which has in fact been around since 2007 as the ingenious marketing spin off of pastry company "Jus-Rol" - and they managed to bag the lucrative web domain www.britishpieweek.co.uk to encourage pie makers up and down the land to get involved. However in an obscure turn of events, it appears they have ditched this lucrative web domain again this year to re-direct straight to the generic Jus-Rol website and no real mention of pies or pie week! With the @BritPieWeek twitter account having not tweeted since March 2016 it appears Jus-Rol may have had their pie and eaten it, meaning we may be defaulted to be the premier resource for pie advice this British Pie Week!!!

And while others may have used British Pie Week to just promote some pastry, as good as it is, we at Pierate are dedicated to promoting THE PIE!

That's why on Pierate you won't just find an encouragement for you to make a pie this British Pie Week - though we certainly do encourage you do! We don't just suggest a reci-pie or two - though we plan to do that as well! We don't even just encourage you to go out and eat a pie (or two) during British Pie Week. We go above and beyond!

British Pie Week Pierate Pie
The Pierate Logo Pie made for us in British Pie Week 2014!
Find out more about this Nice Pie here.
We aim to be the pie experts you turn to for all your pie rating and eating needs during British Pie Week and beyond! With over 625 pies rated and reviewed on our unique 7 Cs pie rating system, we commend pies to you, tell you which ones to avoid, and give you the low down on what we think makes the perfect pie!


During British Pie Week 2014 we Pierateers consumed a quite incredible 55 pies and you can see the breakdown right here! There were so many highlights that we had to do a whole day-by-day account of it, including a Python pie, a day of just eating apple pie and Pierateer SJL eating 21 pies - one for every meal of British Pie Week.

In fact, Pierateer SJL didn't just eat a pie for every meal but he proved that you can eat pie and lose weight!!! Yes, we can hardly believe it either!

In 2015 we raised the bar even higher by consuming a whopping 71 pies between 2 Pierateers! This included a Pieathon (seeing how long we could just eat pies for) and Rob eating pie for 67% of his diet that week!

Also on 6th March we'll once again be involved in the British Pie Awards, where we have helped judge the pies for many years, and we'll be previewing those awards later this week! So whatever pie (or pies!) you enjoy in British Pie Week, we hope it's a good one that rates well on the 7 Cs of pie rating! If you need any ins-pie-ration, you can of course see the hundreds of pies we've rated on our pie blog via our Pie Rankings or our Pies Categorised!

Why not watch our short video clip to find out how you can get involved in British Pie Week too! For more ins-pie-ration see our #PiePledge article!

Pierate is a pie review website charting a course to find the ultimate pie. For all the pies we have reviewed have a look at our Pie Rankings or find pies of a particular flavour under Pies: Categorised.

Make sure you 
and let us know your thoughts!
continue reading "Countdown to British Pie Week 2019"