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The Anchor, Birmingham

308 Bradford Street
Postal town: Birmingham
B5 6ET

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 8 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Al Bundy left this review about The Anchor

A good traditional pub. 2 roomed but one room is split into 2 with a wooden partition separating these areas. A total of 9 handpumps on the bar in 3 banks of 3. Beers today were from Wye Valley, Froth Blowers, New Work, Revisionist and Weird Beard. The place was going through a refurb and each room was being refurbed one at a time.

On 3rd November 2016 - rating: 8
[User has posted 3453 recommendations about 3359 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Mark Davey left this review about The Anchor

Gave it a second go...This time, it was the 4th pub in and again, a shocking pint was served, which went straight back. Is it me? Won't be going back.

This was the second to last establishment on our recent 8 pub blast round Brum and I don't know if my taste buds were off kilter but the pint I had was shocking. I don't think it was off, it just tasted terrible and I left it on the bar. I suspect I was unlucky as the rest of our 6 strong party seemed to get down their beer with no problems at all and we all enjoyed a game of table footie out the back. this place is supposed to be a great beer pub but my experience put me off a bit. Might give it another go if I'm in the second city again.

On 28th April 2016 - rating: 4
[User has posted 292 recommendations about 276 pubs]

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Ian Mapp left this review about The Anchor

Last of four pubs in the Digbeth Area for me.

Very much the sister pub of the Old Swan - same red brick, similar lay out.

Lots more real ale on - to the point of confusion, as some pumps had two clips on!

Decent enough boozer and would come back.

Some photos of my Digbeth crawl at

On 23rd August 2015 - rating: 7
[User has posted 989 recommendations about 981 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Gill Smith left this review about The Anchor

Enjoyed our visit on Friday. Well described below. The way the beer board works is all the beers are listed whether on or not, and when they come on the price is put alongside the beer, so you check those with prices on. We enjoyed Gipsy Hill Beatnik, Clouded Minds Euro and Ringwood XXXX Porter. They have a stock of Belgian beers too, and we had a bottle of Kazematten Wipers Times 14 which appeared to be a recently opened brewery in Ypres. We go around lunchtime when it is quiet, unless there is a Blues match on as this pub supports Birmingham City.

On 7th December 2014 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1324 recommendations about 1207 pubs]

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Pub SignMan left this review about The Anchor

This excellent Grade II listed building, easily reached by foot from the city centre, is a wonderful multi-room pub with a strong emphasis on providing good ale. Entering through the Bradford Street entrance, the main bar is to the right in an L-shaped room with a similarly shaped servery and laminate style flooring. The servery has some great original features including some etched glasswork and a dark wood bar back and counter. Fixed banquette seating runs around the perimeter of the room, underneath the lovely art nouveau stained glass windows, supplemented by loads of low stools. There are a few modern concessions in the room though, including a pool table, juke box and TV screens showing football, which do detract a little from the splendour. A high partitioning wall divides the bar into two, which means it's not possible to view all the handpulls, so a handy blackboard opposite the servery lists all of the ale options. Moving round to the left hand side of the pub, you pass through an etched glass 'Smoke Room' door, into a large, rectangular room with more fixed banquettes, lots of standard chairs and a large pull down screen which was showing the Villa getting a thumping at Old Trafford, much to the delight of the partisan crowd within. Beyond this there is a small room with a single table and access to a hatch which I presume was formerly used for off sales. From here you can access the other half of the main bar, signed Saloon Bar, which now serves as a snug like room with very limited seating options. One final room can be found on the left hand side of the pub, by following the corridor to the impressively tiled toilets. On the way, you will pass a basic, bare boarded space with simple seating and a nice fireplace with a decorative screen. Most of the pub has the classic red and cream colour scheme over half panelled walls, with the red also used on the ceiling.
I struggled to work out exactly what beers were on when I arrived, as the blackboard was clearly out of date, but I was able to note Malemsbury King's Wall, Titanic Iron Curtain, Corinum Gold, Twisted Oak Goldings IPA, Green Duck Duck Vader, Heavy Industry Collaborator and Hobson's Mild. I couldn't visit Birmingham without trying some Mild, so I gave the Hobson's a try and it was in pretty good shape. There were at least three more ales on in the Saloon Bar, but it was too busy to see what they were.
This is an excellent ale house in a charming old building and certainly merits inclusion on any serious crawl around the city. Whilst the pub's heritage isn't exactly enhanced by the various modern intrusions, I suspect there are quieter times to visit when the screens will be switched off and the music turned down low, which may well be the best time to catch the pub at its best.

On 10th May 2014 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2813 recommendations about 2813 pubs]

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Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about The Anchor

Compact 'L'-shaped room divided into two bars by a screen, with a separate 'smoke room' further back. Traditional and unfussy furniture and decor. Pool table and TV screen to add a bit of modernity. Great range of real ales from the 11 handpumps, such as my excellent pint of Loch Lomond Silkie Stout (£3.25). Several tap and boxed ciders too, but the little machine perched on the counter offering draught Leffe Blonde has vanished. Full of character, and thoroughly recommended.

On 27th January 2013 - rating: 9
[User has posted 7108 recommendations about 7108 pubs]

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John Bonser left this review about The Anchor

A recent short business trip to Birmingham gave me the welcome opportunity to make a long overdue re-visit here, my evening visit coinciding with the last day of their Autumn Festival, which ran from 1-6 November 2012. The A4 sheet of paper listing the beers ( but no tasting notes ), told us that it was their 72nd beer festival ( not including themed weekend festivals ). 6 stamps on a festival card would have entitled you to a free pint. Approx 40 beers were listed as being on at some stage, with a clear emphasis on fruit flavoured beers ( eg – Raspberry Blonde from Acorn, Blackberry Porter from Mauldons and Funky Banana from Nook Brewery in West Yorkshire ), but there were some normal beers on as well. The festival was obviously winding down and the side room, where they were apparently beers on stillage, was closed.

The pub is listed in the 2013 CAMRA Good Beer Guide and is basically as described in my original review of March 2010 below. It’s still my favourite Birmingham pub – well worth the short walk from the city centre.

Original review – March 2010

Multi award winning real ale pub situated in the Irish Quarter of the City and a stone's throw away from Digbeth Coach Station. It's one of Birmingham's distinctive red brick, tile and terracotta pubs and dates back to 1902.

The pub is a multi roomed street corner gem with the lively public bar following the angle of the street corner on which the pub is situated. A wooden screen divides up this main drinking area, creating a small snug type bar area on the right which can be separately accessed from Rea Street or via the smoke room behind. The smoke room is much quieter and has fixed seating and disused bell pushes. The pub is listed in CAMRA's National Inventory of Unspoilt Interiors.

On the real ale front, it's a real CAMRA favourite with regular beer festivals featuring and it's been voted Birmingham CAMRA pub of the year on four separate occasions.

Between Thursday 11th and Wednesday 17th March, a St Patricks themed beer festival was held with approx 20-30 real ales being available over the period, with an emphasis on Irish breweries such as White Gypsy Brewery from Tipperary.

My visit on the evening of Monday 15th was disappointing as the pub had a limited selection of real ales. I was told that this was due to the St Patricks Day Parade in the area the previous day, which had attracted large crowds. A subsequent visit on Friday 19th was more satisfactory with decent pints of Beowulf Fallen Cross and Hobsons Mild being enjoyed.

Irrespective of whether there's a Beer Festival on or not, you should make every effort to get here if the opportunity arises.

On 14th November 2012 - rating: 8
[User has posted 560 recommendations about 560 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Spinko Spinko left this review about The Anchor

lovely boozer. One of those places you could settle into and have ten pints then reliase there is the getting home to be done. A scottish beer fest on when i went there, not my cup of tea or bowl of haggis but enough tickers in there to appreciate the scots brews. This is the stand out pub in Birmingham. You may go to the Wellington but if you want more than a shushed cathedral atmosphere come to here.

On 26th January 2012 - rating: 9
[User has posted 44 recommendations about 44 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Real Ale Ray left this review about The Anchor

If you're into real ale, then you can't miss this gem out. Always has twelve to thirteen ales on and on my visit I was lucky as they were having a fest, so there was a choice of fifty. Always worth a look in when in Brum.

On 31st October 2011 - rating: 9
[User has posted 3121 recommendations about 3121 pubs]

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Bucking Fastard left this review about The Anchor

A must visit pub on any trip to Brum,I really enjoyed wandering around the multi room interior with a Bar(plus pool table),a self contained Family Room off the corridor to the loos,a large Smoke Room and a charming small Saloon,screened off from the Bar and accessible from the side entrance in Rea Street.Other have noted the impressive Victorian styling,its all very authentic.
Our trip coincided with the 12th Organic Beer Festival and I was delighted to discover Marble beers on offer,which are accredited by The Soil Association and are so good I would be quite happy to soil myself .Six other organic beers were on offer,from Liverpool Brewery(Joseph Williamson,Old Porter),Little Valley Studly Stout,North Yorkshire Golden Ale,Atlantic (Fistral,Red)so a great range of styles was also available besides the Marble Chocolate.
We settled in the Bar where the TV was sensibly on mute,and this is the haunt of a number of regulars ,not all real ale drinkers but a lively and friendly bunch.Service from behind the bar was traditionally Brummie taciturn but that's part of the charm.It is worth poking your head into the small Saloon as there were some ales on handpump here not listed as available on the main bar chalk board.Good value food available until 8pm on my trip.
A real gem and a great drinking experience ,with an understated Irish theme in the rather shabby Digbeth area of the Second City.

On 20th July 2011 - rating: 9
[User has posted 2383 recommendations about 2383 pubs]

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