In the (Birmingham) City there’s a thousand words (OK 342) I wanna say to you“.

Yes, one for Beer Mat now as we finally enter some Digbeth pubs you’ll all have heard of, even if you’ve never been further out of Brum than the funny bull statue.


It’s the Anchor !

Solid red brick brilliance
Stained glass !
Carling are the enemy, apparently

It must be 17 years since I did the Digbeth GBG pubs and the only difference I can see in the Anchor is the loss of a GBG sticker.  Still an exemplar Irish boozer, as evidenced by the TAYTO bags.  Though note the “Craft” Taytos in the blue packet.  The End of Times.

Craft Taytos

The Anchor is used to the sight of #PubMen invading the still of the pub at 3pm on a weekday to score halves of pale bitter, and greeted us like old friends.

Large bags, presumably containing stolen Ansell signs and sandwiches

Musically, we’re up to 1987 here, with the Cure’s “Why Can’t I Be You” getting its annual PRS cheque for £0.0037p.

Some folk who weren’t doing ten different pubs

The locals sit at the bar, #PubMen find just the right size table to seat us all, and we admire the beermats.

I love the way these Digbeth pubs preserve their character as a workingman’s (or retired workingman’s) boozer, while simultaneously preserving all that old stuff that CAMRA Heritage obsessives fuss over, like dark wood, old mirrors and bell-pushes.  They’ll be fussing over preserved BrewDogs in 2038.


No Punk IPA at the Anchor, but something called Flight Suit on the “pours”, produced no doubt by some awesome dudes in a hut in Shobnall Road, Burton. This is the modern world.

From a pleasingly tight cask range (see Mudgie report) I picked the Hobsons Town Crier, a cool dry gem (NBSS 3.5+). Less is more.

The big talking point was ABK beer, seemingly the official Oktoberfest (UK) beer, and presumably laid on just for Cooking Lager, who wasn’t there.

Resist ! Resist !

Four hours in, four halves sunk.  All very sensible so far….







  1. You can’t talk about Birmingham City, The Jam, The Anchor and good cask and expect me to be anything other than impressed…I am suitably impressed…can you blog on every pub in Brum please! Nice title with a live Jam album 👏👏👏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah Birmingham.
      Fond memories from my BRMB days on the Aston Distressway sharing a mic with Tony Butler.
      On yer bike !
      Brum – I stuck it out for three years but what a dump.Good pubs though.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “Carling are the enemy, apparently”

    LOL, love it!

    “Craft Taytos”

    You could have raised your camera a bit higher to avoid all that muck at the bottom.

    “Some folk who weren’t doing ten different pubs”

    And looking askance at the ones who were. 🙂

    “prdoduced no doubt by some awesome dudes in a hut in Shobnall Road, Burton. ”

    Tsk, tsk. A dig at Marston’s? (and I won’t even comment on the spelling error on the first word) 😉

    “Four hours in, four halves sunk. All very sensible so far….”

    Ok, I have to agree there. 12oz/hour is my rule of thumb (but that’s 6% ABV usually)



  3. Sorry to rain on your parade, but my recollection is that the Carling sign was actually in the Woodman 😛


  4. I was actually very slightly disappointed by the Anchor on my last visit (in May). Beer was fine (in fact, it was wonderful), the beer garden was nice, but it seemed to have gone the tiniest bit hipster.


    1. Scott,
      But a few Wetherspoons have heritage bank interiors or cinema interiors NOT pub interiors.


    2. But Spoons rarely retain much if anything of the original furnishings, fittings and layout. The NI is about interiors, not exteriors.


      1. Yes, indeed.
        My nearest still has the cinema box office, screen and some (inaccessible) seats but that’s only because Tim didn’t easily get planning permission for change of use.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I remember that the barmaid didn’t know what ABK meant, which was a bit of a poor do considering that they were promoting it.


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