The Eagle and Tun pub in Digbeth as it appeared on the cover of The Best Of UB40

Well done to Life After Football for identifying the Ansells sign from Digbeth’s Eagle & Tun.  It is just possible he has local knowledge, though.

We popped there, across the road from the Woodman, having admired the old Curzon railway building, because all ale men are also rail men, aren’t they ? (A: No)

Could be saved by HS2 – win/win

Now, call me an unreconstituted PubMan, but is there anything better than a sign which shows you that a place puts Carling first ?

Priorities right

Other than that Ansells sign, of course.


Another Victorian gem back from the dead (Dec 15), and with a Northampton standard welcome inside and out.  Oddly, North Yorks seemed to have invaded, despite the sad absence of Mr Coldwell.

Yorkies here…

Sadly the Indian menu wasn’t available due to Car Trouble (not the Adam & the Ants classic), but the snack menu compensated in style.

Snack menu of the year. So far.  Even Rifters

Multi-room Victorian joy (this will get repetitive), with only a slightly smaller range of regional brews than the Woodman to delight confuse our topers.

Jon gets decisive

Life After Football also reminds us, as did everyone in the pub, that this is the spiritual home of UB40.  Yes, yes, the “Red Red Wine” was filmed here, but I prefer their hypnotic debut.

The current Beer Guide only has the Woodman as a Digbeth representative, which doesn’t really surprise me, but can mean you overlook the qualities of pubs like this.

What did surprise me was that I’d never been in the Eagle & Tun before (or the Wagon & Horses). Digbeth Beer Guide has long meant the National Inventory trinity of Anchor, White Swan and Woodman, but there’s a lot more than that.

Even if you aren’t swayed by Ansells signs, lived-in Victoriana, poppadoms and a soundtrack that seemed to span 1975-78 (Sultans of Swing), there’s a top off-licence next door.

“Cherry B, Cherry B Baby”

My Hobsons Prickly had a straw flavour that I come across only occasionally; not unpleasant, and seemingly I had the best of the bunch. A cool, refreshing half (NBSS 3.5) that would have put most of the cask on our Scottish trip to shame.

Yes, there’s cask ale lottery, and if you lose in the lottery it could put you off real ale for life.

A lovely pub.




  1. I think you you got the only decent beer in here – the others were definitely end-of-barrelish and in NBSS 1½ territory. I ordered a pint but struggled to finish it, as did t’other Mudgie.

    On the other hand, the next pub definitely gave us food for thought, especially in its beer selection 😮

    Liked by 1 person

    1. But at least you had choice of unusual beers !

      Perhaps I was unusually generous after a week of NBSS 1.5 beers in Scotland, but I doubt it. As you mentioned in your post, quiet backstreet pubs with six ales on are a perfect setting for a cask lottery.


  2. It’s unfortunate that the Eagle and Tun’s handpumps, being round a corner, aren’t in sight on entering the pub and many won’t realise there’s any cask beer on which must affect sales.
    We were unlucky that “the Indian menu wasn’t available” and I know from my previous visit that they could reach the next pub a thing or two about proper food.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “It is just possible he has local knowledge, though.”

    It’s a good thing most of us know your writing style. 😉

    “because all ale men are also rail men, aren’t they ?”

    Pfft. I would’ve thought most ale men are pale men. 🙂

    “Now, call me an unreconstituted PubMan, but is there anything better than a sign which shows you that a place puts Carling first ?”

    Um, almost everything?

    “Sadly the Indian menu wasn’t available due to Car Trouble”

    Is that a takeoff on the Monty Python cheese sketch? 🙂

    “Jon gets decisive”

    Who the ‘h’ is Jon?*

    * See what I did there? 🙂

    ““Cherry B, Cherry B Baby””

    I don’t know what to think if you can get a maiden for under 9 quid. 😉

    “A cool, refreshing half ”

    Aha! (see one of my – many – posts below) 🙂

    “A lovely pub.”

    And that says it all.



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