Welcome to The Anchor, a Grade II listed pub built at the end of Queen
Victoria's reign that offers real ales and hearty food in an authentic setting
where you will find a very convivial atmosphere. Stocking hard-to-find English
traditional ales, draught ciders and staging regular beer festivals and events,
our pub has won Birmingham CAMRA Pub of the Year on four occasions. Please take
a look around our website. However, the best way to explore the pub is to visit
in person. We hope to extend a warm welcome to you in the future.
We are in the 2011 Good Beer Guide. Indeed, we have been in many a CAMRA Good
Beer Guide because, in addition to offering a huge range of different beers, we
strive to serve them in optimum condition. A good chunk of Birmingham CAMRA's
criteria in judging The Anchor as the "Best in Brum" is that our beer is
The Anchor has a policy of trying to source new beers and supporting new
breweries. New beers are launched continually from microbreweries and are
sourced via wholesalers and small independent carriers or by direct delivery by
the microbrewers in person. New breweries are found by searching the Internet
and browsing websites dedicated to beer. We then contact brewers directly.
Breweries can contact us in order to sell casks to The Anchor.
Many beers have been especially brewed for The Anchor. These ales are normally
produced to celebrate a particular event or milestone of the pub. They are
available only at The Anchor so look out for forthcoming specials. We have even
made our own beer. To celebrate 25 years of the Keane family at The Anchor, a
special brew called "Silver Anchor" was commissioned and produced at the
Shugborough Brewery where Keith Bott of Titanic Brewery was assisted by Gerry
With our counter featuring ever-changing real ales, it is pretty much a beer
festival all year. However, we push the boat out many times during the calendar
and stage special beer festivals with many rare and sought-after beers.
The following article is taken from The Birmingham Press... "This year, the Anchors Organic Beer Festival is showcasing an even wider range
of drinks, including cider, perry and wines, as well as the usual ales and
Birmingham Friends of the Earth serving up tasty barbecued organic burgers from
local suppliers on the Friday.
The beer festival calendar first welcomed this celebration of eco-friendly
drinks in 2000 at the trend-setting Anchor, on Rea Street, Digbeth, but now the
annual event is firmly established as a favourite summer event.
Organic meat and vegetarian burgers from Rossiters Family Butchers in Selly Oak
will be on offer in the pubs beer garden with rolls and buns supplied once
again by local community baker and food guru Tom Baker.
As well as being a chance to sample some delicious food and drink from high
quality suppliers, the festival also provides a chance to promote
planet-friendly farming practices. With the threat of more industrial-scale
intensive farming practices being brought to the UK, punters can be sure that
the food and drink served here will not be produced in a way that is damaging
Birmingham Friends of the Earth Campaigns Coordinator Roxanne Green, said, We
need a food system that creates a good livelihood for UK farmers, producers and
local shops but that doesnt damage the environment. Organic practices have been
show to build up soil fertility and lock up soil carbon providing benefits
both to the climate and local wildlife.
The Anchors Gerry Keane explained, This festival is now in its 12th year,
which goes to show how popular it has become with our customers. In spite of the
recession, people are still prepared to seek out organic items, they can be a
little more expensive, but I think you can taste the difference and the quality.
We are really happy to be associated with the local branch of Friends of the
Earth , and have their help providing the organic BBQ
So why drink organic beer?
If you look at the average pint of beer served up in the UK, its not so
perfect. The hops used in the fermentation of beer are estimated to be sprayed
up to 14 times each year with around 15 different pesticide products. In
addition to this, countless additives are added to create the perfect pint,
ensuring that it has a nice colour and flavour, a decent head and a profitable
A big problem with this is that according to European legislation these
additives, along with the other ingredients, do not need to be declared on the
label unless the drink contains less 1.2% alcohol. Basically your pint has been
chemically altered and you dont know what youre drinking. (1)
In contrast, organic beer is made in small batches from only organically grown
barley, malt, wheat, hops, yeast and spring water. There are neither additives
nor genetically-modified ingredients; everything grows as nature intended,
giving a purer, more wholesome taste.
So please come and support Birmingham Friends of the Earth on the 8th July for
the Organic Barbecue and the Organic Beer Festival will run from 7th 12th
We like to offer a mild beer at all times and for our regular choice we stock
Hobson's Mild, an ale that was voted the Champion Beer of Britain 2007. Produced
in Shropshire, Hobson's Mild was described in the 2007 CAMRA Good Beer Guide as:
"A classic mild. Complex layers of taste come from roasted malts that
predominate and give lots of flavour." Roger Protz, one of the judges and Editor
of the Good Beer Guide said: "It's a great victory for a traditional British
beer. It's bursting with flavour and, unusually for a Mild, it's got plenty of
hop character. It's great to see a classic copper coloured beer take the top
award." Nick Davis, Director of Hobson's said: "What a great surprise! It's a
nutty mild and despite being only 3.2% it's packed full of flavour."
Our regular bitter is brewed in Yorkshire - and has been since 1822. Tetley's
Bitter [3.7%] is still brewed using traditional methods in special fermenting
vessels known as Yorkshire Squares. The process is very unusual in that it uses
two separate ale yeasts. Best served with a big head, it is a classic Yorkshire
bitter and has a smooth hop character and the use of a special type of Demerara
sugar makes for a uniquely flavoursome beer. CAMRA's Good Beer Guide describes
Tetley's Bitter as "an amber coloured light, dry bitter with a slight malt and
hop aroma, leading to a moderate bitterness with a hint of fruit, ending with a
dry and bitter finish." Yorkshire drinkers claim that, by using traditional and
modern brewing techniques, this is a classic ale.
Erdinger Weissbier is not only very popular at The
Anchor, it has become something of an institution. We stock the
undisputed classic in the Erdinger product range, it is also quite
simply the wheat beer par excellence. It is brewed using fine yeast
according to a traditional recipe and, of course, in strict accordance
with the Bavarian Purity Law. Even today, the beer is still
bottle-fermented in the traditional way; it takes three to four weeks
for Erdinger Weissbier 'with fine yeast' to mature. Only the finest
ingredients are used in its production. Years of experience and constant
quality checks guarantee the beer's unmistakable flavour. It is a wheat
beer for those who love outstanding and unforgettable wheat beer
We like to stock a couple of draught continental lagers. Our choice from the
Dortmunder Actien Brewery is the Original, a superb German beer with a bright
golden colour fine bitter taste with an elegant note of hops. The brewery was
founded in 1868 by the businessmen Laurenz Fischer and Heinrich and Friedrich
Mauritz together with master brewer Heinrich Herberz. The company enjoyed
success in their domestic market and started to export their beer in 1879. The
brewery was awarded the prestigious Gold Medal at the 1900 Paris World Fair.
Following the near-total destruction of the city of Dortmund in the Second World
War, the brewery was rebuilt in 1949. DAB Original is now dubbed "A Real
Dortmunder of a Beer."
As you would expect from a pub located in the old Irish Quarter, Guinness is
always available on tap. Guinness is the UKs best selling black beer. Famously
taking a long time to pour, it has an initial malt and caramel flavour and
finishes with a dry roasted bitterness. The world famous stout started life at
Leixlip, but production was based at Dublin's St.James's Gate Brewery by 1759.
The dry stout was based on the porter style of beers that were being produced in
London during the 18th century. A distinctive feature of the beer's flavour is
the roasted barley which remains unfermented. Medical research has established
that the antioxidant compounds in Guinness provide many health benefits. As the
famous slogan goes..."Guinness is Good For You".
Our standard lager on sale is Carlsberg. The beer that is dubbed "probably the
best lager in the world", Carlsberg [3.8%] is a superior, well balanced lager
with a distinctive refreshing taste. Ideal for every drinking situation, but
best enjoyed chilled with friends. Carlsberg was founded by J.C.Jacobsen and his
first brew was finished on November 10, 1847. Export of Carlsberg beer commenced
in 1868. Seven years later, Jacobsen set up the Carlsberg Laboratory in 1875 in
order to work on scientific problems related to brewing. The species of yeast
used to make pale lager, Saccharomyces carlsbergensis, was isolated at the
laboratory and was named after it. The concept of pH was developed there as well
as advances in protein chemistry.
In addition to Carlsberg, we also stock Carlsberg Export. Brewed to the Danish
original recipe Export is a clean tasting, premium lager with continental
characteristics. There are noticeable deep malty notes in Carlsberg Export and
the beer has a distinct bitterness that generates a full flavoured beer.
Carlsberg Export was promoted in the UK with the brand slogan is "So good the
Danes hate to see it leave". In television commercials, Danish lorry drivers
were being kidnapped en route to prevent it leaving Denmark. We can understand
the sentiment because at The Anchor we also stock our very own
Irish Quarter Lager which is only available at our
pub. So for a unique drinking experience, why not try it out.
We always have a draught Belgian Ale on tap and also
stock a range of bottle-conditioned beers from the land of hops. We
update our chalkboard that details these and a range of beers from
around the world. Our colleagues behind the counter will try to provide some guidance and help you choose a drink to
suit your palate. You'll generally find a beer from Italy, Germany or
the United States on our beer board - our aim is to provide a unique
drinking experience in Birmingham and always strive to offer a diverse
range of beers. If you would like to see a particular beer in stock then
please ask us - we will try to accommodate any reasonable request. Our
continental selection helps to make The Anchor is an exciting place to
We generally stock Leffe Blond, the flagship beer of the Leffe beer family. The
unique recipe for this beer is the fruit of centuries of experience in the art
of brewing, which brings a broad palette of aromas into balance. It is elegant,
smooth and fruity, and it has a spicy aftertaste with a hint of bitter orange.
The beer's light, sunny colour is due to the use of pure malt. It is perfect for
those relaxing moments with friends and family.
A regular feature on our counter is Thatcher's Gold, an exceptional Somerset
cider that is full of flavour. Produced at Sandford Mill that sits amongst
Somerset cider orchards at the base of the Mendip Hills, Gold is crafted using
traditional techniques and expertise gained since 1904, for a smooth crisp and
refreshing taste. Thatcher's have made fine cider in Somerset for over 100
years. Crafted using freshly pressed English apples, the company's traditional
ciders are based on authentic recipes and matured in oak. William Thatcher first
started making cider for farm workers in the early 1900's. The family-run
company produce their traditional cider from locally grown apples. Traditional
methods, such as conditioning cider in oak vats, give the cider its unique
In addition to Thatcher's Gold, we also stock the company's famous Cheddar
Valley, a traditional cider served on handpull. The colour of this unique cider
gives it a vibrant character all of its own for those who want an alternative
refreshing drink with a touch of natural sparkle. Naturally fermented, Cheddar
Valley is matured in oak vats to ensure the distinctive full flavour is
In addition to the above ciders, we always stock a cider or perry dispensed by
gravity on the backbar. These are sourced by cider expert Jon Hallam. For
example, Hartland's Farmhouse Perry is a
popular choice with our regular customers. This is produced by a small
family-run traditional craft business in North Gloucestershire.
For our mainstream customers we also stock Strongbow. A strong, dry cider,
Strongbow delivers a full bodied punch. The delicious fresh taste has a hint of
acidity for clean, crisp refreshment. For years it has been the consumers
favourite around the world, accounting for over a quarter of all cider sold in
the UK annually. Produced with a royal warrant, Strongbow is a Gold Medal winner
at the International Beer and Cider Competition, London, voted best tasting
cider in blind tastings by a consumer led panel of judges. Strongbow is named
after the Norman knight, Richard de Clare, later Earl of Pembroke, who was
nicknamed Strongbow by his troops for his feats of strength and prowess with
the longbow. The thudding arrow has been a feature of the brands television
advertising since the 1960s.
We serve a range of bar meals and snacks including:
Fish and Chips, Scampi and Chips, Chicken and Mushroom Pie,
Steak and Kidney Pie, Chicken Korma with Rice or Chips, Chicken Balti,
Vegetable Balti, Vegetable Bake, Veggie Burger, Quarter Pounder Burger, Chicken
Sausages and Mash,
Jacket Potatoes, Hot and Cold Sandwiches.
We are proud to be included in the National Inventory of Pub Interiors, a
register complied by CAMRA that records and details pub interiors of outstanding
historic importance. The Anchor has retained many of the original fixtures and
fittings that were designed for customers during the Edwardian era.
The Anchor has always tried to raise moneys for good causes. Our fundraising
activities include: Raffles, Selling the Tote, Face Painting, Sale of Used Pump
Clips, Selling Home Made Kilts, Special Events, Weekly Lottery Bonus Ball,
Customers Spare Change. Recently we have raised monies for St Mary's Harborne
CAFOD to the Haiti Appeal, St Mary's Hospice, Acorns Hospice, Red Nose Day,
Breast Cancer, Children In Need, Leukaemia Fund, Great Ormond Street Hospital,
Caitlain's Dream - Sanfilippo Syndrome.
We would like to thank all those who
have helped us to raise money for charity. Cheers and a BIG THANK YOU from Gerry and
all the Team.
We have linked up with
www.midlandspubs.co.uk to provide a fun Pub Treasure Hunt around the
locality. The treasure hunt is quite difficult in places but it is a fun way to
explore Digbeth and Deritend and, of course, enjoy a few beers en-route.
Click here for the clues and a map. This is the only map you need for the
Treasure Hunt though you may wish to bring your own A-Z. Other recommended bits
of equipment are perhaps a compass. A digital camera could be useful for
magnifying things. But most of all, you need to bring an open mind with which to
think laterally. We hope you enjoy the Treasure Hunt and look forward to
presenting you with the answer sheets just to hear you say "oh, that's where it
From Belgian fruit beers to hoppy cask ales, small-production microbrews to
Czech Republic lagers, this is a personal and comprehensive portfolio of
international beers compiled by one of the world's leading beer writers. In this
unique and beautifully illustrated collection, he has distilled decades of beer
knowledge into an entertaining and indispensable guide to the ales that no beer
lover should miss. The book divides beers by type, including bitters, best
bitters, pilsners, brown and mild ales, pale ales, extra strong beers and
bitters, old ales and barley wines, golden ales, porters and stouts, alt and
amber ales, fruit beers, and beires de garde, each comprising an alphabetical
listing of the beers. Many of the entries are fully illustrated, and each beer
comes complete with a box panel for adding your own tasting notes. Information
on the country of origin, beer strength, brewery, and a detailed description of
the beer and its history are also given.