Anchor, Birmingham

308 Bradford Street
B5 6ET
0121 622 4516

The Anchor, in the inner city suburb of Digbeth, is a red brick and terracotta pub in the familiar Birmingham style. The similar colours make it difficult to tell the difference between the two, but on the Anchor all of the ground floor is terracotta and the red brick is between the window surrounds on the upper floor (photo 1).

The pub was built by prolific pub architects James & Lister Lea in 1902 for Ansell’s Brewery. Inside, the public bar still has its original bar counter and superb mirror-panelled bar-back (photo 3). It also has an original wooden screen with small panels of stained glass (to the right in photo 3). Screens like this were used to divide the room into separate spaces and there is a small drinking area on the other side.

Etched glass panels on the doors to  the bar and the smoke room are still in place (photo 2). And all the exterior glass is leaded with stained glass decoration, another feature common in Birmingham pubs (photo 4).

The Anchor was taken over by Raising Bars in 2016 and they refurbished it and gave it a new lick of paint – the photos date from after the refurb. They also extended the range of real ales with regulars from Birmingham and Wye Valley Breweries, and added craft beers, wines, cocktails, gins and boilermakers. The last is what the Scots call a hauf an a hauf – a beer drunk with a shot of a spirit.

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