Anchor & Hope
Added by Warrington Minge [11 pints]
Anchor & Hope
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Permanent Real Ales
Moles of Melksham
Anchor & Hope has 4 hand pumps
Beer quality - 9/10
Beer selection - 7/10
Atmosphere - 8/10
Price - 10/10
Overall Opinion - 9/10
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OUT on my racing bike one evening I spot a group of elderly drinkers playing cribbage outside the Anchor & Hope. Taped to the window is a faded notice boasting "Moles bitter Â£2.50 a pint."
I'm gagging for one. But as I head for the door, exchanging "good evenings" with the crib-players, I hear a thunderous fart, followed by gales of laughter. Then there's a crash of glass as the landlady topples off her seat, cursing.
And suddenly I think: this is my sort of pub. Fine Melksham bitter. No food. Friendly faces. Oodles of laughter. The occasional stray fart. And a weeny white pub dog called Dylan who sits on my table outside and, I swear, almost talks to you as he watches the world go by.
So why have I never used this place before? Why, indeed? For the Moles bitter is sublime. Sitting in the evening sun, I down two pints in about eight minutes. Then another. Then another two. Beautiful, gluggable stuff. And after 90 glorious minutes I begin my five-mile ride home in the dark. Lord knows how I make it down a hugely steep, winding hill near my home.
Two evenings later I'm back there quaffing more of this hearty brew, evoking stark memories of my ale-sodden days as a reporter in the Sixties before a lifetime of tossing pots professionally in some of Fleet Street's most shameless watering holes.
True, the Anchor's not much to look at from outside. But who cares? The friendly atmosphere and sporting banter give the place a magical buzz. And if you love good ale, you'll experience a wondrous, beery blast from the past in this blue-fronted haven far from those dreary gastro-pubs, with their fearful pong of food that strips the head off your ale!
But hold on a jiffy! My fifth pint of Moles is just arriving.
Ah, bless you, Dylan.
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