Reviews, Opinion, Food & Drink

28th April 2024

Liverpool Pub Review – The Hope and Anchor

It’s the first week of Easter break and I’m still in Liverpool because I can’t yet bear to return to my rural Midlands village with little to no bus service and also little to no young people. I find that after pretending that I’m done for the academic year, I’m left with even more spare time than I would usually allow myself (This is a lie). This has led me to stroll the streets of Liverpool without a care in the world, admiring the sights, taking in the ambience and avoiding all of the one-legged pigeons. I’m walking down Hardman Street and all of a sudden, I wish that the council never slashed funding for public toilets. I’m sat in the pub because I needed a wee.

The Hope and Anchor sits on South Hunter Street, just off Hardman Street as you get to the Flute. I was ready to leave this establishment after rather sneakily using their facilities. As I reach the door my eyes are drawn to the small sign on the bar stating ‘£2.50 Student Drinks’. “I’m a student” I think, “I like drinking” I think, “£2.50 Moretti is cheap” I think. This drab and lonely Tuesday afternoon is shaping up to be one for the history books.

But as I sit with my more than reasonably priced continental lager, I can’t help but feel as though something is missing here. Is this because I’m sat in the pub on my own? The coward’s answer would be yes, but as a man with years of experience in the field of solo pints, I know that this isn’t the case. Something is missing here.

The ambience of this pub is that of a sexual health clinic the day after St. Patrick’s Day. Bright, uncomfortable and a little bit itchy. Though the Hope and Anchor is a brilliant pub, in theory, the corporate feel of this place cannot be ignored. As a Stonegate chain pub, I fear that their beer soul will never really be found.

What’s on tap?

But enough of my independent pub purist ramblings. Let’s get down to the grizzly details of the pub equivalent of a new build home on an estate in Southend (I have never been to Southend). The beer selection is staggering, so we’ll all take a breath and recite the catchy tune I wrote to remember all of their draught beers.

(Sang to the tune of Williams Tell’s Overture)



Old Mout


Then there’s….

Tiny Rebel YEAH

Then theeeeeree’s some
Blue Moon YEAH!

Lily’s Mango Cider


Murk Life Balance IPA

BrewDog Hazy Jane


Smirnoff Cocktails on demand

(Spoken word interlude)

The rest of the beers are;
Brixton Cold Harbour Lager
Wingman IPA
Neck Oil

That’s way too much fun for one pub review. My apologies.

Photo Credit: Photo by BENCE BOROS on Unsplash

The Hope and Anchor has 3 slightly wonky black-baize pool tables and a dart board which they found in a Chernobyl bar in April of 1986. The fruit machine near the pool tables offers another way to give your money to a huge conglomerate aside from paying for drinks in a Stonegate pub if gambling is your idea of fun.

The staff at the Hope and Anchor are a testament to this place, and they were more than happy to chat with me about their experiences working in a pub such as this. Whilst I enjoyed my second VERY reasonably priced Moretti. From what I heard, the fact that the Hope and Anchor falls into a web of corporate beer sellers does not affect their methods of working. In fact, means that they are free to try new things due to the financial backing of a beer mammoth such as the Stonegate group.

£5 “Alright” Food

Food. Who doesn’t like a little meal with a pint? The Hope and Anchor is running some amazing student deals on food at the moment which I can’t be bothered to write a song about, so here’s the link to their website (and menu.) Some of these meals are only £5 so if you’ve spent all your money on £9 doubles in the town centre, this is the place. This is a great addition to the pub, and the food is unparalleled to its chain pub cousin Wetherspoons, as the Hope and Anchor has quite an exciting menu with some great-looking choices available. I’m not a food reviewer, so we will have to trust my mother’s judgement on the food from a few months ago “Yeah that’s alright actually” (Hemley, 2024, p.56).

This pub should be good. It really should. It has all the assets of a great boozer, but I seriously feel that the clinical atmosphere and micro-managed food and drink selection take away from the humanity of this place.

I have neglected to mention the relevance of this bar in regard to pub crawls or society events because frankly, we’re going to the Hope and Anchor regardless. Yes, it may be quite a wait when all of the Korfball society are waiting to get their single Malibu and milk, but this place is an essential stop on any pub crawl or social. It’s spacious, the drinks are cheap and it’s on the way to town.

Final Thoughts

Despite all my positive comments, I can’t help but be left cold by the Hope and Anchor. It’s fine, but so is Carling when you really wanted Carlsberg. This pub’s dry ambience and corporate feel are in complete contrast with the effort the staff put in (especially upon being greeted with 100 drooling first years on a term-time Wednesday AU night). One of the only saving graces of today’s trip was the drunken Irish student who asked if I was “on the tequilas yet?” Which funnily enough I wasn’t (it’s quarter past five on a Tuesday).

I unfortunately have to rate this pub 4/ 10

Not Hemley recommend.

Disclaimer: I write these reviews under a fair amount of alcoholic influence so all views and observations may be a tad twisted.

For another Liverpool Pub Review from Alex, Click Here!

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