The British were defeated at the Battle of New Orleans in 1815, but if they had managed to make it up the river, they would have found a patch of home at the Crown and Anchor. Located across the river from the French Quarter at the foot of the Algiers ferry landing, the Crown and Anchor is a charming British pub with all the coziness of an old seaport tavern. Step through the blue British police callbox into a space with low lights and a lower ceiling. Scores of pint glasses hang above your head, and nautical-themed decor lines the walls. The taps pour British favorites: Guinness, of course, as well as Bass, Fuller’s London Porter, and Blackthorn Hard Cider. English beer bar towels are set along the bar like placemats and serve as oversized coasters. I overheard the bartender explain to a customer that the Crown and Anchor Bar was a traditional British pub and poured Imperial pints. When asked what an Imperial pint was, she explained that it meant the pint glasses held twenty ounces instead of sixteen. Some quick googling revealed the origin of this standard: the British Weights and Measures Act of 1824. This act fixed measurements across the kingdom and, in doing so, set the size of a glass of beer there. The United States continued to use an older measurement that set a pint at sixteen ounces. But since British pubs continue to use the twenty-ounce measurement, the Crown and Anchor follows their lead.
The Crown and Anchor is a friendly local spot. The bar fills up on Thursday trivia nights, the hardest in town, according to Lee. But most of the time regulars drift in and out, greeting the bartender with familiar smiles. The Crown and Anchor is worth a visit, especially if doing so gets you on the ferry, which affords a wonderful view of the French Quarter from the Mississippi River.
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