Birmingham – Head of Steam (II)

Head of Steam is one of my favourite chains and I’ve been to several across the country and I’ve been to this one before and enjoyed the quality of the food and drink that they had.

I came in here again as they were advertising on Facebook the new bottles from Vault City Brewing. The staff member hadn’t heard of them and was initially confident that they didn’t have them. I did on four occasion say that I could see the beer in the fridge behind her, but she wasn’t having any of it. She was polite enough though and got another staff member, who told her they were in the fridge behind her. I decided not to say anything. They hadn’t yet been listed on the till and I did ask the price before ordering and was given an estimate, which transpired to be a fair chunk out, so this was a more expensive drink than I had anticipated.

Being honest, I wasn’t entirely sold on the engagement here in terms of beer knowledge, but these are challenging times for pubs and perhaps they were short-staffed.

And here is the drink that I wanted, the Raspberry White Chocolate Honeycomb Imperial Stout from Vault City Brewing, which was a rather beautiful beer. Although a stout, there was a sourness from it, with the various flavours each noticeable by taste in what was quite a complex beer. Rather lovely to have that white chocolate smoothness, the tartness of the raspberries and the touch of honeycomb. I lingered over this drink for over an hour, as it was one that could just be sipped for some time. I’ve also just realised I had listed it incorrectly on Untappd, as they have a similar sour version, which I’ve now corrected.

The interior of the bar, which was all clean and organised, as well as being quite empty. It’s a large venue and there’s an interesting bit at the entrance which feels like a covered beer garden type area. So, everything was fine with the visit, but it was missing the level of engagement that I’d usually expect from Head of Steam. No negative issues though and marvellous that they’ve got such excellent beers in stock. A perfectly well deserved entry into the Good Beer Guide in my humble view. And a reminder that I need to try more beers from Vault City Brewing.