I’m a big fan of Head of Steam, located on Brum’s Temple Street. It’s the perfect place for a casual meet-up with friends or for a quick bite to eat on our way to or from New Street Station. Even Ma and Pa Lee are fans. So it was hard to say no when Mr Fletche and I were invited to a complimentary beer tasting event.
**The team at Head of Steam invited us to attend this event with no obligation to review. Thoughts and opinions are all mine as always**
It’s nice to see some familiar faces as we’re shown to the reserved area upstairs overlooking Temple Street. It’s a Wednesday evening and there are a few post-work drinkers in the bar. Every good party begins (or ends) with a goodie bag and ours have the satisfying weight and giveaway clink of one filled with beer.
Our welcome drink has the taste of a refreshing fruit punch, the type you might be served along a cold towel as you arrive at a resort hotel. It is in fact the difficult-to-spell Schofferhofer, a German grapefruit wheat beer. At just 2.5% it’s a perfect aperitif as General Manager Neil welcomes us to the evening and introduces us to in-house beer sommelier Adam. It’s Adam’s job tonight to talk us through the 6 beers we’ll be sampling tonight. Yes, 6. On a school night. Although with great foresight I have booked my working-from-home day for the day after.
It’s time to move on from Europe all the way over to Japan. Adam lines up the bottles of Hitachino Nest’s Saison Du – sensibly it’s a bottle between two as the alcohol starts to creep up to 5%. This is a saison, subtly flavoured with citrus and yuzu. It appeals to my love of a sour beer and I’m a fan not only of the beer but of the cute owl logo on the bottle.
Now it’s the turn of the Scandinavians, with a funky pink and blue can from 00 Brewing. Enigma/Nelson Sauvin is an American style IPA. This Mr Fletche’s favourite so far and it’s a very drinkable hazy gold beer with hints of tropical fruit. It’s 6.5% and we’re all glad to hear that we’re having a food break.
Head of Steam don’t skimp on the food either. Pie, sliders and flatbreads are followed up with pizza and a selection of curries. If they were trying to show off their new menu then they wholeheartedly succeeded.
With a little of the alcohol soaked up, it’s time to return to the beer. And Adam’s bringing out the big guns now. We start with a 4.9% Canadian beer from Collective Arts Brewing, a brewery which prides itself on fusing beer with art – check out the artwork on the can. It’s a Gose with guava, and it has very mixed opinions around the table. Mr Fletche is not a fan in the slightest. There are almost salty undertones which I don’t find entirely unpleasant. Adam tells us that Himalayan Pink Salt is one of the ingredients, which would explain the taste. It’d probably go well with a feta cheese and olives.
Next is Collective Arts again, this time as a collaboration with Bristol brewery Left Handed Giant. It’s another funky can. Honest Living is a 9.2% coffee stout – and this time we get one can between three. This feels like dessert. It’s dark and rich and slips down beautifully. It’s definitely an after dinner drink and it feels like I should slip on a velvet smoking jacket and light up a cigar.
For the final beer of the evening, Adam presents us each with a champagne flute of what he proclaims to be the “best beer in the world”. If Mr Fletche and I were to get married again, I would absolutely have Deus Brut des Flandres served for the toast. Beer champagne. Those Belgians know what they’re doing. The Deus is light, golden and bubbly – a complete contrast to the stout before it. It’s the perfect way to finish the night.
You can book your own beer tasting event at the Head of Steam for £20 per person (minimum of 6 people). Maybe a great gift idea with Father’s Day coming up soon? And if you’re in Brum, give Head of Steam a try – there’re plenty of other options if beer isn’t your thing and there’s a fab new food menu of which over 40% are vegetarian or vegan dishes. And did I mention they’re doggo friendly too?
You can find out more about Head of Steam Birmingham here
Head of Steam, 24 Temple Street, Somerset House, Birmingham B2 5DP