You left me in the posh bit of Birmingham with a combination of fried onions, mustard and ketchup oozing down the front of my fleece (a Christmas present from 2004).


I’d just been the tardiest person in Pint Shop, and now it was time to repeat the trick in Head of Steam, which was clearly trying to cash in on the German beer craze with Oktoberfest style tables and those weird ABK beers now presented as “Bavarian Craft”.

Less enticing on 16 December in Birmingham
Looks like a nativity scene

Belgian beers with authentic Trappist decorations too.


And, of course, many, many, many, handpumps.


Most of the trade (all in the back room) seemed to be for the £5 lunch deal and be responsible for a flurry of questions from staff about requests for extra chips with the burger and chips deal.

If I hadn’t just had 80% bratwurst I’d have succumbed again. Chips are expertly matched with Fixed Wheel, which was OK.


Birmingham is seeing an explosion of new and converted beery places reminiscent of Manchester 5 years ago.

Thornbridge’s Colmore has the class and elegance of Cafe Beermoth or Buxton’s Redwillow, and I will bet BRAPA’S packed lunch it gets in the Beer Guide. Soon.


Like B. Johnson, Latin is classy innit

It won’t compensate for the loss of the Eagle and Tun, which should give you Food for Thought. Pizza, anyway.

But the Opus, which may have been strong, was superlative and you can’t beat Thornbridge’s pump clips.



Classy people, classy beer, and a classy soundtrack of Don’t you want me and Together in Electric Dreams. Appropriate, really, since Phil Oakley once stopped for a Balti here after a gig at Barbarellas. There’s a blue plaque.

Anyway, well done Brum. You’re scrubbing well, but I’m bored of the Colmore Row gloss.


Let’s go to Perry Barr, shall we?

12 thoughts on “BAVARIAN CRAFT IN BRUM

  1. I have to hang my head in shame…I didn’t know that The Colmore existed! Next opportunity I get I will pay it a visit…but it is very embarrassing that a ‘Fenny’ gets to one of my home town pubs before I do! Lol

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Well it only opened last week, so you’re probably excused. Anticipating a Martin visit to Leeds for Thornbridge’s new bar there in the near future. Believe a Manchester venue is on the near horizon as well.


  2. Even if I had known the Colmore opened last week this afternoon I wouldn’t have got beyond the Stile, Great Western, Beacon and Britannia.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m curious about this “German beer craze”. Has the German stuff become more trendy in recent years?

    True confessions: for the longest time I thought that photo on the cover of Human League’s ‘Dare’ was a woman, until I learned it was Phil Oakey.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. German and Czech are the “acceptable” foreign lagers of the craft scene. Stuff that is well made, where a UK bar can charge a fiver+ a pint for beer that sells for 10 euros a crate at the local petrol station back home.

        Liked by 1 person

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