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Pub Of The Month - November 2021 with Thuck Phat on the Pub Forum

The Head of Steam, Durham

Pub added by Jim Newell
3 Reform Place
Phone: 01913832173

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Blue Scrumpy left this review about The Head of Steam

I was somehow expecting this pub to be much busier on my Saturday evening visit. Whilst there were no tables on the ground floor, there were plenty spare upstairs.

The ale selection was good and they also offer 3 real ciders. Ales were Cameron's Road Crew, Bad Company Easy Now, Ridgeside Io & Rooster's Baby Faced Assassin & London Thunder. All ciders were from Lilley's - Rhubarb Cider, Apples & Pears & Somerset Scrumpy. I went for the London Thunder, a porter, which was slightly past its best.

I do however enjoy my visits to pubs in the Head of Steam chain. They always offer a good selection of beers, whether it be cask, keg, bottle or cans. This one was no exception.

On 4th August 2020 - rating: 7
[User has posted 870 recommendations about 870 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Old Boots left this review about The Head of Steam

Up an alley off North Road, it's a two story building looking a little Swiss. Downstairs contains an L shaped room round two sides of a courtyard. A mix of standard tables and chairs plus more bizarre and uncomfortable choices to rest at. The long counter along the back wall has five pulls, with local and regional beers and two horseshoes of kegs. Slightly engineering feel to the decor, other parts of the decor are beer ads and it’s got a pinball table. Not bad but not my first choice in Durham.

On 6th March 2020 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2441 recommendations about 2242 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Aqualung . left this review about The Head of Steam

This has been well described below and is set down an alleyway off North Road past the bus station and JDW coming from the roundabout at the bottom of the station area.
It's modern inside and consists of a wide room with steps leading to an upstairs area.
There are five hand pumps which had Camerons A-Hop-Alypse Now & Cola Bottle Stout, a beer from Two By Two, Sonnet 43 The Right Brew #41 and Leeds Midnight Bell. I went for the Midnight Bell and the Right Brew which was cloudy orange wheat murk but tasted quite nice.
I quite liked this place, it is GBG 2018 listed.

On 3rd December 2017 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2143 recommendations about 2143 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

custodian 42 left this review about The Head of Steam

Set back off North Road. This is a fine pub with decent ale on tap and lots of choice on keg. Definitely worth a revisit.

On 5th January 2017 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1693 recommendations about 1691 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about The Head of Steam

Set in a secluded courtyard not too far from the train station or castle, this is a fine beer exhibition pub from the reliable Head of Steam chain. The courtyard looked like a nice spot for some al fresco drinking on a hot summer's day, as did the pleasant balcony running around three sides of the yard. Various entry points lead you into a single room bar in a wide but shallow space with the servery on the rear wall. A rather simple bar counter contrasts with a busy canopy which is lined with various old beer bottles, large clumps of hops and seemed to also house some of the keg taps, which looked very unusual. The room has been furnished with plush leather banquettes and sturdy tables and chairs which meant that no matter where we ended up sitting, we were guaranteed comfort. The pub's beer credentials are not in doubt from the moment you walk through the door, as the whole place has been liberally decorated with a vast amount of breweriana, most notably a large number of brewery signs, be they enamel, glass, neon or otherwise. Further hunting will uncover Belgian beer flags, branded beer trays nailed to the ceiling and a large collection of oversized Chimay, Westermalle et al. beer bottles on the backs on the banquettes. There is apparently a second room upstairs, which probably explains how you gain access to the balconies, but I failed to make it up there. TV screens remained off throughout our visit with quiet background music filling in the lulls in conversation.
The bar supports five handpulls which were offering Cameron's Aphopolypse Now and Thunder in Paradise, a beer from Durham Brewery, Sonnet 43 Raven and one more which I failed to note. Real ciders were plentiful in supply and there was a huge keg range covering a lot of US and Belgian classics. Menus detailed a long bottled list as well, so you really are spoilt for choice and I was pleased to find that my pint of the Durham was in fine shape. The barmaid was also very pleasant and we both watched in amazement as an old dear walked up to the bar, ordered a double vodka, sank it in one and walked straight back out again.
I really liked this place and thought it was a great example of how the traditional alehouse can be presented in a more contemporary fashion without alienating potential customers. Beer quality, range of choice and bar service all ranked highly and the large Saturday afternoon crown inside and out in the courtyard suggests that the locals value this place too. This was my introduction to Durham's pub scene and it has certainly set the bar very high.

On 18th September 2016 - rating: 9
[User has posted 2630 recommendations about 2630 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Alan Winfield left this review about The Head of Steam

The Head of Steam is situated in a courtyard off the main shopping street.
Once inside there is an oblong shaped room which runs the width of the pub,the room is bare boarded,the seating bench type and normal tables and chairs.
There was a decent choice of real ales on the bar,i had a drink of Camerons Gold which was a very nice drink,the other beers noted were Titanic Plum Porter and Sonnet Bourbon Milk stout,there was one more beer from Sonnet which i failed to note.
This is a decent pub that was very busy on my late Saturday afternoon visit.

Pub visited 19/3/2016

On 24th April 2016 - rating: 8
[User has posted 6113 recommendations about 6113 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Quinno _ left this review about The Head of Steam

Pub and kitchen concept which looks pretty new. Find it through an arch off the street and it's in the mews at the end of a narrow alley. Enter the bar through an American-style wood and glass porch. Inside is modern, almost sports bar-like. Staple shaped, with fake bare brick walls, wood plank cladding and laminated floor. Gantry above the bar hosts various fonts and beer pulls for décor, also look out for the beam that has loads of beer bottle tops embedded in it. Loads of craft beer ephemera dotted around, good sourcing as it’s better than the usual tat. The bar is mainly a craft keg and bottle operation but to the far right, almost as an apology, were three ales - Sonnets Taste & Heart, TT Landlord and Cameron's Fridge Magnet Pale Ale. The latter was in very good form and the hipster barman was a friendly server. The impressive bottled offering is chalked up on a whole wall. Pizza and ‘meat grill’ heavy menu, reasonably priced and overheard punter feedback indicated that quality was most acceptable. Well-worth having a look here for something different.

On 10th July 2015 - rating: 8
[User has posted 4200 recommendations about 4187 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Danny O'Revey left this review about The Head of Steam

Tucked away continental bar focussing on keg/bottle lagers but there are also 2 real ales. Chunky wood tables and lots of European beer signs over the walls.

On 15th June 2015 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1287 recommendations about 1265 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Malden man left this review about The Head of Steam

A modern but not unattractive bar located in a courtyard down a small lane. The main raison d'etra is clearly the vast range of world, USA and mainly Belgian beers on offer, mostly in bottled form but there are three handpumps at the very end of the bar. This occasion had Belma Single Hop, Tyne Bank Summer Breeze and Marston's Fridge Magnet Pale Ale. I went for the Summer Breeze which was a nice drop and well served by the young girl undergoing training. The walls, shelves and ceiling are positively festooned with all manner of mostly Belgian related beer stuff, adverts, trays, jugs and old bottles, flags, you name it. A downstand beam has hundreds of bottle tops stuck to it.
L-shaped with a boarded bit plus some carpet, modern furniture but thankfully no high tables. There is outdoor seating under a big umbrella in the courtyard or on the upper balcony. Food served although I didn't partake, ciabatta sandwiches at £4.95, F&C £8.95.
There was a muted TV with news while a pleasant bluesy soundtrack played at just the right volume.
A very good start to my Durham jaunt and just the place to pop in and sample a proper strong Belgian beer, which I did, perhaps foolishly, for the nightcap the following evening. No harm done though, enjoyed it.

On 4th June 2015 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1690 recommendations about 1664 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about The Head Of Steam

Modern building - with non-traditional furniture but full of breweryana - in a courtyard setting accessed via the 'ginnel' from North Road. More seating and a balcony upstairs (not visited). The emphasis is on the excellent selection of Belgian and US bottled beers, but there are also three handpumps on the bar counter: Titanic Lifeboat plus two from local Sonnet 43 micro - Brown Ale and Bourbon Milk Stout (£3.09). Overall, well worth seeking out.

On 2nd February 2013 - rating: 8
[User has posted 6620 recommendations about 6620 pubs]

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