Dinner and Beer Tasting at The Junction, Harborne

Disclosure: I was a guest with a plus one at The Junction. Our beers were complementary for the purposes of honest review. We paid in full for our food and I was not asked to write about it. All words, images and opinions are my own. Prices correct at time of writing. Read my full disclosure policy here.

I’ll confess to not being much of a beer drinker, but I’m always interested to learn more about food and drink, so when The Junction asked if I’d like to pop along to their Craft Beer Residency and try some of the Californian beers on offer, I said yes.

Sausage and Mash

The food

Me being me, I couldn’t resist ordering some food, even if I was only there to try beers. I was feeling pretty sorry for myself post Hotel du Vin carnage, so I wanted some major comfort food. I went for the Sausage and Mash (£9.95) which comes with crispy onions and red wine jus. The sausages were huge, and really well cooked, with that perfect crisp skin. They were full of flavour, and went well with the fluffy mash, which had pieces of spring onion running through it. The portion is more than generous for the price too, and I actually couldn’t finish it.

Craft Beer residency

The beer

The Craft Beer Residency is a regular event, taking place at pubs across the country. A range of guest beers go into each pub, and there’s also a programme of regular Meet The Brewer events.

We started with a pint of the Otra Vez Lime and Agave Goze. The bar staff told us this has been a bit of a marmite beer for them and people either love it, or think it’s awful. I actually liked it, finding it refreshing, with a good sour kick of lime. Excellent for the current heat!

Beer Flight

Next, we shared a small beer flight, with three 1/3 pints.

Hazy Little Thing claims to taste of biscuit, which I can’t say I got, but I did think it tasted of syrup and fruit. It was light, and interesting. The California Lager wasn’t for me at all. The citrus notes were pleasant, but I found it had a weird after taste I couldn’t put my finger on. Chloe happily put it away though, so clearly it was just me! San Franpsycho IPA was interesting too, with plenty of fruity hops. It was smooth, and a little sweet.

I’m glad I took Chloe, who actually knows things about beer, or I’d have been somewhat lost. Our waiter was perfectly happy to bring us a tester of the apparently divisive Goze, which was nice, but beyond that, I didn’t feel we got much guidance about the beers and what they were. There are handy tasting note guides on the bar, and if you know more about beer, you’ll be fine figuring out for yourself what you might like. As a newbie to beer world though, I always appreciate a recommendation from the staff, and sort of found this wasn’t really forthcoming. In classic form though, I did thoroughly enjoy the food, so while I might skip the beers, I’d happily go back for some good pub grub.