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Head of Steam, Liverpool

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user reviews of Head of Steam, Liverpool

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

Evidently this place closed some time ago. Not surprising really.
However it is to re-open in a couple of weeks time as a Wetherspoon's pub called The North Western. I hope it doesn't impact badly on the nearby Ma Egerton's.
wirraldrinker - 24 Jun 2015 20:58
Even allowing for my visit being a midweek evening this barn was dead. Only four customers dotted about the place. Lots of hand pumps but NONE in use. Walked in and walked out again.
wirraldrinker - 1 Nov 2013 10:59
We tend to pop in here on a regular basis just before rushing to catch a train from Lime Street station. It's very convenient in that respect. The only problem is that many other people have the same idea. It's full of transient travellers and doesn't need to focus on its beers. Most keg options were off on our early Saturday evening visit. The 2 that were available were Conwy Clogwyn Gold & Liverpool Organic Royal George. The range used to be much better than this and they no longer stock a real cider either. Many of the keg options were also off. Now very disappointing. I last rated this a 7/10. Now it's more of a 5.
blue_scrumpy - 23 Oct 2013 20:45
Looked like it was closed as shutters were down and doors locked.
mcroyal - 5 Mar 2013 14:24
Called in on Saturday lunch and the place was virtually empty.Only had 3 ales on, all from Liverpool Organic brewery. One of which was sour but was changed without any quibbles. There was no atmosphere in this large "hall" and the decor and furniture looked tired.
covman45 - 28 Oct 2012 12:03
Was at a conference in Liner Hotel up the road - went in with a mate after the conference - big pub - had 4 ales on and a box of cider - the place was more or less empty and I feared for the beer, however it was pretty good tbf.

The toilets are poor as commented below - no lock on the traps and no bog roll in one of them - not good enough.
kernott1 - 12 Nov 2011 08:26
I still come in here every now and again. Business seems to have picked up - they now have regular band/session nights and show football or rugby games on a big projector screen.

Gents toilets are still an absolute disgrace. The landlord/owner/manager is often seen running around barking orders at his staff but should look at himself first as he could really make this place happen, but he's not trying hard enough!
mattbeer - 3 Nov 2011 04:20
Still a disappointment on the whole. Had a pint of Icon on this visit which was okay. If you're meeting/seeing someone off on the train it is probably preferable to Coopers (and doesn't involve climbing stairs).
anonymous - 8 Oct 2011 10:58
This is a huge disappointment. It should / could be so much better. Decent room but cold, dark, soulless, and lacking in real atmosphere. Having experienced the Head of Steam in Huddersfield (and the buffet bar at StalyVegas), I really can't see how such a bad job is made of things here. The Higsons I tried was ok and there were numerous others on tap, but not sure how well kept they were.
ulverstoned - 16 Feb 2011 20:51
@Snarling_Mallard

The "shutter" entrance to the station from the pub is open, but not in the evening from 6 or 7pm onwards.

It's to stop people from coming through to use the pub toilets which before 6 to 7pm you need the PIN (which is C1978X for the gents sewerage works) when the shutters are up.

People in the station are then forced to pay 30p to use the station toilets, the entrance of which is by the "shutter" entrance to the pub. Although, I'd rather pay 30p to use the station toilets!

I still occasionaly come to the Head of Steam while waiting for a train and have observed that when the pub is empty thay have 2 or even 3 bar staff on with no customers to serve, but when it's busy and full of people having pre-Empire theatre drinks they have one person serving behind the bar and it can take 10 minutes to get served!
mattbeer - 25 Dec 2010 13:30
Another place of unfulfilled potetntial. The layout just doesn't make you feel comfortable in the place. The beer I had (a pint of Tiberius) was very nice and went down well which was good given the fact I just wanted to scull it off and go somewhere else. They also signpost a route to the station - "Station Entrance This Way" and make you walk down a corridor past the stinking bogs only to be greeted with shutters so you have to go back out through the bar and out the way you came in. Apparently that exit in to the station isn't opened at all so why not take down or cover up the notices instead of letting people traipse up past the toilets and back again like dickheads?
anonymous - 27 Nov 2010 13:24
I visited this pub a few weeks ago when Newastle were playing Everton. We went to go for a drink before heading to the match, but it was closed. We managed to get in afterwards, but were kicked out shortly after six as the pub was closing up!!!!???? Then we went back the following afternoon before getting the train back home, and again it was closed!

During our brief visit, we found it was OK, with an OK beer selection, but being familiar with the Head of Steam in Newcastle and the other numerous Head of Steam owned bars up here, this place was a massive disappointment.
Toml79 - 24 Oct 2010 11:59
With all the handpulls available, I was surprised to see only 4 occupied yesterday. All 4 were Brass Monkey beers - Bitter, Son of Silverback, Capuchin and Cheeky Monkey. They still have Westons cider and perry in boxes behind the bar - Old Rosie and Country Perry. The atmosphere inside is still lacking. When we walked in, there were a couple of people at the bar with nobody sitting. Others were playing pool in the room nextdoor. It's still a handy place for a drink before taking a train. But the Crown is now a better option.
blue_scrumpy - 12 Sep 2010 16:55
A right mixture of a place, ranging from the grandeur of the fairly-named Grand Hall, through the odd layout of the Display Bar to the rank toilets. Eight handpumps in the main bar, with a good selection of real ales plus a Westons cider. My pint of the distinctly curious Blueberry Bitter from Coach House Brewery (2.60) was in good condition, and overall it's not too bad a spot to wait for a train.
rpadam - 23 Jun 2010 18:13
They've extended their range of real ales but I'm too scared to try any of them. I just stick with the Stowford Press cider which always seems to be okay.

As for the toilets (probably the only ones in the country that require a code number to gain entry) they are worse than ever. No locks on the cubicle doors. Only one cubicle had toilet paper which was on the floor covered in urine and god know what else because the dispenser was broken. It looked like faeces had been smeared on the walls. The taps in the sinks are broken. In fact - the only thing that seems to work in the toilets is the lock on the door that you need a code number for! Why the door is locked I don't know because it doesn't seem to stop the toilets from being vandalised and used by drug addicts!
mattbeer - 13 Apr 2010 02:23
Grim on the inside. Getting to it you think you're just heading for the lavvies, and arriving you think you probably were. Nobody in apart from one person behind the bar. That said, the range of beers changes regularly and the Sharps Honey Spice Wheat Beer was very pleasant.
rainlight - 1 Jul 2009 22:07
Went in here on 05/06/09. Only one hand pull on. I can't remember what it was called but it was a dark ale which I didn't like the look of. I was forced to have a pint of lager. Not impressed considering it was a Friday night.
Not many customers and a couple of them looked like beggars. The toilets were accessible ie no lock code required. However a gas mask was required!


wirraldrinker - 8 Jun 2009 15:44
Looking a little cleaner and more grand than it has for a while, a magnificent setting for a drink but as others have commented usually only a small proportion of the pumps in operation, last night four plus one for the cider. Usual mix of customers mainly rail passengers and some passing trade. My Pheonix Spotland Gold was spot on and I would have stayed for another but time was pressing.
anonymous - 29 May 2009 13:01
Massive station pub that has never really fulfilled its potential. The interior is grand and imposing, as you'd expect from a former station hotel. The long bar in the massive main room features 11 handpumps, but never more than 2 or 3 ales are available. The range of guests has improved recently and the beer is generally ok- at one point only Black Sheep was available. Other rooms are very stark and basic, including a pool room next door. There is a daft system whereby you need a code from the bar staff to use the toilet. A plus point is the brilliant view of neo-classic St. Geroge's Hall across the road. Usually quiet in the week and busy at weekends. It's not a bad place really- I'd say it deserved more than its current rating- but as noted its too variable- too many better pubs nearby. Better than Coopers in the station though. OK if waiting for a train.
Carlurmston - 29 Apr 2009 18:18
Huge pub that was once a great place to spend a few hours. Sadly, its gone downhill since.
Scousefire - 7 Mar 2009 22:34
A bit of a dive but a handy meeting place prior to going to the Empire Theatre or the Carling Academy.
Three real ales were on when I last visited.
Due to it being next to the station ticket office the clientele are very mixed.
I doubt there are any 'regulars'.

wirraldrinker - 14 Feb 2009 12:31
Cavernous station pub with a few real ales. During our visit, they had Coach House Blueberry Classic Bitter, Phoenix Spotland Gold and Dr Okells Classic Bitter. Ciders were Westons Old Rosie & Stowford Press. The atmosphere was poor - a bit like a Wetherspoons. But I could imagine this could still be a reasonable meeting place for people arriving/departing from Lime St.
blue_scrumpy - 9 Feb 2009 20:13
Went in this evening after work - Okells Bitter and Mild 1.99 a pint (while stocks last!). Also Okells IPA.

Still too random for my liking at this pub - as my last post says it's not consistent in here like other pubs in Liverpool like Ship & Mitre, Swan, Dr Duncans etc. You go to these pubs and know what to expect, i.e. good atmosphere and good range of beers. but you go to the Head of Steam and...

...well, find out for yourself!
mattbeer - 28 Jan 2009 00:57
No ales on tap (again) but had a pint of Westons Old Rosie scrumpy from the box! Strange pub - either empty or crowded! Needs to be more consistent all around. I think the only reason that it still exists is that it is right next to Lime Street station and the Empire theatre. If it was elsewhere it would have gone bust years ago. Don't forget that if you need to use the toilets you need to ask the bar staff for the access code PIN to gain entry (currently C1938X or is it C1983X (?) for the gents and has been for the past 6 months!), or just go around the corner and pay 20p to use the toilets in Lime Street station!
mattbeer - 15 Jan 2009 00:30
Worth mentioning that it's yards away from the platforms of Lime St station, whilst architecturally head & shoulders above the average station chain bar. Possibly the bar of the long-defunct British Rail station hotel?? Very Liverpool.
Bronxrichie - 23 Oct 2008 01:20
Went here for the 1st time last week. It's a bit shabby inside with speaker wires and wires attched to lights sticking out of the walls, and was spoilt by the 2 women who let their 2 little brats run riot and climb all over the seats! Would be nice if it was given a bit of a makeover and had a better range of ales.
mattbeer - 1 Sep 2008 14:42
A feeble shadow of what it once was. Very little choice of real ale and lots of non-working handpumps.
wobblybob - 3 Aug 2008 21:32
Poor selection of beers with only 3 handpumps in action. However this pub is worth a visit because of the unique & interesting decor with its very high ceiling. Handy location in between Lime Street Station & the Empire Theatre.
happytyskie - 20 Jul 2008 10:23
Visited this large pub with its ornate decor in November last year, and enjoyed the Old Bear and Daleside beers on offer. Not all pumps had beer available for a Saturday afternoon. Comfy seating areas and friendly staff.
gillhalfpint - 6 Mar 2008 11:17
Very hit and miss.
Sometimes it's busy, good atmosphere, plenty of real ales on, and it's then well above the average station pub.
Other times I've had the same experience as Jon, hardly any of the handpumps on, and place totally empty.
mps77 - 4 Mar 2008 11:19
This pub may well serve many great beers but by the end of a beery trip to Liverpool following the mighty Leyton Orient at Tranmere Rovers, out of about 12 handpumps 11 (!!!) were off on a Sunday evening, leaving the deeply dull Black Sheep as the only real ale choice. Instead supped a decidedly average pint of Guinness (but then, what else could it be other than average) prior to the train back to London.
JonW999 - 23 Feb 2008 23:19

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