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Brighton Beer Blog reviews Fountain Head Brighton

A descriptive, beer-by-beer account of our visit…

Date: 3rd November 2021

Beer:
Halmos by Solvay Society

 

On a sunny Wednesday lunchtime my wife and I decided it was probably time to break out of the postnatal cocoon that is our home and indoctrinate our three-week-old daughter into pub culture. It’s never too young to start, right? So dog and baby in tow we went in search of pub grub and Amy’s first alcoholic drink for many, many months.

We’d initially planned to go to Brewdog (I know, I know… people will probably moan at me for this, but my wife and I have got a tragic addiction to their chicken wings which we will never apologise for). However, post-Covid, Brewdog don’t open midweek for lunch any more, so we wandered up towards town in search in somewhere dog- and baby-friendly.

We didn’t get far, as the Fountain Head Brighton looked really cosy and warm through the windows. The menu certainly looked agreeable, offering lots of tasty sounding burger and fries options. It was only when we had ordered a drink and started to study the menu properly that we spotted that this was a plant-based menu… You can’t help but feel a little suckered in when BURGERS is printed in huge letters, and ‘plant-based menu’ is hidden in the bottom corner in small print; but, spurred on by a sense of altruistic eco-adventurism, we ordered a couple of Beyond Meat burgers and some loaded fries.

The Fountain Head is a spacious open-plan pub with wooden floors, exposed brick walls and plenty of benches and tables for different sized groups. The low ceiling, atmospheric lighting, simple splashes of colour and a fireplace burning at one end give a lovely comforting cosy warmth to the place. Some kooky ornaments and features, such as a giant gold Buddha face and Moroccan wall lights, give some interest to what’s otherwise a really simple decor. Over lockdown they added a sheltered booth seating section to the side elevation, which looked pretty cramped, but it makes a more structured outside area where there were just tables and chairs before.

Even if the pub was mostly empty, as it was when we arrived, there’s still a feeling of welcome and atmosphere. The south-facing windows which we sat by allow loads of natural light to flood through when the sun comes out. There was a very chilled out playlist of soul, 60s and folk, and all in all this was a really blissful atmosphere to walk into. You could very easily lose the hours here.

Run by Laine Pub Co., the bar stocks all the Laine faves such as Source, Mangolicious and Ripper, but today there were some lovely beers on tap left over from the Laines tap takeover. I also spotted that they stock Rosie’s Pig cider on cask – nice to see somewhere is pushing trad farmhouse cider in Brighton. I ordered a pint of Halmos by Solvay Society, a Belgian style pale, and it went down an absolute treat; a simple twist on a pale ale, it was refreshing with added interest. This is a brewer I will be looking out for in tap bars going forward.

We weren’t waiting too long before our Halo Burgers arrived. They had a bit of an American diner/McDonald’s vibe about them, wrapped in paper and served on a bright red tray. Halo is not my clever nickname for them by the way; subsequent research shows that Halo Burger have a couple of outlets in London as well and have been going down a bit of a storm, so setting up at the Fountain Head Brighton must be their first foray into the Brighton market before getting their own shop-front. At almost £10 for the burger (more if you go specialist) and a further £5 something for fries (which aren’t included) it’s clear that eco-lunching can add a few quid onto your typical fast-food burger-and-fries budget. That said, soon enough we are all going to need to wake up to how unsustainable our meat consumption habits are. I just hope that the high cost of meat substitute products doesn’t put people off who might otherwise be keen to try them.

This was my first Beyond Meat burger experience and, considering we’d started the day craving chicken wings, Amy and I were both really pleasantly surprised. Forget seitan and soy, the flavour in this dish is probably as close to a beef burger as you could imagine getting without a cow being involved. I’d say it’s pretty much a perfect substitute, except that the texture isn’t quite a match for a meat burger – it’s softer and doesn’t really recreate the meaty bite of a medium/well-done beef burger. Maybe I could ask for mine to be well done next time, if that’s a thing with BM burgers?

The staff were incredibly accommodating; they brought a bowl of water over for the dog when we asked, gladly gave me tasters of the beers on offer, and had no problems at all with us bringing our baby and buggy in. All in all we really enjoyed our visit here, it was an incredibly laid-back place to be for a midday lunchtime, probably helped by the fact that baby Jess slept through the whole experience. Ah well, pub training will begin next time.

We came away definitely looking forward to our next visit to Fountain Head Brighton.

 

 

2 Comments

  1. Mark Cooper

    Having given up meat 2 years ago and having had many a Beyond Meat burger I can confirm unless you really cremate them the texture is usually the same and yes, it does like a little of the bite of meat it is a really good substitute. Halo Burger are really really good and their menu has kept me going back to the Fountain Head a number of times. Also helped by the delicious beer. Keep up the good driking!

    Reply
    • Dave (BBB Founder)

      Thanks for the comment Mark. Great to have the insight of a Beyond Meat burger pro agree with you about the good beer there as well!

      Reply

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Date: 3rd November 2021

Beer:
Halmos by Solvay Society

 

On a sunny Wednesday lunchtime my wife and I decided it was probably time to break out of the postnatal cocoon that is our home and indoctrinate our three-week-old daughter into pub culture. It’s never too young to start, right? So dog and baby in tow we went in search of pub grub and Amy’s first alcoholic drink for many, many months.

We’d initially planned to go to Brewdog (I know, I know… people will probably moan at me for this, but my wife and I have got a tragic addiction to their chicken wings which we will never apologise for). However, post-Covid, Brewdog don’t open midweek for lunch any more, so we wandered up towards town in search in somewhere dog- and baby-friendly.

We didn’t get far, as the Fountain Head Brighton looked really cosy and warm through the windows. The menu certainly looked agreeable, offering lots of tasty sounding burger and fries options. It was only when we had ordered a drink and started to study the menu properly that we spotted that this was a plant-based menu… You can’t help but feel a little suckered in when BURGERS is printed in huge letters, and ‘plant-based menu’ is hidden in the bottom corner in small print; but, spurred on by a sense of altruistic eco-adventurism, we ordered a couple of Beyond Meat burgers and some loaded fries.

The Fountain Head is a spacious open-plan pub with wooden floors, exposed brick walls and plenty of benches and tables for different sized groups. The low ceiling, atmospheric lighting, simple splashes of colour and a fireplace burning at one end give a lovely comforting cosy warmth to the place. Some kooky ornaments and features, such as a giant gold Buddha face and Moroccan wall lights, give some interest to what’s otherwise a really simple decor. Over lockdown they added a sheltered booth seating section to the side elevation, which looked pretty cramped, but it makes a more structured outside area where there were just tables and chairs before.

Even if the pub was mostly empty, as it was when we arrived, there’s still a feeling of welcome and atmosphere. The south-facing windows which we sat by allow loads of natural light to flood through when the sun comes out. There was a very chilled out playlist of soul, 60s and folk, and all in all this was a really blissful atmosphere to walk into. You could very easily lose the hours here.

Run by Laine Pub Co., the bar stocks all the Laine faves such as Source, Mangolicious and Ripper, but today there were some lovely beers on tap left over from the Laines tap takeover. I also spotted that they stock Rosie’s Pig cider on cask – nice to see somewhere is pushing trad farmhouse cider in Brighton. I ordered a pint of Halmos by Solvay Society, a Belgian style pale, and it went down an absolute treat; a simple twist on a pale ale, it was refreshing with added interest. This is a brewer I will be looking out for in tap bars going forward.

We weren’t waiting too long before our Halo Burgers arrived. They had a bit of an American diner/McDonald’s vibe about them, wrapped in paper and served on a bright red tray. Halo is not my clever nickname for them by the way; subsequent research shows that Halo Burger have a couple of outlets in London as well and have been going down a bit of a storm, so setting up at the Fountain Head Brighton must be their first foray into the Brighton market before getting their own shop-front. At almost £10 for the burger (more if you go specialist) and a further £5 something for fries (which aren’t included) it’s clear that eco-lunching can add a few quid onto your typical fast-food burger-and-fries budget. That said, soon enough we are all going to need to wake up to how unsustainable our meat consumption habits are. I just hope that the high cost of meat substitute products doesn’t put people off who might otherwise be keen to try them.

This was my first Beyond Meat burger experience and, considering we’d started the day craving chicken wings, Amy and I were both really pleasantly surprised. Forget seitan and soy, the flavour in this dish is probably as close to a beef burger as you could imagine getting without a cow being involved. I’d say it’s pretty much a perfect substitute, except that the texture isn’t quite a match for a meat burger – it’s softer and doesn’t really recreate the meaty bite of a medium/well-done beef burger. Maybe I could ask for mine to be well done next time, if that’s a thing with BM burgers?

The staff were incredibly accommodating; they brought a bowl of water over for the dog when we asked, gladly gave me tasters of the beers on offer, and had no problems at all with us bringing our baby and buggy in. All in all we really enjoyed our visit here, it was an incredibly laid-back place to be for a midday lunchtime, probably helped by the fact that baby Jess slept through the whole experience. Ah well, pub training will begin next time.

We came away definitely looking forward to our next visit to Fountain Head Brighton.

 

2 Comments

  1. Mark Cooper

    Having given up meat 2 years ago and having had many a Beyond Meat burger I can confirm unless you really cremate them the texture is usually the same and yes, it does like a little of the bite of meat it is a really good substitute. Halo Burger are really really good and their menu has kept me going back to the Fountain Head a number of times. Also helped by the delicious beer. Keep up the good driking!

    Reply
    • Dave (BBB Founder)

      Thanks for the comment Mark. Great to have the insight of a Beyond Meat burger pro agree with you about the good beer there as well!

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.