As a beer lover I usually only make it to the bar – visiting several last weekend in Brussels – but today was different. James and Christine gave me a little tour of the Camden Town Brewery based underneath Kentish Town West station, only 5 minutes from my house.
Everyone is welcome to visit. In fact, every Thursday they run public tours from 6pm. There is also a Brewery Bar and Street Food Stands on Thu – Sat 12noon -11pm.
At first glance, brewing beer seems like a pretty straightforward process – all you need is water, cereal grains (barley, rye or oats), Humulus Lupulus and Saccharomyces Cerevisiea. However, a lot can go wrong to affect the final quality of the brew. But with beer you cannot just say ‘’It was a bad vintage” as you can with wine, we all expect 100% consistency. It is a tough job but the guys at CB do it so well and they produce 2.2 million pints every year.
And here is what you can try on tap now:
Hells Lager (4.6% abv) – clean and crisp golden Pilsner with aromas of aniseed and fennel, taste of fresh lemon and white pepper with hoppy finish
Pale Ale (4.0% abv) – rich aromas of meadow flowers, ripe grapefruit, honey and hints of caramel, classic mild bitterness and dryness on the palate with fresh lemon zesty finish
Jamie Oliver Pale (5.1% abv) – mild bitter Pale Ale with subtle aromas of honeydew melon, blossom and sweet nutty finish
Gentleman’s Wit (4.3% abv) – Wheat style, one sip can transport you to a café in the middle of Brussels, lemon meringue hazy colour with fluffy snowy cap, aromas of lemon curd, honey, sweet spice and creamy texture with hints of bergamot and orange peel
Ryeld (3.7% abv) – made from rye as the name suggests, pale amber colour with haze, aromas of cold tea brew with hints of sliced lemon but juicy fruity palate with toasted caramel and hoppy notes
Redlight Waltz (4.1% abv) – US hopped amber larger, bitter earthy spicy aromas with hints of dried lemon skin and fresh barley and limey finish
Fukdahator Doppelbock (6.7% abv) – Doppelbock to you and me as no one orders this beer by its full name, well not after a couple of pints anyway. My favourite for its Belgian style of richness and high alcohol. Dark Madeira amber colour, luscious aromas of mocha chocolate and roasted coffee with more fruit driven and nutty flavours on the palate and sweet spice, toasted walnuts and dried orange peel lingering finish
Ink (4.4% abv) – beautiful black liquid with creamy hat, it brings you joy just looking at it, aromas of roasted coffee and bitter dark chocolate with lively sharp palate yet smooth creamy texture resembling Guinness but with surprising hazelnut sweet and popcorn-like finish. Actually the popcorn notes could have something to do with the popcorn machine in the bar. Who knows?
Camden Town Brewery – 55-59 Wilkin Street Mews, NW5 3NN