Last week I wrote about my recent tour of Camden Town Brewery. This week, I thought I’d share my thoughts on the beers they have on offer. At the end of the tour, my group was invited to sample five of the brewery’s most popular beers – Pils, Wit, Unfiltered Hells, Ink and IHL. The secret ingredient in all five is, according to our tour guide, London water!
Camden describes its IHL (Indian Hells Lager) as ‘the brewer’s beer’. The IHL is unmistakably hoppy and lacks some of the sweetness of the Pils. It keeps its head and has a distinct aftertaste with hints of lemon. Camden’s website describe the process of brewing this beer as ‘stuffing loads and loads of hop pellets into our hop tornado, which circulates them at high pressure though the beer’. Well, if you want a seriously hoppy beer that’s as spicy as a madras curry, then this is the one for you.
Stouts. The marmite of beer. You either love ’em or hate ’em. Personally, I’m quite partial to a stout, but only at the right time of day or in the right climate. For instance, there’s nothing quite like drinking a freshly poured pint of stout whilst sitting in front of a fireplace on a cold winter’s night in an old fashioned pub. The Danes would call this hygge. Whilst Camden Ink wouldn’t be my stout of choice, I think the brewery have made a pretty decent stab at developing a stout with a personality of its own. As you’d expect, this beer is creamy and has quite a bitter taste, with hints of caramel/coffee/chocolate. A decent beer, but I’d struggle to drink more than two in a single night.
Given the huge range on the market, its oftentimes hard to make a particular brand of pils stand out. Made with American hops, Camden Pils is a pretty decent beer, with a cloudier appearance than you might expect for a typical pils and a floral aroma. It keeps its head and has a noticeably zesty aftertaste.
Camden Unfiltered Hells
This is Camden’s take on a kellerbier (or cellar beer) i.e. a beer with the original brewing yeast left in. This brew has a noticeably smoother and more full-bodied flavour than the more commonly found Camden Hells. As you’d expect for a kellerbier, the appearance is cloudier and distinctly more hoppy. All round it is tasty and worth a try.
Camden Gentleman’s Wit
Last but not least, the white ale. However you term it – wit, white ale or blanche – this type of beer is and always will be, a summer beer. It’s not normally my beer of choice, even in summer time, but Camden Wit is as tasty as any white ale I’ve tasted so far. Distinctly zesty and aromatic, the beer is dry and has a crisp finish. It lacks the overpowering sweetness you’ll find in some continental wheat beers and consequently is a little easier to drink.
And that’s it…… cheers!