The Great North London Brewery Crawl: Part Two (BrewDog)

We made a couple of mistakes in our second stop on the Great North London Brewery Crawl. Firstly, we went to BrewDog, which though located in Camden is not a London brewery (it hails from Aberdeenshire). Our second mistake was that several of the beers we ordered weren’t actually from BrewDog at all (as we asked the bartender to select us a flight without letting her know that we wanted only house beers). But mistakes aside, it was a very pleasant experience, especially the food.

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L-R: Arcade Nation, Vagabond, Funky Gold Amarillo, Gamma Ray
The Beers

Gamma Ray (Beavertown)

J: Relatively light and drinkable, with a strong flavour. There is an aftertaste but it isn’t overwhelming. I could drink a pint but wouldn’t want too many. 6/10

K: Due to my need to shove excessive amounts of tater tots into my face, I failed to note Kam’s impressions on this beer. However, she scored it 7/10 so suffice to say they were complimentary.

Funky Gold Amarillo (Prairie)

J: Quite flat and sour, very different to the beers I usually drink but not necessarily in a bad way. It goes down well due to the lack of carbonation but I’m not sure it’s the beer for me. 4/10

K: So sour I feel like I need to eat a sweet afterwards. 2/10

Vagabond Pale Ale (BrewDog) (Gluten-free)

J: Strong hoppy flavour without too much of an aftertaste at first, although it builds. Pretty light and drinkable (N.B. I may have obliterated my taste buds with a jalapeno before trying this beer). 6/10

K: Tastes like it might have gone off. 6/10

Arcade Nation (BrewDog)

J: Interesting to try a stout/pale ale mix, and from what my chili-ravaged tastebuds can tell it’s very nice. The stout’s coffee malt notes take the edge off the hops but it’s still light enough to drink a lot of. 7/10

K: I could drink a pint of it!! What is happening??? 7/10

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The Ambience

The bar is quite noisy and echoey, but I like the decor. I like that they serve their flights in long-stemmed glasses as it makes me feel classy. The bartender was very knowledgeable, and I’d definitely come back for tots with the works (chili con carne, jalapenos, cheese and onions). 8/10 just for the food.

Kamala adds: Too many board games!

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For more information on BrewDog Camden and other BrewDog bars, go to https://www.brewdog.com/bars.

Next time on Beers and Bouts, the North London Brewery Crawl continues with Beavertown, Tottenham. 

The Great North London Brewery Crawl: Part 1 (Camden Town)

A few weekends ago, Kamala and I decided it was time to visit some London craft breweries. We have been to quite a number on various (mostly derby-related) trips abroad, and thought it was frankly shameful that we hadn’t seen any of what London had to offer. As it turned out, London had quite a lot to offer, so we had to split it into segments.

It began with North London. I had a big part in making this decision, as North London is my side of town, but we also had an engagement party to attend later in the day (with a very understanding friend who didn’t mind us showing up already half-cut) in Stoke Newington, so it made geographical sense.

Our first stop was the Camden Town Brewery, which is actually situated in Kentish Town, and soon have much of its brewing operations relocated to Enfield due to lack of space. As it was a Saturday, we were able to enjoy a short free tour of the brewery before getting down to the real business of the day: tasting. We tried a tasting flight of five beers, with some assistance from the bartender in making our choices.

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The Beers

Camden Pale

Julie: Although this began light and drinkable it had quite a strong aftertaste which made it difficult to imagine drinking too much. 6/10

Kamala: Very hoppy bitter aftertaste lets it down. 6/10

Camden Hells

J: This is Camden’s best-known export, and is very light and drinkable. However, there’s not too much flavour and though I could drink easily drink a full pint (or six), it’s not the most exciting beer. 7/10

K: Good to have with a burger, but very bland and a bit meh. Good to take up a mountain instead of Budweiser (any A-Camp veterans will understand that reference). 5/10

Jarrylo Hells

J: This is a limited-edition beer using a new type of hops, and I eagerly sought out the notes of tropical fruit which the bartender advertised. I think I got some pineapple coming through, though that may just be the power of suggestion. Either way it was a bit more interesting and full-flavoured than the Camden Hells, also a little more bitter but still very drinkable. 8/10

K: Light, smooth and almost fruity but not too sweet. 8/10

Ink Stout

J: I think stouts have grown on me since Kamala and I took our grand beer-tasting trip up the American Pacific Coast (more on that to follow), and this one is nicely smoky. I still couldn’t drink too much as after a few sips it starts to feel heavy, but really rather enjoyable. 5/10

K: I think I could drink a pint (this is a testament to how much we disliked stouts before, or is this just a non stout lovers’ stout?) 7/10

Indian Hells Lager

J: Very good impression on the first mouthful, but unfortunately the rest of it just doesn’t live up to that moment. It begins with a full fruity flavour, but has a very bitter aftertaste which ends up spoiling it. 4/10

K: It tastes almost like dishwasher powder. Very tart, very bitter, I couldn’t drink a pint. 4/10

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The Ambience

The Brewery Bar has a great hipster vibe and decor, and the bartender was very knowledgeable about the beer which is always a bonus. However, there are no menus to allow you to read about it for yourself (remember we’re dealing with introverted Brits here). The pay-what-you-can tour is also a big winner, we just need to visit again for food to get the full experience. 8/10

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For more information on the Camden Town Brewery, go to http://www.camdentownbrewery.com/. Drop-in tours run on a first-come, first-served basis every Saturday at 1pm and 2pm. 

Next time on Beers and Bouts, the North London Brewery Crawl continues with Brew Dog, Camden. 

 

 

Welcome

Hello internet, I’m back with another outpouring of possibly mindless drivel.

I am Julie (or Julie Slamdrews in the derby world). I’ve blogged a few times before, about travel at From Russia With Mixed Feelings, about journalism at Destination Fleet Street, and about life in general at From Julie With Mixed Feelings. This came with moderate amounts of success and support, especially from my father, who was convinced that I was bound for stardom from the moment he read my first blog post.

This time around I am going to write about two topics which are very close to my heart: roller derby and beer. I want to say that it will only be about craft beer of the very highest calibre, but this will probably turn out to be a lie as I have already tried some lagers on roller derby excursions which can only be termed interesting and which will probably sneak into the blog at some point.

This blog will also heavily feature my partner in derby-watching and beer-drinking crime, Kamala. This is us drinking 7am airport Stella (Kamala on the left, me on the right). Sometimes our taste is better than this, but that is by no means guaranteed.

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A whole host of other characters may appear at some point, most derby-related, but some random men who we meet in pubs. They will be introduced as and when they need to be.

Happy reading!

Julie xxx