I was midway through explaining to my drinking chum the difference between his half of Henley Dark porter and my Zeitgeist black lager when the barmaid glanced over from the pint she was pouring. ‘You’ve got them the wrong way round,’ she said. She hadn’t served us, the beers were in identical glasses, they looked exactly the same to me – how could she tell?
Such an insouciantly cool observation is testament to Brewdog staff’s knowledge (and irreverent attitude). The Scottish craft brewery’s London outpost is an initiation into the exciting and groundbreaking world of craft beer, but never feels intimidating. Admit to a bartender you’ve no idea where to start and they’ll gladly guide you through the list, offering tasters.
And what a list it is – every one of Brewdog’s groundbreaking beers on keg draught (with occasional guests) and bottle, from the smooth, amber 5am Saint to the quadruple IPA ‘Sink the Bismarck’ at 41 per cent. Fridges hold a selection from other microbreweries, mainly from the US (the likes of Stone, Evil Twin and Anchor, although there’s plenty on offer from the Scandic Mikkeller and Nogne Ø too). British beer producers barely get a look-in – almost certainly a typical Brewdog provocation.
113 Bayham Street
|Opening hours:||Open noon-11.30pm Mon-Thur; noon-midnight Fri, Sat; noon-10.30pm Sun. Food served noon-8.40 Mon-Thur, Sun; noon-9.45 Fri, Sat|
|Transport:||Camden Town tube or Camden Road rail|
|Do you own this business?|
Average User Rating
4.2 / 5
- 5 star:11
- 4 star:5
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:2
- 1 star:1
My boyfriend is of the old skool brew, who thinks these 'crazy new-fangled ales' are a fashionable flash in the pan; he prefers Sam Smiths. But I LOVE this bar - as below, the staff are extremely knowledgeable and helpful and not at ALL pretentious; they take their time to explain a bit about the beer, the brewing process and let you taste whatever you want before you buy - there's a specific taster sample you can purchase with quarts of some of their best selling ales and they do amazing, really really AMAZING SCOTCH EGGS with black pudding or sausage surrounds, served with piccallilli or branston / ketchup. Even my boyfriend loves those...
Clearly the best range of outstanding beers I have ever found in London. Yeah, there are the places you can get a whole bunch of ales and 7 selections of continental lager, but the vast array of tastes and flavours found here? Not in my experience. So, it's pricey, but it's London, so where isn't? Yeah, if you are in there at 5pm it'll fill up with 'media types' and seats are at a premium, but they disappear mostly by 8, and what if the seats aren't all that comfortable? You're not here to meet new pals, and doze off in a corner. You're here to drink your new favourite beer on tap. I'm going keep coming back.
I would like to bring something to everyones attention as a regular goer to BrewDog Camden. If you were to take time to speak to the staff (Catherine, it seems you were in on a particularly busy night and this may have been harder for you than others) you will see the bar is all about beer because it is a brew pub. HOWEVER, the selection of wines and spirits are all top quality, and the staff, although wanting to spread the word about great and unique flavoured craft beer, are always willing to offer what other drinks are available. I found this first hand when I had a friend who wasn't a beer fan and tried them but wanted something different. Aside to that as a regular craft beer bar roamer, going across London to visit different bars, I find the knowledge imparted by the staff is much higher and more in-depth than other bars I have visited.
This place is like Marmite- love it or hate it. For my tastes, it reeks of overpriced novelty. It seems if you criticize it, you get caricatured as a fusty old conservative. But there's a reason a lot of British pubs and the beer they serve is more 'traditional'- if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Punk? The old Camden punks wouldn't be able to afford to drink in here, nor would they want to hang out with the wealthy media types that largely patronize it. Beer is for drinking, it's not a style accessory.
This place obviously offers a huge array of beer which will please any beer lover, and I particularly liked the Punk Ale. However, I couldn't get rid of the impression of somewhere slightly fake, pretending to be something else than it actually is, hence not very authentic and closer to a 'theme' pub than somewhere truly original. The vaguely industrial raw wood and metal decor is reminiscent of a 90s bar chain. The staff were incredibly slow (only 2 behind the bar to serve an onslaught of customers, not paying attention to who had been waiting longest). One more point: I know this place specialises in beer, beer and more beer. But do you really have to rule out any customers who might enjoy the odd glass of wine for a change? Not one wine on offer...
What a great place! A fascinating array of beers and really helpful staff. Great mood, great food its got it all. We were well looked after with attentive staff happy to give advice about the huge selection on offer. I'll be back!
So basically doing nothing that isn't already being done by Euston Tap, The Rake, Craft Beer Co etc? But with less range and missing the massive variety of British microbreweries (many of them a lot better at making beer than brewdog, just not as gobby). All marketing and little substance!
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