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16-12-2011, 17:42
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http://goodfoodgoodbeer.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/089.jpg?w=224&h=300 (http://goodfoodgoodbeer.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/089.jpg)Last night those merry pranksters from Camden Town Brewery braved the whippets, flat caps and increasingly-chilly-weather to bring a handful of their beers to The York Tap. Actually, it was a little more than that – it was the first time all their range have appeared outside London.
The York Tap proved to be a great host. Spacious yet bustling, as the light faded and the fires glowed, we got stuck into the beers. The main draw for me (and many others, it would seem was Camden Ink (4.4%abv). Kegged stout seems to be the style to nail at the moment – try Ilkley’s Fortis Stout for another example – and it doesn’t disappoint. Jet-black and with a decent aroma of woodsmoke and coffee (Given it’s served colder than cask), it slips down way too easily. Unfussy but entirely flavourful, Ink’s a great addition to the Camden’s pale-centric range.
Showboat Brown Ale (4.5%abv, Cask) was another beer that proved to be entirely too easy-going for it’s own good. Sweet and moreish, the US-style Brown Ale ruby beer is dominated by Caramel, Toffee and Biscuity malt, with a flourish of fresh, floral hops at the end. Fans of Brooklyn Brown and Sam Adams should give this home-grown effort a try next time they see it on. It had me longing for a Hot-Dog or some Fried Chicken, and this is no bad thing at all.
Bleeding Hops IPA (6.4%abv) was a surprise; mainly due to it’s darker (Bloody?) hue. I expected a pale citrus-grenade, but what I got instead was a rich, flavourful beer that did carry enough Tropical-fruit and Citrus hop charcter in the nose and the end of the sip to satisfy hop-heads. Gentlemen’s Wit (4.3%abv) provided a hazy, pale Lemon-sherbert refresher, and made me pine for the Sun. Wit’s not a style you see a lot of English Breweries doing often; and Camden have nailed one here. Sure, it’s unfussy, but tasty, clean and refreshing.
http://goodfoodgoodbeer.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/090.jpg?w=224&h=300 (http://goodfoodgoodbeer.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/090.jpg)In fact, that seems to the the tie that binds all of Camden’s beers. Even the stronger ones remain incredibly easy to drink, and Jasper and his crew certainly know how to hide alcohol. The range is bold, modern and moreish; I love the fact that Ink is 4% abv. There’s so many tasty stronger beers out there, you almost expect it to be a one-glass affair. It’s nice to be able to go to a pub and have more than one of a beer, especially if it’s a tasty one.
It wasn’t just Camden that the YT was serving up. Fyne’s Jarl was in stunning form – a perfect explosion of fresh Grapefruit to revive the weary traveller and kegged Cantillon provoked silence; pure, reverential silence. Good beer and good company.
According to Mark, Camden will be doing their best to get more beers into Yorkshire in 2012, so keep an eye out. The majority of the range may still be on at The York Tap now, so get on it!

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