The Beer Writers Guild do was good, with decent company and some good beer. I liked the Orange Peel beer from Wadworth particularly, as did Eileen, but we could have done with a bit more of it. My pre dinner tipple was Thwaites Wainwright. Re-racked bright, but still in excellent nick and very drinkable. Thwaites are doing a lot of things right and will likely continue to do so I fancy.
The day after the do saw a nice invitation from Mark Dredge to visit him at Camden Town Brewery. Tyson and I set off in reasonably good time, but got lost and despite the good intentions of those that directed us onto various wrong buses, we made it, almost an hour later than intended. We declined Mark's kind advice to scale the fence to get in and were admitted more conventionally through a gate. The brewery is spread under a set of railway arches and is bright and shiny German made stainless steel and mostly automated, with its own small kegging and bottling line. It is all carefully fitted in to the tightest of spaces.
Beers on offer were the noted Camden Hell which was spritzy and refreshing. The Pale was lightly hopped and is apparently being tweaked at present. The two stars of the show for me however were the new stout, not yet released, so rather exclusive. Nitro kegged and very, very drinkable, with a clean, bitter taste, roasty malt and some sweetness. It should do well and of course, it knocks Guinness into a cocked hat. A German style hefe weizen, was deliciously bang in the middle of the style, while the Belgian witbier hit all the right notes. None of the beers are pasteurised, which certainly gets a tick in the box from me. The company was good too, with fellow bloggers Mark from Beer Birra,Beer making a late appearance and Fletch from Real Ale Reviews too, who seemed to materialise from nowhere, but as always was great fun to be with. They all were, even if these lads make me feel even more geriatric than usual!
Camden are doing lots of things right. There is a dynamic enthusiasm there and most of all, the beers are bloody good. Drink them with confidence.
Thanks to Mark D for the tour and the hospitality.
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, local CAMRA Chairman and activist, beer writer, beer reviewer and pursuer of all things good in beer. He lives in the North West of England and London. Despite his CAMRA membership, he does not limit himself to cask conditioned beer, though he believes that cask conditioning, when done correctly and appropriately, brings a quality to beer that is hard to equal by any other kind of presentation. He is a strong supporter of Northern methods of beer dispense and avidly detests poorly presented beer and dislikes pasteurisation. He regularly visits Germany, has conducted corporate British and German beer tastings for CAMRA at the Great British Beer Festival where he has worked for years on Biere Sans Frontieres and was Deputy Organiser at CAMRA's very successful National Winter Ales Festival in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and at the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival from 2013 to date. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink. He also judges beer at both the International Beer Challenge and the World Beer Awards.
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