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Friday, 20 January 2012

BrewDog, Camden

Mr. Salmond will be delighted: English pounds are flying over the counter in droves, lining the tills of a new pub selling Scots ales to Sassenachs. Bolstering the Caledonian economy, this reconfigured Camden boozer is a first foray south of Hadrian’s Wall for Aberdeenshire indie craft beer maestros, BrewDog. Its pared down interior, all post-punk hard-edged industrial, doesn’t suggest the sort of posh boy establishment where Scotland’s First Minister need fear running into his nemesis, the pro-Unionist, Old Etonian, British PM. ‘Trashy Blonde; Hardcore; Punk IPA; Nanny State: this isn't the sort of place for nice Notting Hill people like us, SamCam, darling.’  Despite the daft lads-on-the-lash names, these brews are no dogs. Draught ales, including curios such as a wasabi stout, are available in small sampling measures and enthusiastic staff soon hook me up with sophisticated, complex and rewarding stuff, not least celestial red, 5am Saint (£3.95). Tonight, Sink The Bismark - possibly the world’s strongest beer at an insane 41% abv (as strong as whisky) - is off, so I sink Tactical Nuclear Penguin instead. Intense, dense, smoky, treacly stout: it tastes like barbecue sauce laced with whisky and asphalt. Bizarre. At 32% abv, it could also nuke a hungry predatory killer whale . Smart tactic indeed, Pingu!
113 Bayham St NW1 7284 0453