Already a firm favourite with London's beer connoisseurs, Camden Town Brewery has now opened its on-site bar. Nestled in the arches of Kentish Town West Overground station, the brewery boasts some of the most advanced brewing equipment in any UK micro-brewery.
The bar opens on Fridays and will soon open Thursday through Saturday each week. It offers Camden Town's full core range of beers – Hells Lager, Camden Wheat Beer, Camden Pale Ale and the thick dark stout that is Camden Ink. The brewery also produces limited edition beers including the brilliantly named Black Friday, produced for the Friday the 13th launch of the bar.
The brewery produces an impressive range of beers to suit all palates, from their hoppy pale ale to the deep and dark tones of their stout. The joy of drinking in the brewery bar is having the full range of Camden Town beers available in a place where all the staff are knowledgeable about the products and how they are produced.
It's also satisfying to support a local brewery by enjoying its products on site rather than drinking a beer from a major multinational, shipped an enormous distance. Drinking at the bar also provides the opportunity to better understand the brewing process, aided by a brilliantly simple and informative diagram displayed in the brewery and on the walls of the toilets (pictured).
The bar (being in a brewery and all) is of course aimed at beer fans, but a couple of wines and a few spirits will sate anyone who doesn't enjoy the brown stuff as tipple of choice.
The bar still feels a little bit too shiny and new, which will no doubt improve over the coming weeks. It also feels relatively sparse as not all the furniture is in place. Having said that, the high ceilings, location below the train station and the outside seating area lend the bar a certain charm that will come into its own over the summer.
For the real connoisseur, the brewery offers regular tours on Thursdays and Saturdays. For £10, you'll be able to see this brilliant little brewery in action, with one of their fine beers thrown in for good measure. Throughout the summer, the bar will hook up with catering vans from Byron Hamburgers and a couple of other operators.
Although the bar doesn't feel entirely complete yet, it's an interesting location to sample some of the finest beers that you will get at a small London brewery. The passion and enthusiasm of the staff for their products really shines through.
By Andrew Taylor
Camden Town Brewery and bar is at 55-59 Wilkin Street Mews, NW5 3NN. The bar currently opens between 4pm and 11pm on Fridays. Towards the end of April it will start opening between 4pm and 11pm Thursday -Saturday.