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113 Bayham Street
Scotland’s largest indie brewery has chosen a Camden backstreet for its first foray into London’s burgeoning craft beer scene. The old Laurel Tree pub, latterly a sushi bar, has been stripped back
& the focus has shifted onto a cast of Aberdeenshire-brewed ales. Crude graphics & studenty names – Trashy Blonde, Punk, & Hardcore – set the ‘jokey blokey’ tone, while even more
hardcore brews such as Tactical Nuclear Penguin & Sink the Bismarck – at a mind-blowing 32% & 41% abv respectively – are not so much beers as Scotland’s own nuclear deterrent. Otherwise,
try Mr Miyagi wasabi stout or a brace of porters from a head-banging offer of 150 bottles & 20 draughts including De Dolle, Struise & California’s Lagunitas (hitherto unavailable in
Britain). Burgers, pizzas & platters come courtesy of MasterChef winner, Tom Anderson. One for geeks & geezers, if not Gucci loafers.
113 Bayham Street
Camden Town Tube Station 176m
Camden Road Station 372m
Camden Plaza Cinema 221m
Odeon Cinema Camden 264m
Mon-Sun 12N-11.30pm (Fri-Sat -12M Sun -10.30pm)
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 4
Having visited this pub several times, most recently last night I thought I would share my impressions thus far.
Firstly the beer is fantastic! The ever-rotating selection of top quality finely made craft beers is second only to the Craft Beer Co and their sister pub Cask Pub & Kitchen. Brewdog ales are packed full of flavour and do not disappoint on any level. A very friendly and knowledgeable bar staff (girl with red hair) walked me through the intricacies of 2 different versions of IPA is Dead, one made with hops from NZ and the other from Britain, Hardcore IPA, Chris from Stone’s Stout, and hands down my favourite Hops Kill Nazis. Those were just some of the Brewdog ales on tap with an equally impressive guest ale list there was more than enough options for any discerning beer drinker.
After having a couple of these rocket powered beers of course the hunger set in. The first thing we tried to do was look at the tables for menus. Not seeing them and noticing a long board to the left of the bar with two sections: 1. Pizzas 2. Badboy Burgers. The very friendly bar staff assured me that food was possible and went on to describe in detail their 3 burger options (Classic style burger, pork burger, and curry rubbed burger w/cucumbers) and their 3 types of pizza (2 meat options and the only veggie option offered a veggie pizza) including recommendations. Fuelled with descriptions and recommendations we placed our order. Intrigued by the title Badboy Burgers I decided on a burger. While ordering another staff member (who I later found out it was the duty manager) heard me ordering and when I asked whether the burger came with chips or crisps he interjected in a very arrogant and swaggering tone suggesting that this burger was so good and so big that I wouldn’t need chips, or anything else for that matter. I then followed his comment by suggesting that I would still like to order some and it finally came out that they do not serve chips with their burgers, or at all. Crisps, no, not them either. I asked well what comes with your burger and the manager replied ‘the other half of your burger’. He then went on to boast that if I wasn’t satisfied entirely with my burger and if I still thought I needed chips with it that he would in fact eat his hat…He actually said this. So my order was burger for me and matey, pizza for the Mrs. and two other veggies.
It wasn’t too long before the first site of food was made. Two burgers arrived with no mention of the missing pizzas. We waited and nothing else came so me and the other burger went ahead and started eating thinking the pizzas would come soon enough and not wanting our food to get cold. Anyway, both my mate and I finished our burgers (which wasn’t hard as they really were not that big), had our plates cleared before there was any sight of the rest of our groups missing food.
Shortly after the pizzas arrived the manager came by our table and leaned over to ask how it was. Having been promised the world and only received a small under flavoured burger and 25 minutes later the other half of our order I mentioned the discrepancy between his promise of grandeur and the reality: a board with a small burger on it. The young manager listened to my account of my meal, my disappointment in the burger and lack of chips and the incredibly poor timing on bringing the food out and I was met with a barrage of excuses about how the pizza stuck to the bottom of the oven the first time and had to be remade which is why the burgers were out first, how the head chef walked out the week prior, how they weren’t really a restaurant etc. I had to stop him and remind him that he in fact asked my impressions of the meal which I just paid for and consumed in his place of business. At that point he could really only apologize which he did and offer to refund my burger if I was dissatisfied. I informed him that I wasn’t dissatisfied and a refund was not necessary but I let him know that I was disappointed. I reminded him of his promises, the board which the description of the burger was written on describing them as ‘Badboy’ and let him know that after all of that boasting and arrogance, I felt obligated to feed back about my experience. Again he started making excusing saying that the burgers were designed by an American and that they should be good because he knew that he liked them, followed by a bit of blame for the interim cook to which I politely ended the conversation by saying that I really liked the beer Brewdog was producing however that their food and arrogant attitude left much to be desired.
So my advice is, go to Brewdog and drink the beer, then when you get the munchies leave and go to a real restaurant.
In hindsight, it is no surprise that BrewDog ended up in Camden Town; it is the perfect place for the furry hat wearing, self-proclaimed “punks” of BrewDog to set up their first Sassenach stronghold. Trendy: bit out there, a bit edgy, a bit whacky and all just a lot tacky. Total grunge. The perfect marriage.
For the boys at BrewDog, and of course it is boys, have made a habit out of baiting the Daily Heil reading population of this fair isle: shove a bottle up a squirrels arse? Oh yeah, done that whacky little number. Invent the (at the time) world’s strongest beer, a 32° monster and call it Tactical Nuclear Penguin? Indeed so – that’ll get the blue rinse brigade spluttering into their morning valium. Issued shares to the beer swilling masses? Of course; how non-conformist is that? Hang on. What?
Oh yes, our friendly punks have forgone the pogoing and gobbing of punks when I was young, and taken the City option: get the proletariat not only to buy your mind altering drinks, but then sell off the production to them too. Lady Thatcher would be proud: “If you see McSporran tell him”.
The terrific bar is small, populated by a predominantly male audience, although not your usual bearded CAMERA crew, a more Camden experience all round: more tats and piercings than beards. You can tell you are in a trendy bar: the lads are wearing wooly hats. Indoors.
They serve some nice little tasting platters, at really good prices, but this place is all about the beer. And there is a fair range; ten BrewDogs on tap, ranging from the “lighter”, almost fruity Trashy Blond (at a mere 4°), through a mixture of dog (Dogma), blokey (5am Saint) and punk (Punk IPA) related names, plus guests from (at the time of writing) the US and Denmark. Given the range, it is great that the bar staff take their time with you, letting you have a taster before you pick whichever wackily monikered poison takes your fancy.
The stronger the beers get, the smaller the glasses they come in, until you get to the aforementioned Penguin, and a behemoth called Sink the Bismark, that weighs in at a totally absurd 41°. To put this in perspective, the gin that they serve is 40°, comes in a smaller serving and is watered down with a mixer. This is an insane drink. Stupid; there can be no possible justification for brewing it other than to prove you can. It is just like the warning on South Park: “This should not be viewed by anyone”, well this should not be drunk by anyone.
I have to try it. I shall be back to do just this, but not when it is both a school night and I am with the wife. In fact, probably not when it is either.
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