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.