Sunday, 28 July 2013

Beers Of London Series: 48. Camden Town Brewery - Pete Versus The World 8.1%

Beers Of London Series
48. Camden Town Brewery - Pete Versus The World 8.1%

I've reviewed Camden Town Brewery beers before, but this is the first that I've actually reviewed at the brewery and the first in this series so far that I've reviewed literally spitting distance from where it was brewed so I'm pretty sure I'm getting this just about a fresh as it could possibly be. I have to confess that I don't often visit the Camden Town Brewery as often as I should, it's very easy to get to (Overground to Kentish Town West, come out of the station, turn right, first right, then the next right turn takes you to the bar) but I find it a little oppressive. I don't know whether it's the tightness of the space or, at least when I've been there the seemingly constant vans or forklifts parked close to the seating area, but I just feel a little closed in and I never seem to stay for more than a couple of beers. This is a shame because the beer is delicious.
I visited there last Friday afternoon with my family and sister-in-law after an excursion to Hampstead Heath followed by lunch at The Southampton Arms. It was a warm sunny afternoon which has become very much the norm of late, so cold beer was definitely called for. The collaboration with Odell - Camden Versus Odell Brewing Co. - was the first beer I had and whereas I found it tasty, liquorice and coffee with a dry grassy finish, it wasn't really what I was after so I changed style and opted for the latest of the limited release beers - Pete Versus The World.
This Double IPA is hopped with Centennial, Citra, Amarillo and Cascade hops, and then dry-hopped with more Cascade and Amarillo. It is brewer Pete Brown's parting gift to the brewery, his last brew before he goes travelling, so I was hoping for something a little bit special. It pours a beautiful orange/brown colour, like highly varnished pine with a big foamy off-white head, and the aroma of light, grassy citrus, pineapple, grapefruit and pine. It's actually not that big an aroma, and certainly given the nature of the hops used I was expecting something a little less subtle, but this smells quite refreshing although there's a hint of dank hop fug lurking at the back and poking at your olfactory cells. It's quite harsh and a little abrasive over the tongue, and a big wave of pine sap sweeps in swamping everything in the process but this is quickly followed by some gooey orange barley-sugar sweets, great big lumps of grapefruit and lemon peel, before the pine sap returns, but in a rather more restrained drizzle. The aftertaste has the merest hint of mashed-up over-ripe banana instantly overlaid with cheek-suckingly tart orange, dry, sharp and a little oily.
This is quite a beer, and an excellent one for Pete Brown to finish on. Remember though that this is a limited release and won't be there for long, especially if this hot weather continues, so I'd suggest you get over there sharpish.

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