I lack the focus and drive to fully embrace The Beer O’Clock Show’s #12BeersofXmas, but seeing as I enjoy drinking and writing about beer I decided to do my own half-arsed take on it. Not all of the beers will be typically festive but f*ck it, I’m a maverick. Mark Landells got proceedings off to a stupidly amazing start with his music & beer post which you can read here.
As for me, where better to start off my #12BeersofXmas (my catholic upbringing still makes me shudder at the use of “Xmas”) than at Camden Town Brewery. I went along yesterday to pickup a T-Shirt and stein glass, (or more accurately a Maß as self-declared glassware pedant @ informed me) for my nephew’s Christmas stocking. I arrived at opening and had the place to myself, and as I scanned the tap list my eyes were drawn to the guest beers which featured two iconic US breweries, Lagunitas and Ska. Thankfully it’s fairly easy to get some Lagunitas in your face these days with the brewery making inroads to the UK craft beer scene. Ska less so, and while you may see the cans of Modus Hoperandi in your favourite craft boozer they tend to be less than fresh in my experience. With an abundance of great home-grown IPAs, better to buy local in such circumstances.
So I awarded myself a chufty badge when I saw it on keg and duly ordered a half pint (at 6.8% it packs a punch and I had a session at Duty Nelly’s to come). It was everything you want from a US IPA – a firm caramel malt backbone with hops battering you about the chops with the aroma and taste of grapefruit and pine. And the setting? The subject of context is vital when it comes to experiential beer tasting (fuck you, I said it) and enjoying the vibe at CTB, all snug and warm while outside was a cold, crisp and sunny day made it a pretty fine Saturday afternoon, and a great way to start #12BeersofXmas.