The Buck’s Head, Camden, November 2017

After a swift exit from The Elephant’s Head, we proceeded to the cranium of a different mammal, The Buck’s Head. This was more like it, a more comfortable environment, and actual, real beers on the bar, both cask and keg.

The world still needed to be put to rights, even though our group had dwindled from 6 down to 3. We hung around for a couple of drinks and a lot more chat. First up a good cask session pale ale, London Pale Ale from Southwark Brewing Co, just a few miles away and south of the river.

After that a pint of N7 from Hammerton Brewery, who are a few miles in the other direction in Islington. Lots of hops in the mix for this one but the malt bill makes it just a decent pale ale.

Good pints in a good pub. Will definitely come back next year…

The Elephant’s Head, Camden, November 2017

After dinner, drinks. Nobody wanted to stay for more fizzy flavourless stuff at The Diner, so we took another short stroll and found ourselves in The Elephants Head for a drink. I came here on my last stay in Camden, but it seems to have gone a bit downhill since then looking a bit more shabby than last time.

The beer choice seems to have dried up too. The only option was Elephant’s Head Ale, which is just a rebadged Caledonian 80/- (80 shilling), which hadn’t been well kept.

Now you understand why most of the check ins on Untappd are Smirnoff Ice and Kronenbourg!!!

Not long after we arrived, a dodgy looking bloke with a load of ancient 7 inch singles was setting up in a nearby corner. He then proceeded to play them, and we proceeded to leave.

The Diner, Camden, November 2017

There are a lot of places to eat in Camden Town. Between this and the hotel I was staying in (just a couple of hundred yards away) there are 5 or 6 to choose from. Between this and the Underground, there must be around 30 or 40. The establishment that I left to come to this one (Brewdog) also does food.

Someone else was deciding tonight, a project team outing with the day job (this hobby blog has not been sufficiently monetised to make not having a day job an option). We settled on “The Diner”, a small chain that has a few London branches. It’s another of those Tex Mex style places that has proliferated our cities in recent years. The usual selection on the menu, dirty burgers, chilli dogs, nachos, burritos and the like.

I opted for a southern style chicken burger and some spiced fries, both of which hit the spot nicely.

There was a nice looking American IPA on the bottled beer menu, but that had sold out (this seems to happen a lot at the minute, where the most intresting beers are those with the lowest stock levels).

So I settled for this Pacifico Clara, the Corona that you’ve probably not heard of. Like its more common namesake, it comes with a lime in the top, even if you didn’t ask for it to be wedged in there. Hopless and largely flavourless, it’s not much more than some coloured water. Now you see the point of the lime – to add actual flavour.

It was a decent dinner, but nothing special, and with so much choice nearby, I wouldn’t choose this above anything else.

Brewdog Camden, November 2017

A return to this particular dog, which I think I first came to in January 2013 when staying at the very hotel I’m staying at tonight. Before meeting for dinner, a quick trip round the corner for a pint (or more likely a couple of halves, to ensure maximum tasting opportunities).

So first up a Prototype Tangerine Session IPA:-

The prototype series gives a good opportunity for experimentation. Some of them turn out to be winners and occasionally become a new member of the BrewDog core range. Others are stopped in their tracks. I think this one might stop, as for me the tangerine was far too subtle and the hops far too muted. A beer that contains Ahtanum, Amarillo, Cascade, Chinook, Citra, Mosaic and Nelson Sauvin should have a lovely hop profile. A decent session pint for sure, but just nothing special. I think I kind of expect almost every BrewDog beer to blow me away in some fashion. If they don’t then it seems a bit of a let down.

To the other half then, Slot Machine, a red rye IPA following in the footsteps of Interstellar and Albino Squid Assassin, with the new Callista hop mixed in with Magnum and Amarillo, alongside rye and crystal malts.

The rye dominates the hops, but you can tell that they are floating around in there somewhere.

A short and sweet trip to this little BrewDog. Once again, I appear to have arrived on a beer club night, with an event happening downstairs, but I have to be elsewhere. See you next time I find myself in Camden Town (singing Madness songs as I wander the streets)…