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Disappointment of the week with Tris39 on the Pub Forum

BrewDog Camden, Camden Town, NW1

Pub added by elizabeth mcgraw
113 Bayham Street

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 6 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Blue Scrumpy left this review about BrewDog Camden

A much smaller than average branch of the BrewDog chain with a small ground floor bar and a basement bar too. The basement did appear to be open on my visit, but with seating available on the ground floor, I decided not to venture down.

The beer range is pretty much as to be expected - BrewDog Punk IPA, Elvis Juice, Mallow Laser Quest, Dead Pony Club, Arcade Made, Simcoe Solo, United Planet, Hazy Jane, Merciful Magic, Sour City, Southern Discomfort, Made For Us Amundsen, 50 Cuts & Male Order Martian, Omnipollo Double Noises, Northern Monk Everything All At Once & North Vs South & Overtone Emerald Shore. The cider was Hawkes Pineapple Punch.

My 13% Southern Discomfort did indeed cause me some discomfort in handing over £6.30 for a third, but was nevertheless as gorgeous as I'd hoped.

On 1st March 2022 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2452 recommendations about 2451 pubs]

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Moby Duck left this review about BrewDog Camden

Its a craft bar and they are what they are love em or hate em. I love their beers and don't mind their places, this one is a small single room as described by Tris below, there is also some downstairs seating but this was roped off on my lunchtime visit. There were around 8 BrewDog beers on tap plus around four guests, i stayed Dog and tried Dead Pony Club and Jet Black Heart, both to my taste if not a little pricey, but this was expected. I would have no problem calling in again, but unlikely to be in this neck of the woods too often.

On 18th November 2017 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1871 recommendations about 1844 pubs]

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Tris C left this review about BrewDog

I came here once with a friend in the late 1980s when this was trading under its original pub name of The Laurel Tree - we didn't go in as the customers looked a bit scary. Today, it's not the hipster customers who are scary, rather it's the area itself; this isn't exactly the Camden Town of Allen Bennett or Jonathan Miller.
The split level interior's very faux industrial with industrial lamps, filament bulbs, bare brick, lighting ducts and metal chequerplate flooring. Furniture comprises booths or stupid little high tables and beer is advertised on a cinema-style illuminated board above the bar. Muted music played over the gramophone, Verve's ubiquitous Bitter Sweet Symphony.
Ales: as with all craft beer ventures of this nature, I couldn't decipher the departure board so plumped for a half of Live Dead Pony Club craft at a blistering £2.50. It was ok and so it should be at that price.
We knew this wouldn't be our thing but at least I finally got to tick The Laurel Tree off my list, in one way or another.

On 14th October 2016 - rating: 2
[User has posted 1983 recommendations about 1949 pubs]

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I L left this review about BrewDog

This was the first Brewdog pub in London and celebrated its 1st birthday on 8th December 2012.
Its fairly small on the main level so can get pretty crowded if the basement area isn't open. Done in a similar style to their first pubs in Scotland using old sports hall timber flooring for some of the walls and school lab tables and chairs with tungsten lamps hanging from the ceiling.
The all keg dispensed beers are very similar to that as found in the USA small craft brewery bars.

Today, we had the 10.1% brewdog Choc+coffee stout and it was superb but the strength and price meant we took it easy having just a half pint!

They also have guest beers on with some from the USA craft brewers.

If you like alternative and strog beers then this is a great place to go but if you want more traditional cask ales then you won't appreciate is quite so much.

On 9th December 2012 - rating: 8
[User has posted 287 recommendations about 284 pubs]

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Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about BrewDog

A BrewDog. In Camden Town. Whatever prospect that conjours up for you, it will almost certain be met (be that good or bad). Anyway, there are lots of branded but otherwise anonymous taps so you need to study the chalk board for the available brews (of which there were ten), their strengths and (very importantly) prices. I opted for the 7.2% Libertine Black Ale (£3.50 for a half) which was interesting enough, but served so cold it took me a good while to sip it. Thankfully, I somehow managed to secure a vacant bar stool from which to observe the goings on with a certain detached bemusement. Overall, not really my cup of tea (but still worth a visit every now and then, perhaps?).

On 1st December 2012 - rating: 6
[User has posted 8086 recommendations about 8086 pubs]

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Quinno _ left this review about BrewDog

This is the first London outlet for craft keg merchants BrewDog, which opened at the end of 2010. Located in a Camden side-street on the premises of a former restaurant, it’s a fairly small two-floor operation. The basement was closed when I visited due to a reservation-only tasting session, so the irregular evening punters were squeezed in upstairs (the basement, I am told has its own bar and a load of board games). The ground floor area is decorated in a fairly minimalist manner with a mixture of grey painted, exposed stone and wood-covered walls. Of interest was the large solid granite bar top, a nod to the brewery’s home in northern Scotland. At the bar were a load of black unbranded keg taps (no cask here of course). You have to look up to a blackboard to see what’s actually on, which is an irritation especially on a cold day when my glasses were too steamed up to be able to see properly. I eventually worked out that there were around 10 tap beers available, a number of BrewDog’s own plus a few from various small ‘craft’ breweries from the UK and beyond. ABV’s were generally well-above 5% and, as stated elsewhere, measures were far from uniform so you need to do a double mental calculation to work out whether you were getting a half, two-thirds or (gasp) a pint for your money and how that actually works out per mouthful, if you will. Prices were fairly steep for many of the beers which, whilst I wouldn’t begrudge for imported stuff, struck me as rather excessive for the UK beers that, after all, are pasteurised and kegged which gives it a much longer shelf life (weeks) than cask (about 3-4 days) and therefore a larger margin per barrel? There were also quite a number of bottled products available, with US heavily featured. Branding is quite evident, despite the ‘anti-corporate’ ramblings emanating from BrewDog HQ with ‘manifestos’ on each table; indeed I overheard someone asking a barman if they could leave some leaflets for an event only to be told that the pub doesn’t allow anything that isn’t ‘ours’. The staff were at least less obviously snotty than I anticipated given the venue and location. I tried a Beavertown 8 Ball Rye which was, inevitably, very cold but tasted OK after a few minutes of hand-warming (chilblains notwithstanding). I managed to grab a high stool at a crowded table which made for a fairly unrelaxing beer and I was disinclined to stay for another, lest I return and find my perch gone. I noted that food was offered (burgers, pizzas etc) and that, in a rare fit of humour, there was a note pinned to wall asking customers to be quiet on leaving as the neighbours “can get violent”.

To be honest this isn’t really one I’d rush back to as I think the ‘Craft’ pubco brand are generally more enjoyable places to try the adventurous world of high abv/£££ keg beer in the capital.

On 25th October 2012 - rating: 6
[User has posted 5072 recommendations about 5055 pubs]

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Pub SignMan left this review about BrewDog

This is the latest venue opened by Brewdog and I believe their first outside Scotland. The premises used to be a restaurant, but are now set up to showcase Brewdog's 'craft' beers, as well as a selection of rarities from the US and beyond. The thing that struck me when perusing the large blackboards above the bar, trying to decide what to order, was that almost all the beers on offer were 5% or stronger, with only Blitz and 77 Lager at lower abv's. The rest of the range included 5am Saint, Punk IPA, Hops Kill Nazis, Riptide, Hardcore IPA and a collaborative brew called Lost Dog, all of which were keg products, with no handpulls visible. I gave the 5am Saint a try, but found it was served far too cold to enjoy what I've come to know as a lovely flavoursome beer. Another problem seems to be the way the beers are priced. The blackboard lists prices for all the beers, but they are not all for the same measure, with the three or four weakest beers priced as pints, most of the others priced as halves and the Lost Dog priced as a third of a pint (£4.50). This seemingly gives them a bit of leeway to play around with their margins, as my half of 5am Saint cost me £2.10, whilst a pint was priced at just £3.95.
The pub itself is a two floor set up, with some decent seating on the ground floor, including some comfy looking sofas, plus a huge selection of board games. The basement has its own, cash only bar, but with a limited range. It was showcasing four beers from the Lagunitas Brewing Company of Petaluma, California. High metal tables and stools plus a few more sofas made up the seating options. The whole place is decorated in a drab gun metal grey with some exposed brickwork and wood block sections of wall. The whole effect was pretty uninteresting and if this is what is considered to be 'punk' in this day in age then I think the word needs redefining. There was however, a good crowd in for a Sunday evening, so at least there was a bit of atmosphere.
I'd been looking forward to visiting this place and testing out the keg versions of beers that I know and like. However, I found the whole thing pretty average at best, with the beer so cold as to make it tasteless, the pricing expensive and confusing and the decor drab and depressing. I think I would give this place another try, at least because there aren't many better alternatives in this part of town, but when compared to some of London's other 'craft' beer venues, Brewdog are lagging some way behind.

On 9th February 2012 - rating: 6
[User has posted 3114 recommendations about 3114 pubs]

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Steve C left this review about BrewDog

Brewdog opens daily at noon and closes at 23:30 Monday to Thursday, Midnight Friday and Saturday and 22:30 on Sunday. This isn’t the best location tucked from the main drag and a scribbled note on the wall by the door asks customers to keep the noise down when leaving as “our neighbours can get violent”, I’m sure they can! This isn’t a very big venue, but thankfully it wasn’t very busy during my Wednesday lunchtime visit last week. Some of the seating was reserved for a group who came in just after me, but I grabbed a table by the window to sup on my pint of 4.9% 77 lager. To be honest I wasn’t that impressed with it and thought it expensive at £4 a pint. There is an extensive list of other beers that I did not try up on the chalkboard and the bar supports eight draught dispensing posts. There was some low background music playing and some board games are available. Burgers, pizzas and bar snacks are available and apparently Masterchef winner Tim Anderson designed the menu. As it was lunchtime I decided to have the £5 cheeseburger which was nothing to write home about.
Take away is available in 2.2 litre growlers that cost £6 before the beer is put in. T shirts, Hoodies and glasses are available to purchase from this company that tries to distance itself from commercial breweries.

As a bar this place is good with a range of beers not found anywhere else in the area, but I prefer a good old solid boozer. I doubt that I will return.

On 30th January 2012 - rating: 6
[User has posted 5231 recommendations about 5199 pubs]

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paulof horsham left this review about BrewDog

It seems necessary to set out a few caveats before I start: I am agnostic on the cask v keg debate; I think that Brewdog make some fine beers, as well as some that are average and a few that are ridiculous; their 'look-at-me' marketing is somewhat tiresome. And why am I telling you this? Because it's Brewdog and they tend to polarise opinion.

So, what do we find in the new Camden Town bar? Well, it's not a big place, that's for sure. There is a room downsatirs, but that wasn't in use when I popped in. The main room has a raised table with about half-a-dozen seats, with smaller tables round the perimiter.

The bar is typical Brewdog: two banks of black taps. Unfortunately, these give no indication as to what's on offer - if you want to know what's available, you'll need to refer to the blackboard suspended above the bar, which is all very well but, from time to time, it's necessary to update the board... Fridges contain a range of bottles, primarily from the U.S.

The food offering is (surprisingly for the brewery and locality) not vegetarian friendly. The adjacent table didn't seem impressed by the range, although quality was not a problem.

To the draft beer then and, yes, it's all Brewdog and all keg. They draw on the full range, so there's some interesting stuff but it is, as already noted, much too cold. Not only that, but the pint glasses are unlined and the standard pour appears to be seriously adrift of a full measure. Halfs are a better deal as these are clearly lined and, furthermore, warm up rather quicker. The Christmas (or Winter) Porter was a better option by the half than 5 a.m. Saint by the pint. Given the brewery's advocacy of two-thirds of a pint measures, it is surprising that these do not seem to be available: only the traditional pint & half-pint are offered as far as I could tell.

In summary then: is it worth a visit? Well yes, if only to make up your own mind. Overall, though, I'm inclined to opt for the greater range offered by the likes of Craft & Cask, as well as the fact that these offer a good range of cask ales as well.

On 8th January 2012 - rating: 6
[User has posted 453 recommendations about 425 pubs]

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Bucking Fastard left this review about BrewDog

A spartan interior on the ground floor with only a few small tables,a hightable and stools and some room for vertical drinking.The large granite bar top was the most interesting feature and harks back to the location of the brewery.The basement was off limits to those not booked on a tasting event so unexplored on our visit but this additional space may help absorb curious punters wanting to sample the BrewDog experience in the future.The doorman's only function was to politely open the door,and despite the recent opening the bar was by no means rammed.
The BrewDog insignia and branding is very evident with a strap line "beer for punks" and there were a number of drinkers like myself who were part of the new wave in the 70's,so it's not just a younger drinkers establishment and there was also a fair smattering of women tippling the strong beers.
As Mr Phat notes,the beers we tried were heavily overcarbonated and cold which reduced the taste to just a hint of that available in the cask form.I was a little bloated after two pints and was belching for Britain as we departed in the search for a more acceptable pint.
Once all the hype has died down and the twitteratti have moved on to the next big thing,it will be interesting to see if this venture retains it's cache given the location on one of the less fashionable streets in Camden.
If you are a fan of kegged craft beers this is probably your market,as for me I have satisfied my curiosity.

On 16th December 2011 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2727 recommendations about 2727 pubs]

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