Camden BearD
Brewdog: Weird Beard Brewing Co: Camden BearD (England: American Pale Ale: 5.5% ABV)

Visual: Quite hazy marmalade to brown. Off white dash of a head.

Nose: Chunky marmalade. Lemon and shortbread. Grapefruit. Smooth hop character.

Body: Moderate but growing bitterness. Smooth and slightly milky. Porridge. Background pineapple notes. Mild marmalade.

Finish: Malt drinks. Moderate bitterness. Shortbread. Light citrus air. Very dry in its bitterness. Wheat.

Conclusion: So we open the collaboration fest with this easy going number, well easy going in flavour at least. The body has a quite stodgy feeling to it, with an oat porridge character that becomes very dry and noticeable in the finish. It has been said about Japanese food that the experience is as much about the texture as the flavour and there is a similar character to this beer, there is much more to examine how it feels than how it tastes.

The taste is quite mild, but there is interesting notes there with a mix of marmalade and pineapple, which helps to freshen up the oat feel. It isn’t bad but that porridge feel keeps pushing itself back into the forefront. It makes it too drying, and makes it less able to be sessioned which is the style that the flavour seems to favour. The texture is almost like that of a saison, but without the crispness in the hop character. The marmalade flavour plays a similar part that the spices would in a saison, bringing it to life a bit. This is by far the most interesting character of the beer.

It’s ok, but doesn’t really catch the imagination. I don’t hate it, but neither is it a beer I would pick to have again, it just doesn’t have a niche it really fills.

Background: Collab Fest 2013! Every Brewdog bar collaborated with a local brewery to make a beer for the fest, resulting in a grand total of twelve beers released over one weekend. So, what could I do? Normally I limit myself to two of three reviews in a session, but these would only be on for the weekend. So, for you, my readers, I sat in one eight hour stint, drinking thirds, with a glass of water and a chapter of Michael Moorcock’s Elric of Melnibone between each drink to help clear my palette. I suffer so for you. This, the first beer of the day, is a pale ale made with wheat and tons of American hops. I was unsure if I should put it under England For Weird Beard, or Scotland for Brewdog. In the end I plumped for England. As always I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog Beers.

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