21st Dec. Maltjerry’s Advent Calendar: Hells Bells! A statement of intent

21st December: Camden Town Brewery, (Unfiltered) Hells. 4.6% ABV
From: London, England. Type: Helles-style lager, keg (fresh). Source: Camden Town Brewery bar

We took a wrong turn, walking from Camden Lock up to visit Camden Town Brewery. Kentish Town brewery, more like. But anyway, some who read the brewery’s declaration of intent: to only brew beers suited to craft keg thought a wrong turn had been made by the entire brewery. They were wrong.

I’d had in mind to include the Camden Hells in the Advent Calendar, because it is an exemplary beer proving the wisdom of that statement of intent. In truth, all the beers I’d tried from Camden were very good; including the prototype sour. The Hells: a proper German-style Helles malty lager is almost set up as a challenge to all non-real-ale drinkers in Britain. A test of the craft beer “revolution”.


The filtered Hells is a great beer to celebrate the end of the working day: refreshing, quaffable yet tasty: a set-me-up. The unfiltered version, though, is on a plane above. Properly herby (just German hops, mind), with a satisfying mouthfeel, tangy and refreshing. One of those beers that, when you take a sip, takes you out of the conversation for a second.

We sat with barman Ferenc a while. He pointed out a simpler direction for us back to Camden Town station. I doubt Camden Town brewery is on a simple path, but I’m sure they haven’t taken a wrong turn.