What: A huge new beer hall that's launched on Camden Town Brewery's original north London site below the arches of Kentish Town West station.
Who: The project has been a labour of love for Camden Town Brewery founder Jasper Cuppaidge, who launched the business back in 2010. Theo Randall, who runs an eponymous restaurant at the InterContinental London hotel in Mayfair and a number of overseas hotel restaurants, has been brought in to curate a food menu designed to pair with Camden’s beers, which combines his ‘love for Italian cooking and seasonal ingredients with dishes you’d find in a Bavarian-inspired beer hall’.
The food: If we're honest, save for some freshly-baked pretzels there's not much here that's conventionally akin to the food you'd find at a Bavarian beer hall. Much of it is carb-heavy, though, and ideal for sharing. This includes the 'Beer Hall Platter' (£28), which is designed for four to six people and includes marinated roasted vegetables, mixed olives, fennel salami, bresaola, prosciutto, pecorino, burrata, focaccia and pretzels. For those to create more of a restaurant-style meal, there's also a range of pastas and small plates. They include fresh pappardelle with ragu of slow-cooked beef in red wine with San Marzano tomatoes (£15); twice-baked fontina soufflé with spinach cream and parmesan (£10); veg fritto misto with crisp-fried violet artichokes, asparagus, squash and tenderstem broccoli, served with a sage and herb vinegar (£9); and toasted sourdough topped with heritage tomatoes, capers, anchovy, grilled yellow peppers, basil, cucumber and red wine vinegar (£8). The standout dish, though, is the homemade cappelletti filled with slow-cooked duck leg, porcini mushroom and parmesan (£15).
The drink: As you would expect, the emphasis is very much on the beer. The Beer Hall boasts 24 taps on the bar, serving up Camden fan-favourites like the classic Hells Lager and Pale Ale, plus some limited-edition beer creations including those made in collaboration with London restaurants including Hoppers, Bad Vegan, and Homeslice. On our visit there was a total of 19 beers on tap to choose from, with some of the more unusual labels being the Arch 55: Ice Cream lager; and the Strawberry Hells lager. A short list of wines is also available, alongside a selection of soft drinks.
The vibe: As tap rooms go, Camden Beer Hall has all the classic elements that you might find in hundreds of converted railway arches around the country: exposed brick, low wooden tables, and neon signs. Split into two sections, with outdoor seating also available, it's a huge space, holding more than 200 covers in total.
And another thing: The opening of the Beer Hall has allowed Camden Town to bring its ‘Beer School’ experience to the masses. Having been running the classes internally for years, Beer Hall guests will be able to brush up on their beer knowledge over an exclusive brewery tour at the home of Hells, the chance to chat with the expert brewing team, and a beer tasting to finish. Events take place monthly, with more details available on the Camden Beer Hall social channel.
Wilkin Street Mews, London NW5 3NN