After 100 years of being defiled by Australia’s commercial brewers lager looked to most observers (until now) like a beer category on its last legs. Why would today’s generation of inked-up hipsters bother with something as insipid when they could get their hands on wonderful IPAs, APAs, Hefeweizens, Pilsners, Porters, Saisons, Sours and Stouts?
Lager, the backbone of the Australian beer trade, has become a byword for mediocrity. Lovers of craft beer (any many brewers) look in abhorrence at lager – the way wine buffs pooh-pooh sauvignon blanc or spumante. Australian lager is not a serious beer, just something wet in a glass.
But not any more. A small London outfit called Camden Town Brewery has created a lager which even committed lager-phobes will love. Called Camden Hells Lager (4.6%ABV), this blonde beauty is as pale as an English summer morning, but is packed with manly flavour, fuelled by Perle and Hallertauer Tradition hops.
Fresh, clean tasting and with a pleasingly bitter finish, Hells Lager has set the benchmark for lager brilliance around the world. Indeed, I can safely declare that Australia’s best lager is now being made in London NW1. And since it’s being shipped (in 330ml cans) to Australia every fortnight you’ll be able to enjoy this award-winning English lager (yep, get your head around that) at its most pristine.
And if you’re worried about being unpatriotic, don’t be. Camden Town Brewery is owned by an Australian expat called Jasper Cuppaidge who bought a pub in London and began brewing beer in the cellar. I’m glad he did. Thanks to Jasper, it’s going to be a great summer Down Under.
PS Camden Brewery has also released Gentleman’s Wit, brewed with lemon and bergamot, in Australia. Another winner from NW1. To learn more visit www.camdentownbrewery.com/