Sunday 9 June 2013

Beer Tasting: Camden Town Byron Pale Ale

On a recent visit to Camden Town Brewery I was happy to see that they were offering their Byron Pale Ale for sale. I've been to several Byron restaurants and have even enjoyed this beer before, but I don't typically take out pen and pad during a meal so I've never really put this beer through its paces, as it were. For those who don't know, Byron is a chain of burger restaurants with a high concentration of outposts in London and an ever-expanding universe outside of the Big Smoke. (For the record, Byron is, at present, my favorite burger house in London.) At some point Byron and Camden Town collaborated on a beer to offer at all the restaurants, and this beer is the result.

The beer pours crystal clear gold with a moderate, foamy white head. The nose gives off a decent bready malt punch, perhaps some lightly toasted bread, then behind that there are subtle citrusy hop notes. Light to medium sweet flavor with a prominent bready malt base, atop which an understated hop character adds enough character to keep the beer interesting. Some light dried pine, orange, grass. Light to medium bodied with average carbonation. Balanced finish, some dry and bready malts, slight minerals, delicate pine, grass and orange, some mild citrus rind bitterness. A pretty well-balanced APA. I would guess the restrained hop character is intentional, for in my opinion too strong a hop presence might not sit well with a burger. Having the breadiness out front is probably sage. This is a good, uncomplicated beer.

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