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26th June 2012

Camden Town Brewery searches for its roots

In 1908, London held the fourth modern Olympics. It was the first in England’s capital and Great Britain won 56 gold medals, topping the leader board. But what beers were the spectators drinking in the pubs during the games? That’s what we wanted to find out at Camden Town Brewery…

As we approach the 30th Olympics, and the third held in London, we wanted to make a beer to celebrate the summer, so we decided to look back to the first London Olympics to bring a taste of history to modern beer drinkers in the capital.

From 1859 until it was sold to Courage Brewery in 1926, Camden Brewery was making beer a short walk from where Camden Town Brewery is now. Though not related to us, we researched the brewery and discovered that they owned a number of the pubs who we now sell beer to, including the Southampton Arms in Gospel Oak and the Exmouth Arms in Exmouth Market. We also found Camden Brewery’s old brewing archives in London, which showed us the beers they made and the recipes they used, including a pale ale and stout, two styles which we brew year-round.

Working with the old brewing books and information from beer historian Ron Pattinson, we wrote a recipe based on a pale ale from 1908. We chose pale ale because it was Camden Brewery’s main beer and it gives us, and drinkers, the chance to compare a pale ale from 1908 with one from 2012.

While Camden Pale is 4% ABV, bright gold in colour, very juicy and aromatic with citrusy American hops, Camden 1908 will be a deep amber colour, 5.5% ABV and earthy and bitter with a mix of English and American hop varieties.  It shows how much beer styles have evolved in 100 years.

Camden 1908 is a one-off limited edition brew that will be released during the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics on Friday 27 July at the Camden Town Brewery Bar.

Taste history in the summer of 2012 with Camden Town Brewery.

Camden Town Brewery started making beer in railway arches in Camden Town in 2010. The Brewery Bar opened in March 2012 so beer could be sold next to where it’s made. During the Olympics, the bar will be open every day from 12pm-9pm and the games will be shown in the bar. Camden 1908 is a limited-release beer and will be available in 30 litre kegs and 660ml bottles throughout the Olympics – the best place to try it is at the Camden Town Brewery Bar, which is in the brewery.

For more information contact Mark Dredge on or 0207 485 1671. Or visit: <>

Mark Dredge
55-59 Wilkin Street Mews
London NW5 3NN
Tel: 0207 485 1671
Mob: 07919577571