Camden is an area with a strong music history, and you can’t have live music without a lot of pubs and bars. However Camden is also famous for its markets and unique local character, therefore it’s not surprising that it is quite touristy. However even on a wet cold Tuesday night in winter, it is a great place to go out for a few drinks
I’ve lived here for three years but have been drinking in these bars for the last eight, here is a selection of mainly craft pubs that makes a nice little crawl, although I’ve thrown in a few non craft as well.
The beer selection at this pub has transformed over the last five years, it now has some pretty decent beers alongside the usual London pub selection. Saturday night is Soundtracks where every song is a winner, and check their website for themed quizes such as Game of Thrones or Breaking Bad. They also host regular live music, comedy and talks. This is the sort of pub you want to live close to.
What to Drink? Camden Pale Ale on draft, Goose Island on bottle or Five Points on cask.
Tapping the Admiral
If you’re a tourist, you would consider this a proper English pub. Redeveloped last year from a local boozer to something a bit more interesting. Winner of CAMRA North London Pub of 2013, the pub now offers a lot of London beers on cask and keg along with a few German lagers. There’s usually a cat about as well (called Nelson) and they have a fun pub quiz.
What to Drink? Go for something local on cask from Hackney Brewery or similar.
Camden Brewery Bar
Since the Camden bar opened in 2013, my visits have been limited by them only being open three days a week and bad weather. They have rotating street food traders most nights so there is always something interesting to eat, and the staff often try and match the food with different beers.
What to Drink? Unfiltered Pale or Unfiltered Hells are rather special, or go for something seasonal such as their 2013 Triple currently on the go.
The Brewdog guys opened their first London pub by driving a tank up and down the street. This bar is a great place to grab a drink, they have busy evenings but you still get served quick enough and their selection is impressive – it’s not just their own beers but some stunning guests as well from all over the world.
What to Drink? The taps change so frequently here it’s hard to suggest anything. But there is always something interesting to try, the staff are usually knowledgable so just chat to them. If not just go for Dead Pony Club.
Just down from Brewdog is the Black Heart, a great live music venue, but also a great selection of beer. Lots of American bottles and a rotating keg line that will sate your thirst. Tends to be a bit more punk so you’ll appreciate the Camden atmosphere.
What to Drink? Sirens or whatever American IPA they tend to have on.
Other places in and around Camden that you may find worth a visit.
The Lock Tavern
Just down the road from the Monarch, a bit nicer, but had a half decent selection of bottled beer and cask. It’s open until late on the weekend and has a good roof garden.
What to Drink? Camden on draft or Flying Dog/Bear Republic on bottle
A true music legend of a place, dingy but full of character and occasionally minor celebrities in the music world. Also good for late nights. Not so strong on the craft beer front, but I’m just emotionally attached to it.
What to Drink? – try and already be drunk.
Let me know if you’ve think I’ve missed anything off this list. Have fun and I’ll probably see you in one of the pubs!