Camden Town Brewery launches 1908 pale ale for Olympics

Historic pints are being pulled in celebration of London’s third Olympic Games as the Camden Town Brewery launches a beer first poured 104 years ago.

The 1908 Pale Ale was launched during Danny Boyle’s spectacular opening ceremony last Friday (July 27) as crowds thronged into the north London brewery to join the party atmosphere.

Having discovered old archived records from a brewery that was operating in Camden during the capital’s first ever Olympics in 1908, the team decided to replicate what they believe was being made at the time.

Mark Dredge, head of communications, said: “The idea, ultimately, was what were the spectators drinking at the 1908 Olympics and can we make that beer, and make people drink that beer for the 2012 Olympics?”

Three different variations are on offer - a Goldings beer made with English hops; Cluster, made with American hops; and a Citra/Cascade, made with a new hop not used in 1908.

But the 1908 pale ale was not to everyone’s taste.

Stephen Balderson, a 21-year-old bar manager from Pimlico, said: “It’s the blandest non-massed produced beer since 1908. These guys make really good beer but this is just lacking.”

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Joe Walters, a Texan living in Kentish Town, said: “I quite like it. It has nice citrus notes. I don’t know what anyone would expect from it as it’s based on an old recipe so there’s not a lot of room for innovation.”

Emily Bourne, a 35-year-old civil servant from Crystal Palace, said: “I’m not really an ale drinker but it’s not bad actually. It has a very authentic taste, it makes me think of Sherlock Holmes.”

Asked why she had come all the way from south London to try it, she replied: “I couldn’t think of a better atmosphere to watch this historic event.”

The brewery is open from Tuesday to Saturday during the Olympics from 12pm until 10pm, except on Fridays when it will close at 11pm. The 1908 limited edition ale will be served until it runs out.