Review: We tried Camden Town Brewery's Marmite Ale
- Credit: Sally Patterson
Could this be Britain’s most controversial beer?
Last month, Camden Town Brewery launched the limited-edition Camden Marmite Ale, dividing beer-lovers across the nation.
I’ve tried some unusual flavour combinations in my time; chocolate-covered chickpeas (not a fan), pasta with hoisin sauce (don't knock it 'til you try it) and pickled watermelon chunks (actually quite refreshing).
But I have to admit, the thought of amalgamating beer with thick, sticky brown paste makes my stomach churn a little bit.
Even for a Marmite-liker (I wouldn’t stretch to lover), it sounded pretty off-putting.
Marmite belongs on toast in my grandma’s kitchen, beer belongs in a dingy, stale-smelling pub with stained carpets, and never the twain shall meet.
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Understandably dubious, I cracked open a tin of the Frankenstein beverage and took a cautious sip.
The first taste was hoppy ale, followed by a not-unpleasant smoky flavour.
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It wasn’t overwhelmingly Marmitey, though that’s probably a blessing.
I’m no beer connoisseur, but even to my unsophisticated palate the ale felt deep, rich and pretty moreish.
This isn’t the first time the controversial spread has snuck its way into other kitchen essentials.
Marmite-infused peanut butter, cream cheese and even artisan popcorn are all already on offer in British supermarkets, so perhaps beer was the next obvious collaboration.
And where better to trial the new concoction than the birthplace of one of the nation’s best-loved ales?
Camden Town Brewery, which was conceived at Hampstead's The Horseshoe pub over a decade ago, has become an iconic part of the area, setting up its headquarters in Kentish Town West.
The company behind Camden Hells has made the new ale from real Marmite, which apparently is a by-product of the beer brewing process.
According to the brewery, most of the beer yeast produced in the UK already goes into the breakfast spread, so the latest ale completes the cycle.
The unusual beverage is made from a combination of pilsner, Munich, smoked Rauch malt and finally, Perle hops from the brewery’s flagship Hells Lager, and then Marmite is added to the mix.
For someone who knows as little about beer as me, the only ingredient I recognise is the spread itself.
Overall, I’d say this Marmitey gimmick is definitely worth a try, for both lovers, haters and somewhere inbetweeners.