Yesterday saw the return of Hells USA beer back at the Camden Brewery and a big party had been planned in honour of its renewal. It was £10 for an early bird ticket. This promised you entry to the party and each ticket holder recieved a pint of Hells, some insanely good street food and probably the most important ingredient, a giant red foam hand!
I contacted my chum Jamie to see if he wanted to check it out and thankfully he said yes. However, before we went to the brewery we decided to take a little detour to Shoreditch High Street to investigate a little pop-up store in Boxpark. The people at Robin Collective had created the Marshmallow Apothecary, which re-visited an old method of curing ailments by prescribing root of the marshmallow plant. Although these marshmallows were probably free of root extract, the idea was one too intriguing to overlook.
We entered Box 17 to find the little pop up shop filled with weighing scales, giant medicinal jars and many different ingredients.
We stepped up to the counter where we were given a free consultation to help identify any problems we may have been unaware of and also a possible marshmallow that could cure us. The flavours were interesting to say the least!
After some questions about our health and lifestyles we were prescribed everything between us haha! Probably should get a second judgement on that but we decided to take our dosage regardless.
A bit like those crazy flavoured jelly beans or a bag of Revels, they hid inside, looking rather innocent but we were both keen on avoiding “The Vice”, aka Coffee & Cigarettes!
We decided to take it in turns playing the guinea pig, rather like a confectionery based Russian roulette! I bit into a big white fluffy one.
The Cockney Quick Fix! Bourbon & Black Treacle, not bad at all!
A tentative bite.
He’s not sure!
Ooooo face contortions! Is it the dreaded Vice?
Only winding me up! Gin & Tonic, the lucky bugger!
Thankfully neither of us got The Vice and we finished the final few quickly and carefully and then set off for the Camden Town Brewery!
We knew we were in the right place when we found the cobbled street leading to the brewery lined with giant foam hands reading “HELLS YEAH!”
Although the weather was out to ruin the day, the place was pretty busy and it was going to take a lot more than some April showers to dampen the spirits of these party goers!
We were issued our Brewery Dollars for our pint, food and foam hand.
Ordered ourselves a pint of Hells finest.
And joined the party atmosphere!
We were quick to join the queues for Big Dirty Burger as the smells coming from their tent were incredible. We joined forces with Owen from FDOverLDN and on his recommendation I opted for the Gang Bang burger.
It was stacked high with a medium rare patty, crispy bacon, avocado and blue cheese aioli with lots of tomato jam and surrounded by a super soft brioche bun. Owen had been singing this burger’s praises in the lead up to this event and everywhere I looked people were proclaiming just how good it was so I quickly dived in and surprisingly enough, the first bite left me siding with them all!
The perfect burger for me squashes with all the ingredients melting together into one with the sauces mixing with the juices and generally just getting proper messy! It should also encompass lots of different flavours and this sums up the Gang Bang completely. The first thing to hit me was just how beefy the patty’s flavour was. I don’t know what cuts of meat they use sadly but whatever it was, it worked! Next was the crispy bacon. Adding a smokiness and that satisfying crunch found in all great bacon burger combos. The cool avocado and blue cheese aioli was a truly original addition. It was creamy and rich and an inspired substitute for the usual melted cheese. The final ingredient was probably the best of them all. You may be aware that I am a sucker for anything sweet, it’s probably why I’m such a big fan of a brioche bun. The patty stack is finally topped off with a delicious sweet tomato jam, which works so well with the beef juices, the brioche bun and the richness of aioli. It’s probably no surprise then that this burger has romped its way up into my top 5 burgers with ease, probably top 3! It really is that good!
Two foam fingers up from me!
If that wasn’t enough, they started handing out free popcorn in the classic American big red cups!
Another hour soon flew by and we had witnessed many different groups of people join our table, each with their very own monster of a burger. Soon enough our stomachs had gotten the better of us and we had to order another one to share! This time we went for the Dirty Pig. This was made up of bacon, molten cheddar cheese, mustard, pickles and that fantastic tomato jam again. This one split opinion however. Jamie thought this was the best out of the two but I was firmly situated in the Gang Bang’s corner as they had done something different with this one and done it very well indeed!
After finishing off our final halves and following it down with a few swigs of Hells, we decided it was probably best for both our wallets and our waistlines to make a move for home. The party was a massive success and Big Dirty Burger had definitely hit the spot. With the brewery only two stops up the Northern Line, I can see myself heading back there very soon for some more beer based shenanigans!
We The Food Snobs x