What could be better for IPA-loving, lager-reviving hipsters? Take a lager, pack it to the brim with hops and whack India in the name. That’s just what Camden IHL is. And people love it. So I’ve decided to find out what the Hells all this fuss is about.

First things first: presentation. It’s a lovely looking can. Big, bold yellow lettering taking pride of place on the intricately designed white on black background featuring animal headed monks and cherubs seemingly venerating the very name of the beer. Bloody hipsters.

camden ihl

I felt like I was in some sort of slickly edited advert for beer when I opened it in a bit of a hurry, rushed it from can to glass and saw the gold liquid with a fluffy white head. I was a bit worried the initial perfect pour would outdo the drink itself.

I didn’t fear for long though. A big whiff of resinous peachy hops begged me to drink it. The flavour is near indescribable – it’s fruity and spicy and sweet and peppery and has a big green note like pure resiny hop oils, but none of the cloying, sticky, mouth-glued-shut type of thing you might mind in many IPAs. I won’t bother attempting to describe it any more than that, because you simply have to go and buy some of this yourself. I don’t want to ruin it for you.

camden ihl glass

I’ve never counted myself as a hop head. I like balance. Hops for hops sake is a trend I can’t get on board with, that I think has just lasered on to the defining quality of many popular beers today and tried to up the ante, getting more and more and more extreme, with drinkers becoming more and more familiar with and conditioned into thinking is “better”. I disagree, and I digress. I’ve always been a bit afraid of beers billed as “hop bombs” and now things that start with “India” – another slightly annoying trend – I’m expecting India Cream Ales and India Quadrupels and all sorts of nonsense to appear soon). This has opened my eyes though. This is a realisation. This is an epiphany.

This has everything I like about IPA without any of the things I dislike about IPA.

It’s 6.2% ABV, so if I drank it all day I might be in trouble. But I could. I soooo could. I should.

I might.

Good job I bought three cans.

Shame I didn’t buy more.

Go and try Camden IHL as soon as humanly possible.

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Niall is the editor, chief writer and head drinker of The Missing Drink. Not a single drink goes untasted by this man. He likes unusual beers and sweet cocktails, and hates writing author biographies.

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