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It has been two years since the legendary Ian Kilmister left this world after a life packed with rock 'n' roll. It seems fitting we honor him by raising our glasses with another Mötorhead inspired beer. This time the honor goes to Camerons Brewery from the United Kingdom and their Röad Crew American pale ale. Lemmy wrote “(We are) the Road Crew” - which appears on the legendary ‘Ace of Spades’ album - as a tribute to his crew about his time as a roadie for Jimi Hendrix. He took 10 minutes to write this anthem whilst in a North London studio toilet and in his own immortal words “It was the only quiet place in the building. I had an idea and I needed somewhere to work it through. That is the only song I can remember writing in the toilet."
I just love the life I lead,
Another beer is what I need,
Another gig, my ears bleed,
We are the road crew.
For us the big question was of course how this Mötorhead brew would compare with the previously reviewed Bastards lager by Krönleins Bryggeri. We won't go into a point by point comparison between these two beers, because every brewery must have had his own goal or philosophy in mind while brewing the beers and we want to respect that. However, preferences are as they are and we can say if presented the choice, we would go for this Röad Crew every time.
Poured from the bottle we have a copper/bronze colored beer. It has a decent white head at first that dissipates quickly, which is no surprise for English ales. You can see it is a lively beer with effervescence in your glass. The aroma is distinctly malty. The first gulps reveal medium carbonation and a light to medium body. There is nothing watery about this beer and a range of flavours greets you. The first thing you notice are the pronounced malts that are rather on the sweet side. The flavour hints of caramel toffee. This evolves further towards a refreshing citric touch. The hops have not been forgotten and we finish with a hoppy, grassy bitterness.
We always try to consider the conditions this beer will be drank too. We can imagine this pale ale might be served at shows or pubs where people are holding the beer in their hands causing it too warm quite a bit. Do not fear, however, as the Röad Crew does not go flat when you take your time to enjoy it. The hoppiness might die out a bit, but the sweet malty character and caramel notes remain. Another interesting fact is that the bottled version of this beer is slightly higher in alcohol. It packs a smooth 5% ABV while kegs and casks go only up to 4,5 % ABV.
Notes for beer geeks we read on Camerons official website:
Hops: Galena, Bambling Cross, H. Mandarina Bavaria, Huel Melon
Malts: Pale Ale, Wheat
A Mötorhead beer would not be complete without "Snaggletooth" ornamenting the bottle. While the Bastards lager used more gold coloring overall, the Röad Crew is more sober yet elegant. Mötorhead's name and "Snaggletooth" stand in white on a black field. The black label is smoothly finished in style with golden borders. Also the beer's name and the name of the brewery stands in golden letters in the iconic Mötorhead font across the label. I have the feeling that while Brands For Fans really wanted to promote the Bastards as a commercial Mötorhead beer, Camerons take more pride in their own name and work and have developed the Röad Crew more as a real tribute to the band. This is also clear from the explanatory words on the bottle which I copied mostly in the intro lines of this review. The packaging breathes more authenticity and as we could taste, this returns in the tasting as well.