Obviously, London gets a lot of love in the UK craft beer scene. Only really rivalled domestically by Manchester, the capital is one of the best places in Europe to sample varied and delicious beers from local independent brewers. In fact, 36 new breweries opened up in The Big Smoke in 2016 alone. Hopefully the fumes they waft over the city skyline are much nicer than those that gave London it’s 19th century nickname! But what are some of the best breweries around London’s tightly packed streets?
Brixton’s first (modern) brewery, this micro-facility is nestled under the arches of Brixton tube station, just two minutes’ walk from the bustling cultural and nightlife hub. Known for brewing some real interesting beer varieties since opening in 2013 (Ice Cream Pale Ale, anyone?), this popular drinking spot does bottle nights and brewery tours to supplement its small brewing operation.
We recommend: Crikey! (Sour Ale, 3.1% ABV) or Cold Harbour Lager (Pilsner, 4.5%).
No blog about London craft breweries would be complete without mentioning Beavertown. The brainchild of Logan Plant, son of Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant, Beavertown has come to dominate the capital’s craft beer scene over the past few years. With a range of great tasting and unique beers, complete with colourful and hip artwork, try one of their cans and you can see why!
Although, as we recently reported, they sold a decent stake of the company to brewing giant Heineken, in 2018. Not so independent anymore. But when the beer goes down this well, who really cares?
We recommend: Gamma Ray (American Pale Ale, 5.4) or Smog Rocket (Porter Ale, 5.4%)
One of London’s only ‘tank bars’, the beer here is pumped directly from the tanks of the brewery behind it. In fact, the giant metal containers are the biggest feature of this minimal bar in Hackney Wick. Unpasteurised and unfiltered, tank beer is a raw experience that many beer aficionados claim as one of the best ways to experience a brew. Sure, it may go off quicker – but we doubt Howling Hops care when pints upon pints are drank every weekend at this popular night-life spot.
With just three long rows of tables and a stripped back bar, prepare to get cosy with your neighbours if you come here in a small group. But then we guess that’s all part of the experience!
With their old school unpretentious labelling, and a reputation for top quality beer, this Bermondsey based brewer is quietly bubbling under the surface as one of London’s best brewers. So much so in fact, they had to close their Saturday taproom sessions in 2015 – because they were getting too busy. They make some of the best pale ales, stouts and old school London porters that you are likely to find in the capital. So, get down to their 9am to 2pm bottle shop on a Saturday and grab yourself a bottle of beery heaven.
We recommend: The Kernel India Pale Ale SCCANS (IPA, 6.9%) or King Jester Farmhouse Table (Saison, 4.1%).