Saturday, 22 Sep 2018

A crafternoon in London! Discover the best breweries in the capital

London has a lot to offer in terms of pubs and bars. From small and quaint public houses with their own band of regulars to thriving gastro pubs offering up a worldly range of culinary delights, there’s choice, it seems, at every turn.

But if you want to try something a little different, and perhaps something a little off the beaten path, then you should opt for an afternoon sampling some of the finest craft beers this city has to offer.

There are plenty of options to choose from. From the Bermondsey Beer Mile, a series of breweries and cideries that have popped up under the arches of the elevated train tracks, to the quirky industrial settings of North and East London, you will be spoilt for choice.

Remember, a crafternoon in London is an afternoon well spent. Plus, you can regale your family and friends about the hours spent in the company of tall, refreshing Belgians or a full bodied Americans. No-one needs to know they were beverages.

We’ve picked six of the best breweries in London to get you started. Oh, and if you’re not living in London, why not book yourself a hostel and make a weekend out of it?!

1. Crate Brewery, Hackney Wick

Crafty by beer, crafty by nature, the Crate brewery is a credit to its sustainability focused owners. The upcycled venue is made up of old railway sleepers, ladders, pallets and even some rusty bed springs. Keep an eye out when you visit and see if you can spot their new uses. (Hint: look up).

We know we’re not here to talk decor and we promise we’ll get to the beers but before we do, a special mention must go to their delicious handmade pizzas which are cooked in-house in their stone bake oven. Yes, our mouths did just fill up with saliva. So did yours.

And what’s a better way to wash down three or four personal sized (read: large) pizzas than with a couple of ice cold beers straight from the source. You won’t be short for choice here. Not only do the Hackney Wick natives brew their own well known beers, they also regularly feature guest beers from breweries around the world. If you want to go for some local specialities, we recommend sampling the Crate lager, a refreshing golden amber beer, or if you’re after something a little more fragrant, then the Crate IPA is definitely worth a try. Be warned, at 6%, it’s definitely packing a punch.

? Unit 7, Queens Yard, Hackney Wick, London, E9 5EN

? Check out their Instagram

London breweries - crate brewery hackney wick

2. Beavertown Brewery, Tottenham Hale

Originating in De Beauvoir Town, as a home brew to supply his pub, Duke’s Brew & Que, and born from a love of US craft beer, Beavertown was founded in 2011 by Logan Plant. In 2014, as production demands increased, he moved the brewery to a massive site in North London where their taproom is open to the public every Saturday from 2pm – 8pm.

While most Beavertown crowd pleasers, like Gamma Ray and Neck Oil, are available on tap in London pubs, the brewery is worth a visit to try out the wild cards. Some of their more eclectic offerings like Lupuloid, a heavy hitting 6.7% ABV India Pale Ale, are available in their taproom, as is Smog Rocket, a smoky porter inspired by London’s Industrial Revolution. A literal taste of the city!

The also have an experimental taproom onsite where they age, sour and experiment with different recipes. The Tempus Taproom opens to guests once a month. Guests can sample great new launch beers, delicious cheese in an intimate setting with just 30 people per sitting.

? Units 17 & 18, Lockwood Industrial Park, Mill Mead Road, Tottenham Hale, London N17 9QP

? Check out their Instagram

 

3. Bianca Road, Bermondsey

Making up one of the many breweries along the Bermondsey beer mile, Bianca Road came to be as a by product of a bicycle road trip in America which took them the 4,800 miles from San Francisco to Miami. Along the way they stumbled across local breweries, trying unique blends and falling in love with American craft beer. The founders came home with a mission – to make British beer great again.

And you can judge for yourself on how well they’re doing. Open from Thursday to Saturday you can try their best selling beers like their American Pale or their Long Play IPA, a bright and refreshing IPA all-day session ale.

The team at Bianca Road aren’t afraid of a little experimentation either. As well as their staples brews, they produce seasonal offerings like LA Bloods, a fruity and refreshing summer beverage, packed with blood orange juice and orange zest.

? Bianca Road Brew Co, 19 Pages Walk, Bermondsey, SE1 4SB

? Check out their Instagram

london breweries - bianca road bermondsey

 

4. Camden Town Brewery

Another brewery that found its home under the arches of a railway bridge, Camden Town Brewery is considered the Granddaddy of London craft breweries. They may be one of the more mature establishments but that doesn’t mean they’ve slowed down. In fact, they’ve since expanded out to Enfield in North London to open an even bigger brewery.

The smaller brewery in Kentish Town, birthplace of Camden Hells, is open to the public from Thursday to Sunday. Outdoor seating, food stalls, and live music are as plentiful as the beer on tap. The bigger brewery is also open to the public and hosts bottomless brunches, brewery tours, and various events throughout the summer months. The perfect place to spend a few of your holiday hours.

? 55-59 Wilkin Street Mews, London NW5 3NN

? Check out their Instagram

 

5. Fourpure, Bermondsey

Another Bermondsey native, Fourpure is tucked away at the back of an industrial estate just down the road from the Beer Mile. The unofficial last stop, they know their audience and host everything from BBQs and Meatopia events to pizza parties and continental collaborations.

You can also take a tour of their brewery and taproom where you’ll be able to sample some of their small batch brews and one-off beers. When are we going?

? 22 Bermondsey Trading Estate, Rotherhithe New Road, London SE16 3LL

? Check out their Instagram

london breweries - fourpure brewery bermondsey

6. Beer Merchants Tap, Hackney Wick

Packed to the brim with 20 keg taps, 2 cask pumps and over 500 beers and ciders from the world’s best breweries, you will be the adult equivalent of a kid in a candy shop when you step foot inside Beer Merchants Tap, Hackney Wick’s self proclaimed “best craft beer pub”.

Everyone is welcome. Bring yo’ kids (but supervise them), bring yo’ dog (but supervise them), bring yo’ parents (and have them supervise you). They don’t currently have an own brand beer but plans are in place to start brewing their own lambic-style sour beers before the end of the year.

Just because they’re not a brewery doesn’t mean they don’t put on a show. They regularly host events from tap takeovers and meet the brewers to full-scale beer dinners and mini-festivals. Keep an eye on their schedule and make sure you time your visit just right.

? 99 Wallis Road, Hackney Wick. E9 5LN

? Check out their Instagram

 

So a crafternoon is on your London to do list. Stick around for a few days, check out the best hostels in London and add the below to your schedule also:

 

About the author

Niamh Linehan is a travel rule rebel who refuses to adhere to the one cabin bag policy. She can usually be found on her way to her next adventure smuggling her backpack under her coat, Quasimodo style. When not sampling London’s finest craft beer, she can be found writing about tech, business, and lifestyle.

 

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