Tuesday, 12 August 2014

London Craft Brewery Bucket List

Photo: George Ruiz (CCL)

To celebrate the fact it's London Beer Week this week (eeeeek!), along with the fact that in the past 6 months over 2 million people have imbibed a craft beer in London (according to Mintel anyway, whatever they know...), I thought I'd give a run-down on London's Craft breweries...

Six years ago there were just a handful of breweries, perhaps 5 or 10 at most. This year there are in excess of 60, and in the next couple of years that will rocket to 3 figures! Brilliant news for brilliant beer!

If, like me, you love beer and breweries, but don't always know where to find them; then you're in luck. I've researched long and hard as many of the Craft breweries in London as I can find, and popped them in a little list with addresses for you below. This is a great little resource to tick off the breweries as and when you sample a beer from them/visit them etc. Think of it as a London Craft Brewery Bucket List!

If I've missed any I'm really sorry, I've scoured for days and hours, but am bound to have missed one or two. Pop them in the comments below and I'll update it accordingly.

Right, in no particular order, here we go:

Founded in 2013
92 Wood Street, EN5 4BW
A Brewpub with a small cask ale brewery.

London Brewing Co
Founded in 2011
13 North Hill, N6 4AB
Brewpub at the acclaimed Bull in Highgate. After the walk up the hill from the tube station you'll certainly be in need of a refreshing pint!

Founded in 2009
Compass West Estate, N17 7QB
Definitely one of the most exciting breweries on this list, Redemption have gone from strength to strength, and their output is now proudly massive. Their Big Chief IPA is one of my favourite casks this year!

Founded 2013
36 Cheyne Avenue, E18 2DR
Upstart: noun [ˈʌpstɑːt/] someone who has risen abruptly in rank or influence; parvenu, arriviste, nouveau riche, squirt, wannabe. Well, whatever they profess to be, their flagship, aptly named 'Alpha' is a 4.3% Pale Cask with 4 hops.

Wild Card
Founded 2013
Ravenswood Industrial Estate, E17 9HG
The first on our list with a brewery tap bar, Wild Card brewery are a stones-throw from Liverpool Street station.

East London Brewing
Founded 2011
Fairways Business Centre, E10 7QB
What I like about ELB is that they're not afraid of who they are and how people perceive them. Instead of pretending to be bigger than they are, they are content with the fact they are a Husband and Wife team. Fair play!

Founded 2008
The King William IV, Leyton, E10 6AE
Wow, this pub has it all. It's a grand looking building with 6 en-suite rooms AND a brewery. I struggle to run one of the three, but I am damn envious!

Founded 2011
Lockwood Industrial Park, N17 9QP
Beavertown took a while to find their feet, but now their branding, and, more importantly their beers are bloody fantastic. They're home to the strongest Black IPA I've come across so far, and their RYE PA is a taste of what I think is to come from the city.

Five Points
Founded 2012
3 Institute Place, E8 IJE
What I love about Five Points is that they are unashamed in being based in Hackney; not the greatest borough of London. That said, Five Points are a considerable brewer, with great core values not only in their beer, but their social and economic responsibilities too.

Howling Hops
Founded 2012
The Cock Tavern, Mare Street, E8 1EJ
Another brewery in a brilliant brewpub, Howling Hops has an array of brilliant Cask Ales to choose from. I like their 5% Ruby Red 'Dinner Ale'. Does the job!

Founded 2011
Workshop 45, Amhurst Terrace, E8 2BT
I've seen and done a lot with Signature in the past, and their beer speaks volumes for them. From music industry executives to brewery owners, this is a great step forward in band merch and beer marketing.

Pressure Drop
Founded 2012
Bohemia Place, E8 1DU
Pressure Drop is one of my faves (faves as in favourites). Solid brewing and awesome beers, this is what it's all about for me!

Founded 2012
Queens Yard, White Post Lane, E9 5EN
A brewery what does Pizza. Does it get better than this? A hip, well-thought-through brewery and tap with great Pizzas on the canal.

Tap East
Founded 2011
7 International Way, E20 1EE
Tap East is a tiny brew bar with 16 constantly rotating house and guest beers. Opposite Stratford International Station, it's got prime position, and is well worth the visit.

Hackney Brewery
Founded 2011
Arch 358, Laburnum Street, E2 8BB
Wow, another Hackney brewery! Owned by a Chef and a Pub Manager, this has to be one on everyone's list, the credentials are spot on (am I bias....?).

Founded 2014
Roman Way Industrial Estate, N7 8XH
Hammerton Brewery first originated in 1868. In 2014 it was revived by a member of the Hammerton family. Great branding.

Camden Town
Founded 2010
Wilkin Street, NW5 3NN
Incredible to think that 5 years ago, Camden Town Brewery did not exist other than on a business plan.  I really love the Pale Ale and Lager, the Stout is bloody good too. I can't quite get the Gentleman's Wit, and I'm sure there's a joke there, but I'm not going to indulge it. Get down for the brewery open days for good beer and awesome street food pop-ups.

Founded 2011
Buspace Studios, Conlan Street, W10 5AP
Traditionally crafted ales by an Argentinian in Notting Hill. Interesting enough to warrant a taste...

Founded 2012
Mitre Bridge Industrial Estate, W10 6AU
There's not a great deal to say about Portobello, other than they're the first brewery in the area since Whitbread closed their in 1922. The Star and the Pale Ale are worth a try.

Founded 2013
The Earl of Essex, Danbury Street, N1 8LE
Home to Islington's only brewery (for now, at least), Earl's showing great trend following with the brewing of their Saisons and Pale, wheat style beers.

London Fields
Founded 2011
365 Warburton Street, E8 3RR
Alright, granted Hackney is massive, but another one? London Fields has a lovely tap room and they do loads of classes for aspiring brewers.

Founded 2011
276 Poyser Street, E2 9RF
I had a bad experience with a (VERY) out-of-date bottle from Redchurch (NO fault of theirs at all), but the others I've had are great. Try the Shoreditch Blonde!

People's Park Tavern
Founded 2013
360 Victoria Park, E9 7BT
A traditional pub with hearty fayre and a beautiful pub garden and brewhouse; the People's Park Tavern has been open since 1845. 

Founded 2010
The Eyrie, 2-3 Stour Road, E3 2NS
The original Truman is a giant, 10-acre site of buildings on Brick Lane. At one time the largest in the world, the brewery was closed in 1989 and most of the site became neglected and delapidated. Now a cultural and social hub, the site is home to excellent pop-up food, leisure outlets and exhibition space. The NEW Truman Brewery is more humble, and their Brick Lane Lager is definitely one to try!

Founded 1999
Lawrence Trading Estate, Blackwall Lane, SE10 0AR
Perhaps the first truly 'craft' brewery in the city, Meantime have been around a while and can be found all over the city and the rest of our green and pleasant isle. My favourite is the Yakima Red. Meantime launched their new pop-up bar 'BeerBox' on the Greenwich Peninsula last week with a secret gig from We Are Scientists!

Founded 2012
Almond Road, SE16 3LR
Another of my favourite city breweries, Partizan have great branding, lovely, interesting labelling, and have a flair for a Saison - one of my favourites. There's a Lemon & Thyme one, Ice Tea one and a Mango & Black Pepper one. Still need a reason to hunt them down?

Source: http://partizanbrewingarchive.tumblr.com

Founded 2013
Bermondsley Trading Estate, Rotherhithe New Road, SE16 3LL
Fourpure Brewery keeps those craft values very close - great ingredients, attention to detail and letting the core ingredients do the talking.

Founded 2013
Arch 75, Old Kent Road, SE15 1NQ
Strawman is a small-batch brewery in sunny Peckham with a core range of a Saison, American Pale, Amber and House Pale. Nail on the proverbial head.

The Kernal
Founded 2009
Arch 11, Dockley Road Industrial Estate, SE16 3SF
What I love about The Kernal is the simplicity of the labelling, the use of letterpress, and, of course, the beer! The Black IPA is one of my favourites. Pop by their brewery 9am - 2pm Saturday to see what they do and buy some bottles.

Source: http://thekernelbrewery.com

Brew By Numbers
Founded 2012
79 Enid Street, SE16 3RA
The king of Saisons in the city, these guys brew small-batch uniques. Each batch is totally different, and therefore you need to try ALL OF THEM. No excuses.

Founded 2014
118 Druid Street, SE1 2HH
A well-travelled brewer is always a winner in my books when it comes to their beers. Having sampled craft beer of all styles across the world, Bullfinch brews beer to the strength it should be, between 5 and 8%. The aptly named 'Hopocalypse' is excellent.

Anspach & Hobday
Founded 2012
118 Druid Street, SE1 2HH
A kickstarter brewery open on Saturdays for tasting, A & H have won Gold in the International Beer Challenge for their Porter. 

Founded 2008
Unit 1, Yelverton Road, SW11 3QG
Traditionally brewed Real Ale in the heart of Battersea. Core range and seasonal specials available throughout London

Founded 1845
Griffin Brewery, Chiswick Lane South, W4
Some will argue they're not a 'Craft' brewery, but I argue otherwise. Fuller's have really embraced the craft ethos, their Stout is good enough to rival Guinness (I prefer it as a mainstream), they have the distribution rights to Sierra Nervada, and their Frontier Lager is pretty good too.

Source: http://www.fullers.co.uk/?id=31&pressid=206

Founded 1831
Riverside House, Osiers Road, SW18 1NH
Producing Dogfish DNA under licence in the UK is quite an accolade in itself, and therefore Young's deserves a place on my list. The Young's Special however... wide berth.

Founded 2013
Arch 209, Blenheim Grove, SE15 4QL
Another Peckham entry, Brick are still a relatively small micro-brewery, their output available in bottle and cask at quite a few pubs across the city.

Meantime at The Old Brewery
Opened 2010
The Pepys Building, The Old Royal Naval College, SE10 9LW
Meantime's second brewery, their conversion of The Pepys Building has been lovingly restored.

Rocky Head
Founded 2012
Unit 16, Glenville Mews, SW18 4NJ
Rocky Head makes me laugh. They are unashamed of the fact that their brewing equipment is ramshackle, and hey, they use it to their advantage. Set up by a group of friends, shouldn't this be what brewing is all about?

By the Horns
Founded 2011
25 Summerstown, SW17 OBQ
If you're in Summerstown, stop by the By the Horns brewery for tours, to purchase some bottles from the shop, and to oggle their selection of lovely bottled craft.

Founded 2014
The George & Dragon, 183 High Street, Acton, W3 9DJ
A micro-brewery at the George and Dragon in Acton, not far from where my grandparents grew up before the blitz. 
Source: www.dragonflybrewery.co.uk 

Weird Beard
Founded 2012
Unit 5, Boston Business Park, Hanwell, W7 2QA
No gimmicks, no crap and never knowingly under hopped, according to the website...

Windsor & Eton
Founded 2010
1 Vantittart Estate, Windsor, SL4 1SE
A solid traditional-style brewer with a great range of cask and bottled ale. 

Twickenham Fine Ales
Founded 2004
18 Mereway Road, TW2 6RG
Founded by Steve Brown in 2004, so celebrating our 10th Anniversary this year, Twickenham has been at the forefront of the resurgence of breweries in London. Using global hops from a early stage, and only the purest of ingredients, Twickenham produces a fine range of well hopped, award winning beers.

Founded 2012
29 Cheshire Gardens, Sutton, KT9 2PR
What I love about this tiny little craft brewery is how they adapt recipes from beers long passed to revive and refresh them and deliver them to the masses.

Founded 2013
Unit 36, Jaggard Way, SW12 8SL
Belleville brew American-style beers over here in the UK. Famed for a run-in with the owners of Budweiser which bullied serious court action over the chosen name.

Founded 2013
Arch 547, Brixton Station Road, SW9 8PF
I've only tried the Brixton American APA, and if that's anything to go on, you should too, and try the rest of their range. 

Founded 2013
Tyrrell Trading Estate, Tyrrell Road East, SE22 9NA
Using only ingredients from the UK, Clarkshaws are a small independent microbrewery in East Dulwich whose beers are brewed with 'hard work, the finest ingredients mixed with a dash of whimsy and serendipity.'

Founded 2013
31 Harcourt Road, SE4 2AJ
Formed by a small group of residents, Brockley have hit hard in their home-borough, and they struggle to keep up with demand. Great news, and therefore, obviously great beer.

Founded 2000
29/31 Montpelier Vale, SE3 0TJ
Another brewery-come-pizzeria, there seems to be a trend emerging here. The beautiful brewery at Zerodegrees is on show for all to see, and well worth a visit. I hear the pizza is pretty good too.

The Florence
Founded 2007
131 - 133 Dulwich Road, SE24 0NG
Some pubs have water features. The Florence's just so happens to be a little tiny brewkit with a mind of it's own. 

Founded 2013
21 Southey Street, SE20 7JD
Brilliant name, but does the beer match up? YES. The Grapefruit IPA is excellent. 
Whoops. Source: http://shamblemoose.co.uk/brewery/pics/

Late Knights
Founded 2012
21 Southey Street, SE20 7JD
A brewery built in a slaughterhouse. Don't worry, there's no dead cows here, they're long gone, and now the team behind Late Knights also have 4 bars under their belts across London and Brighton. Check them out!

Clarence & Fredericks
Founded 2012
35a Neville Road, CR0 2DS
Named after his son and the road he grew up on, Clarence & Fredericks are a small, 10-barrel, family run microbrewery.

Hop Stuff
Founded 2013
7 Gunnery Terrace, Woolwich, SE18 6SW
Arguably London's only Equity crowdfunded brewery, Hop Stuff was funded by 72 beer and business loving individuals, and it's the brainchild of an ex city-boy who apparently 'saw the light'. Well done, and welcome back to the real world.

The Cronx
Founded 2012
Unit 6, Vulcan Business Park, Croydon, CR0 9UG
Boasting a visit from royalty, The Cronx produce some generally standard ales, with the odd 'out-there' choice. I'm talking, for instance, about their 'Mad Ass Chilli Porter'. 
Source: http://www.thecronx.com

Hope you've enjoyed the list, and make sure you print it off and carry it with you around the city at all times, ticking off each little brewery as and when you try their beer or visit them. I certainly will :-)

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