Welcome to England folks, where drinking is a national sport. No wonder London’s craft beer scene is exploding. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’d know that craft beer is all the rage right now (thank you, hipsters). So, if you are wondering what makes London so special -- ask yourself this: what’s the only thing better than a brewery? A whole mile of them, that’s what. This is exactly what you’ll find along the Bermondsey Beer Mile. From coffee stouts to spirulina infused sour beers -- this is your guide to exploring the craft beer scene in Bermondsey.
Maltby Street Market
Don’t believe what they say, eating is certainly NOT cheating. Before you hit the mile and drink copious amounts of inevitable beers, start the day by lining your stomach at Bermondsey’s Maltby Street Market. This characteristically London spot is set below 19th-century railway arches. It truly is a foodie’s heaven. Live out your cheese dreams at The Cheese Truck, get meaty at The Beefsteaks or grab a beer or two at the Modern Beer Co. When it comes to alcohol - what’s the point in prolonging the inevitable anyway?
Bianca Road Brewing Company
This relatively young brewery pays homage to American craft beer. It was founded in 2016, two years after the idea started on one long bike ride from San Francisco to Miami. The founder got his inspiration exploring breweries along the way. While it takes influence from the US, Bianca Road’s delicious beer is brewed in London. Here you can try the Tropicali IPA – a tropical summer special, dry-hopped with Citra and Amarillo or their LA Bloods, an IPA packed with blood orange juice and zest. These are available alongside your classic American Pale Ales.
Brew By Numbers
Started by two friends who met rock climbing in Asia, this brewery came from the humble beginnings of a friend’s basement to the popular spot it is today. Always offering innovative and exciting beers, this is a great brewery to start your foray into some of the UK’s best beer. Will a Cucumber and Juniper Saison tickle your fancy today? How about a Ginger and Grapefruit one? To start the party – we recommend the Sour Berry Red.
London Calling Sweden
Sort of cheating the local element of your beer adventure, London Calling Sweden is a Swedish craft beer wholesaler and tap room. The bar brings good vibes, eccentric beers, and an excellent playlist. Today on the menu was a Passionfruit Pale Ale. It was fruity, refreshing and extremely easy to drink. I once tried a bright green spirulina infused sour beer here. It was awesome.
Moor Beer Co Vaults & Tap Room
Moor Beer Company came to London town in 2018. The defunct business was reborn in 2007, by Californian Justin Hawke. Its home has been in Bristol since 2014. They combine the natural hazy philosophy from the Germans with the American flavour-forward brewing approach. The brewers then team this up with the British secondary refermentation to make what Moor has dubbed ‘Modern Real Ale’. Their beers have won awards which is the perfect excuse to treat yourself to another pint of the good stuff.
Anspach And Hobday
By now there is a high possibility your beer goggles might be sliding into action. We think you’ll want to keep your wits about you for this fantastic brewery though. Their classic beers certainly aren’t boring. The Smoked Brown packs a punch of smoky flavour with a hint of toffee. How you ask? By kilning malt over open fires – the traditional way. They also have a Cream Ale which they describe as having a profile ranging from dill to coconut to pineapple. Very intriguing. We recommend using that drunken confidence to explore their experimental offering. The Sea Salt & Chilli Stout, anyone?
Southwark Brewing Company
Following 30 years in the brewing industry, Peter Jackson decided it was time to do his own thing. He felt that the beer range in your average London boozer was quite predictable. So, he saw a gap in the market and founded Southwark Brewing Company. The beer is traditionally brewed and proudly crafted in Bermondsey. Here you can try a traditional English ale called Bermondsey Best. It’s made with 100% English malt and Kentish hops. There’s also a London Pale Ale or Potters’ Fields Porter – all delicious and all crafted in the area.
By now, you should have had a taste of what the London craft beer scene is all about. It’s fun, fresh and a combination of traditional and international flavours – quite like London itself. While these breweries are certainly some of the best the city has to offer, there is still much more quality to explore along the mile – if you are still standing that is.
About the author:
Lucy Quaggin is a journalist and freelance travel writer, who has worked for likes of the HuffPost Australia in Sydney and Global Radio in London. Obsessed with all things food and travel, you can follow her adventures on Instagram at @lucyquaggin.
Photos by Steve Cole Bowen