If you have lived in London for half a hot minute you will have heard of craft beer. Much like the persistent tinder date that you can’t seem to get rid off (don’t ghost her, that’s mean hun), craft beer seems to be here to stay, and it’s growing. If you go to most London pubs you will find at least one craft beer, it isn’t just for the East London hipsters any more guys.
So what the hell is craft beer, and why is it different from any other beer we hear you ask. Well to be honest, prior to writing this article, we didn’t know either. We typed in the question to a well-known search engine (there are others available) and here’s what it spat out;
Put simply, craft beer is not a beer made from a big co-operation brewery but a small, independent one (explains why the hipsters jumped on this bandwagon).
So you want to support smaller breweries because big co-operations suck (stick it to the man an’ all that) but where can you go to get craft beers? Well, most places in London, but here are some of our faves;
Unit 7 Queen’s Yard
London E9 5EN
Closest tube: Hackney Wick
CRATE Brewery was a pretty much stand-alone place in Hackney Wick when it first opened up. Like many areas of Hackney, it looked much like a generic warehouse amongst disserted buildings. Now however, they are neighbours to Micks Garage and a few other spaces. Amongst all this though, Crate has not lost its charm.
They brew their craft beer onsite, and you can find it in some pubs around London. You can also get a tour of the brewery itself (it’s short because it’s quite a small brewery, we are still in London guys) but at the end of it, you get to try all the beers (they aren’t vast but they’re good). They brew and get pizza too, which is almost as good as their beer. If it’s sunny you get the added bonus of being able to sit by the river, and we don’t want to deviate from the beers, but if you’re partial to a bit of cider we would recommend having the cloudy cider they serve there. Be sure to get your bums on benches early doors because this place is popular. It’s a perfect location for a date in London.
168 High Holborn
London WC1V 7AA
Closest tube: Covent Garden (duh)
Craft Beer Company is where you come if you are a true craft beer fan. The Craft Beer Company in Covent Garden has 45 taps (yep, 45, if you want to try them all you may have to bring your sleeping bag or a responsible adult to escort you home) Their other four pubs may not have as many as 45 (just had to repeat that) but they still have a lot of options.
To help you with your selection you can simply pick up the beer Bible that is provided (they like to call it a menu) and have a mooch. If you can’t decide, the knowledgable bar staff are very patient and friendly, no matter how busy they are. You can tell them your preference and they will easily provide something you’ll enjoy.
The owners here source their ales from independent breweries from all over the world and you often won’t find some of these in other pubs, so be sure to check Craft Beer Company out.
6 Charlwood St
Lillington and Longmoore Gardens
London SW1V 2EE
Closest tube: Pimlico
These guys claim to be part of the craft beer revolution since 2009, and you can tell. Going for 10 years these guys know their stuff. You may be a little daunted when you see the range of beers they have in the cellar or the fridges as they stock from all over London and the world. They boast 10 cask ales, 10 keg lines and 300+ bottles (yeah, 300 bottles) Don’t panic though, the bar staff are friendly and will recommend something for you. They also don’t just offer lots of beer, they have food all week as well as live music on Sundays. What’s not to like about this place?
6, Brighton Buildings
60 Tower Bridge Rd
London SE1 4TR
Closest tube: Bermondsey or London Bridge, then a walk or bus ride (bus wanker)
This place is small but full of character, with lights that look like candles (don’t worry, not tacky candles, cosy candles) and old paintings with varying sizes of picture frames, dark walls and wooden benches. If you can’t find a place inside and the weather’s good you could grab a seat outside.
But the decor is not what you have gone for right? It’s just an added bonus. You want craft beer. Well, you’ll get a few here, they have 6 taps (remember it is small in there, no room for loads of taps) might not be many but they make them count. They support nearby Fourpure by always reserving three taps for them. The other three taps rotate, offering different beers but still also keeping it local.
If you don’t want something from the taps, they also offer cans and bottles. If after all that booze you get a bit peckish you can snack on some South American delights, tacos and nachos, perfect with any craft beer.
Drink responsibly guys! And if you can’t, make sure someone is there to be your guide home.
Team Nonchalant xx