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With the capital having seen a craft beer renaissance over the last few years, there has been a bounty of London breweries to choose from, all with their own unique beer ranges and hoppy hangouts, in the form of brewery taprooms.
Craft beer competition is fierce right now, with new London breweries and taprooms opening up all the time. Whilst some are flash, spick and span outfits, others are simpler affairs operating out of smaller, ‘urban’ outposts on industrial estates.
Most of our weekends have been spent visiting a veritable variety of London brewery taprooms and of the forty or so we’ve visited so far, these are our best brewery taprooms in London right now, taking into account the overall experience combined with the range and quality of beers.
Head down to our hoppy highlights below, which we think are our best London brewery experiences so far (and we appreciate there are heaps more we need to visit still…)
The best London breweries
1. Fourpure Basecamp Brewery Taproom, Bermondsey / Rotherhithe
Over several weekends, we put the ‘effort’ in and finished all of the breweries on the (in)famous Bermondsey Beer Mile – 17 brewery taprooms and counting. Of these, there are two or three that really stood out (more of this later).
Fourpure was probably our favourite London breweries on the Bermondsey Beer Mile in terms of the venue itself. Whilst less ‘personal’ than other taprooms (due to its sheer size and number of visiting customers), this is a brand spanking new taproom that you could easily spend all day at, with nice interior decors, good food offerings, massive TVs and also a gift-shop.
The choice of beer here is also unparalleled, with over 40 taps on at any one time, and regular events such as pub quizzes and weekly new beer launches. We particularly liked the stouts / dark beers available here especially the Last Train Oatmeal Stout (5.1% ABV).
2. The Moor Taproom and Vaults, Bermondsey Beer Mile
‘Smoked lager’ you say? Yes, please take all our money now. And this is truly how our love affair with The Moor began. Whilst not the most regal or grand of taprooms, this more than makes up for it with their incredible beer range, chirpy staff plus their bargain taproom tray taster – any 4 beers from their core line for only £5.
We *think* this is the cheapest craft beer tray taster we’ve seen anywhere in London breweries and definitely encourages you to ‘Drink Moor Beer’. Did we also mention their fine line in gourmet scotch eggs, old school crisp flavours and a cracking cheese-board?
Originally from Bristol, this London outpost opened in 2018 and is always heaving when we’ve visited (it comfortably sits around 30 people with ample room outside for sunshine beers). Like we say, this is all about their smoked lager for us (4.2% abv) – our first foray into smoked lager, with such a looming and lingering taste.
3. Hammerton Brewery, Islington / Barnsbury
We headed to Hammerton Brewery early one Saturday afternoon and arrived just after they opened for the day meaning we had the whole place to ourselves for a little while (our ‘own’ brewery for a bit – living the dream!).
The bar is really welcoming here, and one of Hammerton Brewery’s highlights is their brightly coloured can and beer tap clip designs. The taproom here is open every Friday and Saturday between 12pm and 10pm, with some Hoppy Hour offerings on the Friday as an added incentive.
We sank into one of the taproom’s sofas and tried lots of their own beers, all in all a very enjoyable afternoon – board games are available to borrow.
4. Signature Brew E17, Walthamstow
After visiting their Collaboration Bar in Walthamstow, we decided to taste the Signature Brew beer range at the source and visit their London brewery taproom, located on an industrial estate near Blackhorse Road tube and like Exale Brewery, part of the newly created Walthamstow Beer Mile.
The set-up here is excellent with picnic tables laid out in rows beneath the brightly lit beer vats, and a small tap-room bar to the side, bedecked with panels showing the company history.
Signature Brew are very much into their music and often collaborate with artists and musicians, both in terms of their product and live music sets at the taproom and Collaboration Bar. This also manifests itself with the cool microphone beer clips you can see on the taps.
Signature Brew has an extensive core-range but for us, it is all about their 5.7% ABV Nightliner coffee porter stout – sheer class in a glass and something we could drink all day – kinda like actual coffee, but better!
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5. Pressure Drop Brewery and Taproom, Tottenham Hale
Pressure Drop brewery in Tottenham Hale holds a special place in our hoppy heart as it is in fact our ‘local’ pub and we can walk there in five mins flat (lucky!). The downside (for us) is that as it is a working brewery, the taproom is only open on Saturdays (2pm to 8pm) – although good things always come to those who wait. The summer months also see their car-park become an alfresco beer garden.
We like Pressure Drop as it is a nice laid back set-up with an excellent array of ever changing beer lines, chilled beats, zero pretension and weekly rotating food offerings (the best has to be Chicken and Gochu – the best Korean fried chicken we’ve had so far in London!).
Pressure Drop is also dog friendly, so much so that one of their recent events offering free beers to dog owners in return for letting them feature your dog on their promotional collateral – everyone’s a winner!
A £2.50 refundable deposit is also required for your first beer glass, plus they have a small side shop selling merchandise and an ice cold beer fridge, chock full of cans.
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6. Howling Hops Brewery and Tank Bar, Hackney Wick
The devil is in the detail here at Howling Hops and as the first thing you see as you enter the well lit taproom is the vast brewery tanks situated behind the well appointed bar.
We first visited on a Friday afternoon during work hours so whilst the bar wasn’t busy, it was a nice eclectic mix of groups, people reading books, family get togethers and also some very cute dogs.
You can buy drinks by ⅓, ½ or ⅔ pints and the bar staff are always very helpful with their recommendations – we opted for their House IPA (6.9% ABV) – one of the best (and strongest) IPAs we’ve had in a London brewery – and their Howling Pils.
We also like the fact that the food offering isn’t your usual pub fare with modern Columbian cuisine by Maize Baize (think bandejas and chicken wings with a latin twist).
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7. Exale Brewing and Taproom, E17 – Walthamstow
The newest London brewery opening on our list is part of the burgeoning Walthamstow Beer Mile – Exale Brewery claims to be ‘never dull’ and who are we to disagree? We enjoyed our Exale experience as the taproom set-up is pretty eclectic, set up in a former old furniture warehouse (this might explain why all the chairs are so different).
The chap serving behind the bar on our trip was also super-friendly and holding conversations with pretty much every patron. The only downside was that core-range doesn’t really include any darker / stout lines yet – we stuck with the house pale ale, Exale Pale (4.2% ABV).
Close to Blackhorse Road Tube, you can also combine a trip to Exale with other Walthamstow London breweries or a walk around the nearby Walthamstow Wetlands (because beer always tastes better after a long walk, right?).
8. Gravity Well Taproom, Leytonstone
Truly a hidden gem amongst some of the more well known and centrally located taproom, Gravity Well Taproom is a warm and welcome addition to our top London breweries taprooms guide.
Handily located directly below Leyton Midland Road Overground station (literally 30 secs walk), our Gravity Well Taproom experience started well with a friendly welcome from the bar-staff.
As they could see we were a little overwhelmed by the choice, they offered us some samples and we opted for their Relativistic Beaming NEIPA (6.7%) and a pint of their new batch of topically titled Omicron Persei 9 Pale Ale; one of the best tasting and looking (almost glowing) beers we’ve had in London. Afterwards, we also tried their Chocolate Oatmeal stout (Brane Reimagined) and it was equally good.
The Gravity Well Room set-up is really well done with a beer garden out front, several inside tables scattered around the bar plus a mezzanine seating area up top and board games available from the bar. Gravity Well also have a well-stocked (and colourful) beer-fridge which saw a steady takeaway trade – in fact, one guy came in and bought 18 cans in one go; now that is our kind of a Friday night.
Leystonstone is fast becoming one of the best beer taproom locations in London and Gravity Well’s railway arch taproom is at the forefront. Nearby, other taprooms include Solvay Brewing and newly launched Deli Arch, a craft beer shop curated by one of Kernel Brewery’s employees. We love Leytonstone!
9. The Barrel Project, Bermondsey Beer Mile
As soon as you enter the threshold, it is impossible not be taken in by the interior at The Barrel Project (and yep, the beer selection is pretty sweet too).
Adorned with several hundred oak barrels used for ageing their wares (so both practical and pretty), this is a nice set-up with a beautiful bar bedecked with turquoise tiles and a huge chalk board menu – quite classy as most taprooms go.
In addition to the treasure trove of beer taps, we noticed the beer fridges also did a roaring trade, with locals popping in to stock up for the weekend.
As well as being open Wednesday through Sunday (check website for opening hours), the other bonus is this taproom also has a food hatch serving dipped’ pork loin steak BBQ dishes – talk about a perfect beer pairing!
FURTHER READING – Bermondsey Beer Mile ultimate guide >
10. Camden Town Brewery Beer Hall
One of the newest brewery taprooms in North London and the spiritual home of Hell’s Lager (which you now see on tap in most of London’s pubs), Camden Town Brewery offers brewery tours plus tasters in their taproom. Their new beer hall (located in nearby Kentish Town) has over 20 different beers on tap plus a walk-in fridge and merchandise shop.
A big space with a huge bar (more corporate than quirky), Camden Town Brewery Beer Hall is a welcoming place and beer drinking space which caters for all group sizes and all tastes (given their sheer number of beers on tap) – it also has a small outdoor drinking area too, perfect for summer months.
Unlike a lot of breweries in this list, Camden Town Brewery also has a permanent kitchen set-up offering pizza, pasta, salads as well as sirloin steak and a beer hall platter.
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11. Battersea Brewery
Battersea’s beer bonanza is exemplified by the aptly named Battersea Brewery, located underneath the railway arches (like all good London taprooms).
And as we all know, cold beers straight from the taproom always taste Battersea…sorry… better, see. So Battersea Brewery is the perfect place to unwind after a walk along the River Thames path from neighbouring Chelsea or Pimlico.
With a nice outdoor beer garden terrace and indoor seating amongst the brewing vats, Battersea brewery is located in the Arches Lane area, nickel nestled between Tonkatsu ramen noodles and Cinnamon Kitchen.
The sheer number of beers on tap at any one time at Battersea Brewery means you are always spoilt for choice in terms of what to slurp next – and the outdoor seating area is a delightful sun trap in the afternoons.
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12. Gipsy Hill Brewing Company
After a afternoon of exploring nearby Crystal Palace and Sydenham Hill one day, we rewarded ourselves with a trip to Gypsy Hill Brewery taproom located at the bottom of Gypsy Hill, next to their production set-up (don’t be surprised if you see piles of kegs or a forklift whizz by).
You’ll likely recognise Gypsy Hill Brewery for their distinctive can packaging (they really stand out in a crowded supermarket or row of pub taps). The awesome artwork tells the story of each beer and / or the brewers or collaborators that helped make them.
Like all good taprooms, this is based on an industrial estate (their neighbours include London Beer Factory who also have a bar set-up on the same estate), and Gypsy Hill brewery make full use of their outdoor space at the weekends, with the car park bedecked with picnic tables and street food van.
We visited this London brewery one Saturday afternoon and it was nice to such a mix of people – from families with push-chairs, to groups of students or passing cyclists, it was a nice and convivial, atmosphere. Indoors is an industrial but laid-back affair with an ever-busy bar – Gypsy Hill Brewery taproom is a nice set-up and with some damn fine beers to boot!
13. Canopy Beer Co, Herne Hill
Just a short walk from Herne Hill station and the Herne Hill Sunday market, Canopy brewery taproom is located in a corner of a small but incredibly busy industrial estate (Bath Factory Estate).
This concrete playground may not look much from the outside but the range of core and guest beers at Canopy along with pretty good prices make this a rather pleasant pub like atmosphere, with a nice railway arch set-up (think Five Points in Hackney or Boxcar brewery in Bethnal Green).
We particularly liked Canopy’s taproom as the interior is cosy, as you sit amongst the brewing vats but the choice of beers is great. We also noticed it is a popular spot for all the weekend football teams who play football in nearby Brockwell Park.
We only planned to stay for one but the choice was so immense, we stayed for several rounds. Highlights included the Forge Oatmeal stout (4.8% packed with craft, chocolate goodness), their classic Brockwell IPA (£5 a pint and 5.6% abv) and their take on Belgian beer, Picnic Wit (definitely one to take out in one of Canopy’s 1 litre takeaway bottle and enjoy in the park in true picnic style).
14. Brick Brewery Taproom, Peckham
One of South London’s most well-known and popular pit-stops for craft beer, Brick Brewery (near Peckham Rye station) has a huge range of craft beers with an outdoor seating area out front and a smaller indoor area.
Founded in 2013 and often with over 20 of their own (and guest) lines on tap, this taproom used to be their brewing operation but has since moved down the road.
We’ve had several summer sessions at Brick Brewery and it has always been heaving, particularly in warm weather when the beer garden at the front has been full of friends and families (plus cute doggies) so booking in advance is recommended.
Street food at Brick Brewery Peckham comes in the form of Mikos Gyros, a Greek food stall that has an outdoor kitchen in the beer garden.
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15. Sambrook’s Brewery Tap, Wandsworth
A wonderful, Wandsworth taproom, Sambrook’s Brewery tap in the Ram Quarter is a nice mix of new taproom fixtures surrounded by history and heritage of Sambrook’s brewing site, the oldest continually brewing site in the country (since 1533!) and London’s oldest independent brewery.
Indeed, the area all around the brewery has changed considerably over the years, with the Ram Quarter now home to many new flats, restaurants and yoga retreats (seriously) – eclectic is good!
The set-up at Sambrook’s Brewery tap is really well done and the Sambrook’s taproom is popular with all ages, especially given that the pizzas look epic (we just stayed for drinks but loads of tables had food including lots of family groups and all looked happy).
What we loved about our Sambrook’s Brewery experience was the particularly chirpy barman (knowledgeable and so friendly), tasting trays and lush industrial interior setting, with an ample beer garden out front overlooking the estate. Next door, you’ll also find the SlyBeast brewery located in the The Ram Inn so why not make a day of visiting Wandsworth?
16. Hackney Brewery & High Hill Taproom, Walthamstow
A new addition to the Blackhorse Beer Mile in the summer of 2021, Hackney Brewery’s latest outpost opened after a successful round of crowdfunding. Boasting over 20 draft beers and ales on tap, High Hill Tap has a fine line of drinks to choose from, and you can opt to sit in the indoor bar, or amongst the tanks on the brewing floor.
Hackney Brewery High Hill Tap also has an outdoor seating area in the carpark and food is available from nearby Yard Sale Pizza who deliver to the taproom (there is also sometimes a rotating street food stall nearby, shared with Wildcard Brewery just across the road). Dog friendly and damn fine beers, High Hill Tap is a nice place to visit – who said Hackney Wick has all the best breweries?
17. Two Tribes Brewery
Billed as ‘Beer + Music + Art’, Two Tribes Brewery and Taproom is open Tuesday to Saturday and is about a ten minute walk from Lewis Cubbit Square.
Situated in Tileyard Studios (a rather random industrial estate), this is a low-key taproom with a lively roster of events – as well as their core range of several beers and lagers, they also have an extensive collection of collaborations and guest beers on tap.
We visited one Saturday morning and surprisingly had the whole taproom to ourselves – this meant the guy working the bar (friendly as) was able to recommend what to drinks and recommended other London breweries.
If you’re into your beers, we’d recommend combining a trip to Two Tribes taproom with Little Creatures, and another nearby brewery called Hammerton (in Islington); hopefully they all get on so that Two Tribes (don’t) go to war…
18. The Five Points Brewery & Taproom, Hackney
Hands up – we know Five Points Brewery and taproom is officially based in Hackney (on Mare Street) but as it is such a short walk from Cambridge Heath station and all the other main bars in Bethnal Green, we thought we should include it in our ‘Things to do in Bethnal Green’ blog.
We’ve been to Five Points Brewery Taproom quite a few times as their huge outdoor drinking area was a blessing in the summer (and during the covid-19 pandemic). A great set-up on the site where they brew all their beers, the car park beer garden has a pop-up bar with a combination of their own range and guest beers on tap.
Five Points core range includes an extra pale ale (XPA), Pils and our favourite, a chocolatey coffee Railway Porter. Like lots of breweries in Bethnal Green, Five Points are also located along the railway arches and beer tasting tours of the brewery are available too.
19. BOXCAR Brewery & Taproom, Bethnal Green
We really like visiting BOXCAR Brewery. A no-nonsense, unpretentious Bethnal Green brewery and taproom, BOXCAR is one of the best brewery taprooms in London located snugly beneath the railway arches in Birkbeck Street.
The taproom itself is warm and welcoming and you always get an eclectic crowd in here, from seasoned beer enthusiasts to students or wage slaves supping after work.
As well as the comfy sofas and chairs inside, there is a small yard area out front (usually quite popular). The bar staff are always friendly here and offer samples if you aren’t sure what to have.
BOXCAR class themselves as an experimental brewery so you never know what to expect each time you visit. BOXCAR Brewery is open Wednesday to Sunday for ice-cold canned beers and kegs (usually from 5pm on weeknights and midday at the weekend).
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20. London Calling Sweden, Bermondsey Beer Mile
2022 update: Permanently closed
Just up the road from the aforementioned Moor taproom, we love London Calling Sweden, not only for the fun name but the quirky interiors and unique cider range. As the name suggests, the difference here is that their core range is Swedish craft beer Poppels, the number 1 ‘ecological brewery’ (? – no us neither) in Sweden.
If you get there early, bag the sofa on the stage, surely the comfiest spot of all the London breweries on the whole of the Bermondsey Beer Mile? Despite being located underneath the railway arches, there is ample room in London Calling Sweden.
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