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Bring on the Blackhorse Beer Mile (also known as the Walthamstow Beer Mile)!
After visiting all 20 or so brewery taprooms along the Bermondsey Beer Mile, we were looking for a new ‘crafty’ challenge and ventured to the latest ‘geographic-ale’ (sorry) addition to the beer scene, the Blackhorse Beer Mile.
As at early 2023, The Blackhorse Beer Mile currently comprises seven breweries and taprooms (with more likely planned)! Plus if you visit all of the magnificent seven, you get to keep a special ‘Blackhorse Beer Mile’ pint glass – cheers to that!
The latest addition to the Blackhorse Beer Mile is Pretty Decent Beer Co, who opened their new premises in late 2022 – a warm Walthamstow welcome to them.
The Blackhorse Beer Mile 2023 runs between the Lockwood Industrial Estate (Wildcard Brewery and Hackney Brewery High Hill Taproom) and Uplands Business Park (Signature Brew, Big Penny Social, Beerblefish Brewing, Exale Brewing and now Pretty Decent Beer Co). Seven brewery heaven!
All seven of these Blackhorse Beer Mile breweries can be done in a day (all are open on weekends) so why not make a day of it and explore Walthamstow Village or Walthamstow Wetlands before you embark on your beery adventure?
Here is our full guide to the Blackhorse Beer Mile as at 2023, including a Blackhorse Beer Mile map of all the breweries (so you don’t get lost in the Wetlands):
Walthamstow Beer Mile / Blackhorse Beer Mile 2023 map
Our Blackhorse Beer MileTikTok video!
Wildcard Brewery, Lockwood
We begin our Blackhorse Beer Mile odyssey at Wildcard Brewery, as we did the beer crawl journey going from north to south.
Located on a small industrial estate (pretty much like all the other taprooms featured here), it is fair to say that Wildcard Brewery were the pioneers and founders of the whole beer movement in Walthamstow.
Founded in 2012 by several passionate and enthusiast friends who all hail from the Midlands, Wildcard Brewery soon outgrew their original brewery near Walthamstow Village (more on this later) and after a successful crowdfunding campaign, opened a larger second unit on Lockwood Way, doubling up as a brewery and taproom.
At the weekends, Wildcard set up lots of picnic tables in front of their brewery and often have a guest food stall.
Their on tap range changes regularly and perhaps they are best known for their Wildcard IPA (5.5% – my favourite) and their Pale Ale (4.3%). On our most recent visit, we also discovered their raspberry and chocolate stout (5.8%).
Wildcard Brewery address
Unit 2, Lockwood Way, Walthamstow, London E17 5RB
Wildcard Brewery Lockwood Taproom opening times:
Saturday 12pm – 8pm
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Hackney Brewery High Hill Taproom
After a highly successful crowdfunding campaign during the coronavirus pandemic, the Blackhorse Beer Mile is now host to the Hackney Brewery High Hill Taproom, located just across the road from Wildcard Brewery’s Lockwood Way taproom.
With a dedicated taproom bar and a separate seating area bedecked with picnic tables amongst the huge brewing vats (plus new outdoor seating area), Hackney Brewery’s Walthamstow outpost is a craft beer fan’s delight.
The sheer range on tap of both Hackney Brewery’s own range plus guest lines (probably) makes this the biggest selection of beers on Blackhorse Road (we think).
Beers at Hackney Brewery High Hill Taproom are available as 1/2s, 2/3s and pints and we happily worked our way through several different beers, porters and IPAs – the mojito infused beer ‘Millions of Mojitos’ particularly kept us on our toes (sour as but in a refreshing way).
Dog friendly and with food delivery available from Yard Sale Pizza, you could easily spend an evening here trying the 20 or so taps.
Hackney Brewery High Hill Taproom address
10 Lockwood Way, London, E17 5QQ
Hackney Brewery High Hill Taproom opening times
Thursday – Friday 5pm-11pm; Saturday 12pm – 11pm; Sunday 12pm – 8pm
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A recent (ish) addition to the Blackhorse Beer Mile, Beerblefish Brewery is located on Uplands Business Park, immediately behind Blackhorse Beer Mile comrades Exale Brewery (you can walk between the two in less than a minute).
The Beerblefish brewery operation relocated from Edmonton in North London to the current Walthamstow site which is almost four times bigger, with plans to expand their range, all brewed on site.
We enjoy our visits to Beerblefish Brewery along the Blackhorse Beer Mile. The bar team are always very helpful with their suggestions – and the bright purple pool table and artwork on the walls last long in the memory (even after several Beerblefish beers).
As well as a little beer garden area immediately outside, there is a huge indoor seating area and old-school bar set-up, with chalk boards denoting the recent brews and specials. Beerblefish Brewery are definitely one to watch and a welcome addition to the Blackhorse Beer Mile.
Beerblefish Brewery Taproom address
Unit 2A-4 Uplands Business Park, London E17 5QJ
Beerblefish Brewery Taproom opening times
Wednesday 6pm-10pm; Thursday 4pm – 10pm; Friday 4pm-11pm; Saturday 12pm – 11pm; Sunday 12pm – 10pm
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Exale Brewery and Taproom
If we had to describe Exale Brewery’s Blackhorse Beer Mile taproom in two words, we’d have to either say ‘epically eclectic’ or ‘Kranky Kicks’.
Based in an old furniture warehouse (which may explain the mix of chairs and tables), Exale Brewery claims to be ‘never dull’ and based on their brewery set-up and beer range, we would agree 100%.
The team serving behind the Exale Brewing bar on our trip were also super-friendly and holding conversations with pretty much every patron.
Thursday nights at Exale Brewery also sees ‘Kill The Keg’ where selected pints are £4.
We usually stick with the house pale ale, Exale Pale (4.2% ABV), but their core and guest range is always changing and also available in several nearby outlets including Beer + Burger in Walthamstow.
If you are feeling fruity, try Exale’s legendary Krankie Iron Brew Sour – it never fails to bring a smile to our face and is out there (in a good way).
Exale’s on-site street food pop up at Blackhorse Road is currently being run by Scottish Scran and you can order dishes such as haggis tikka masala and handmade Scotch pies.
Exale Brewery Taproom Address
Unit 2C, Uplands Business Park, London, E17 5QJ
Exale Brewery Taproom opening times
Thursday 4pm – 11pm; Friday 4pm-2am; Saturday 12pm – 2am; Sunday 12pm – 8pm
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Pretty Decent Brewing Co, Blackhorse Road
As at 2023, Pretty Decent Brewing Co are the newest brewery to join the Blackhorse Beer Mile (brewery number seven), just down the road from Signature Brew.
With 12 beers on tap (many of which are freshly brewed right here at Blackhorse Road), Pretty Decent is a pretty good…. sorry..very good addition to the Blackhorse Beer Mile.
To note whilst we have been to Pretty Decent Brewing Co’s Leytonstone taproom on many occasions (read about the Leytonstone Beer Mile here), we have yet to visit Pretty Decent Brewery ourselves as we are currently away from the UK. But we will be putting this right with a return to the Blackhorse Beer Mile in Summer 2023 – we cannot wait!
Read our guide to the best pubs and bars in Leytonstone and Leyton, also featuring Pretty Decent >
Pretty Decent Brewing Co Address
Unit 10, Uplands Business Park, Blackhorse Lane, London E17 5QJ
Pretty Decent Brewing Co opening times
Monday-Tuesday 12pm-6pm; Wednesday 4pm – 11pm; Thursday-Saturday 12pm-11pm; Sunday 12pm – 8pm
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Signature Brew, Blackhorse Road
One of the bigger taprooms on the Walthamstow Beer Mile, we rate Signature Brew as one of our best taproom experiences in London (maybe because we’re suckers for their Nightliner coffee porter).
After visiting their beer at Collab Bar in Walthamstow, we decided to taste the Signature Brew beer range at source and visit their brewery taproom.
The set-up here at Signature Brew is excellent with a recently opened bar out the front of the brewery complete with mezzanine sun terrace and kitchen on top. Check out their regular weekly food offers like Signature Brew Taco Tuesdays – a pint of core Signature Brew beer and two tasty tacos for £10.
Signature Brew has a big beer garden out the front where you can drink amongst the brewing vats (the garden is also pooch friendly too).
The brewery also run a regular events schedule where you can watch comedy gigs, take part in pub quizzes or enjoy a beer tasting session.
Locals who are based in E17 or N17 can also take advantage of a 10% discount at Signature Brew by applying for a local’s card.
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 microphone beer clips you can see on the taps and their music themed special edition brews.
Signature Brew Address
Unit 15, Uplands Business Park, Blackhorse Lane, London E17 5QJ
Signature Brew taproom opening times
Tuesday – Thursday 12-11pm; Friday – Saturday 12pm-12pm; Sunday 12pm – 10pm
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Big Penny Social (formally Truman’s Social Club)
Big Penny Social is the biggest bar along the Blackhorse Beer Mile (although unlike all the other Blackhorse Road Beer Mile, we don’t think Big Penny actual brew on site).
Based in a former Irn Bru distribution warehouse with outdoor garden, Big Penny Social’s USP is the premises themselves – industrial interiors, bare brick walls and an awesome alfresco beer terrace make this a cavernous craft beer social club.
A large range of their own beer is available on draft as well as guest beers, plus Big Penny Social (BSP to their friends) have their own kitchen serving all manner of comfort food and delicious bites to accompany your beer.
Big Penny Social Address:
1 Priestley Way, Walthamstow, London E17 6AL
Big Penny Social opening times
Monday – Wednesday 12pm-11pm; Thursday 12pm-12am; Friday 12pm-1am; Saturday 10.30am-1am; Sunday 12pm-10pm
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The Blackhorse Beer Mile brewery recap as at 2023
- Wildcard Brewery
- Hackney High Hill Taproom
- Beerblefish Brewing
- Exale Brewery
- Pretty Decent Beer Co
- Signature Brew
- Big Penny Social
How to get to Walthamstow Beer Mile / Blackhorse Beer Mile
The best stations to start and end the Blackhorse beer mile is Blackhorse Road Underground / Overground station which is a 5 minute walk away, or St James Street Overground station which is a 20 minute walk away.
Also in the Blackhorse Beer Mile in Walthamstow
Renegade Urban Winery – E17
Cool name, chilled wine and unique bottle labels – what more can you want in a local winery?
After opening a similar venue in Bethnal Green, Renegade Urban Winery’s latest vintage is this sleek looking winery set-up on Lockwood Way, in the shadow of several Blackhorse Beer Mile brewery neighbours.
In fact, Renegade Urban Winery is literally less than 30 seconds walk from both Wildcard Brewery and Hackney Brewery High Hill tap (but remember, beer THEN wine is fine).
Open Thursday to Sunday most weeks, during the summer months, there is a huge outdoor area with plenty of picnic tables to sup your sauv and mull your merlot. Wine is available by the glass or by bottle.
Each year, the winery makes around 10 to 12 different wines with a unique face on each – what is super cool is that anyone can apply to be the face of the wine and they represent a huge cross section of the UK (and not just Londoners).
Renegade Urban Winery host regular events like live jazz or tours of Renegade Urban winery that include tastings.
Renegade Urban Winery address
7 Lockwood Way, London E17 5RB
Renegade Urban Winery opening times
Thurs-Fri: 5pm-11pm; Sat:12pm-11pm; Sun: 12pm-9pm
Other craft beer spots near the Blackhorse Beer Mile in Walthamstow
The Black Horse
Housed in the base of one of the new Blackhorse (Road) Mills buildings (lucky residents!), the Black Horse bar fittingly has a big and beautiful hand painted mural of an actual black horse- welcome to the nayyyyy-bourhood!
With an industrial interior and cracking centrepiece bar, the Black Horse Bar serves craft beer on draft from nearby Blackhorse Beer Mile neighbouring breweries, Exale Brewing and Signature Brew (although at over £6 a pint, it is cheaper at the source).
Outside, there is a little seating area overlooking the estate and inside, there is ample seating space, well lit by the huge bay windows.
Since opening in the summer of 2022, The Black Horse Bar has also added a pizza oven to its operation so definitely a good spot for some beer and pizza action along Blackhorse Road / Walthamstow.
The Black Horse address
1 Wickford Way, London E17 6ZH
TheBlack Horse opening times
Tues-Thurs: 4pm-11pm; Fri: 4pm-12.30am; Sat: 12pm-12.30am; Sun: 12pm-10pm
Pillars Brewery / The Untraditional Pub at CRATE
Located a 20 minute walk from the Blackhorse Beer Mile, Walthamstow’s very own BoxPark, CRATE St James Street is a small retail village and street-food pop-up rolled into one, comprising lots of shipping containers and a deck for eating and drinking.
With over 30 container businesses located at CRATE, head up to the first floor to visit The Untraditional Pub, the brainchild of Pillars brewery.
The container bar itself is brightly coloured (you can’t miss the vivid orange) and has a sleek and snug serving area. There are a few seats inside with a larger seating area out on the terrace (suitable for all weather as it has a retractable canvas roof).
Pillars Brewery core range is all available on tap including their Pillars Pilsner (4.0% abv), their Rebel Helles Lager (4.8% abv) and our current favourite, the Untraditional Session IPL (4.5%). We’ve yet to try their stronger and darker 7.0% abv Doppelbock, something we hope to rectify soon.
Whilst here, accompany your beer with some street food from one of the neighbouring stalls. From Baggio Burger’s burgers to the Green Grill’s and Chicken-ish’s vegan delights, there should be something to suit everyone’s palette.
Pillars Brewery Untraditional Pub address
CRATE, 35 St James Street, E17 7FY
Pillars Brewery Untraditional Pub opening times
Mon-Wed: 4pm-11pm; Thurs – Sat: 12pm-11pm; Sun: 12pm-10pm
Ravenswood Industrial Estate in Walthamstow Village
Two of the breweries featured here (Pillars Brewery and Wildcard Brewery) also have other taprooms a 40 minute away from the Blackhorse Beer Mile, on the Ravenswood Industrial Estate, near Walthamstow Village – you can read more about them in our Walthamstow Village blog.
We’d recommend you combine them with a visit to Walthamstow’s very own warehouse of light, God’s Own Junkyard.
Other Walthamstow blog posts
- Things to do in Blackhorse Road
- Walthamstow restaurants – awesome places to eat
- Guide to Walthamstow Wetlands, north east London
- Ultimate guide to Walthamstow, London
- Best pubs, bars and brewery taprooms in Walthamstow
- Walthamstow Village in London – a local’s guide
- God’s Own Junkyard – Walthamstow’s neon nirvana
Other London blog posts
- The best North London brewery taprooms
- Leytonstone Beer Mile guide
- Guide to the best brewery tours in London
- Best Tottenham pubs and brewery taprooms
- Top things to do in East London
- Top things to do in Shoreditch, east London
- A guide to Victoria Park Village and park
- Borough Market guide – London’s most famous food market
- Maltby Street Market in London
- Things to do in Hackney Wick, East London
- The ultimate guide to the Bermondsey Beer Mile
- The best brewery taprooms in London
- Ultimate guide to Tottenham, London
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