Sick of hitting the ‘Spoons on a Friday night? Impress mates and dates by taking them to any one of these independent brewery taprooms, where London craft beers and house ales can be sampled in the comfort of the brewery or affiliated bar. After all, the best London breweries are surely the ones where you can sample straight from the source. Read on for our selection.
RECOMMENDED: Read our guide to the best craft beer in the UK
Breweries in north London
Situated behind the Black Horse Pub in Barnet, house brewer Tim Longman keeps the taps flowing with a range of real ales.
Barnet Brewery, The Black Horse, Wood St, EN5 4BW. 020 8449 2230.
Mon-Sat noon-midnight. Sun noon-11pm.
Breweries in east London
Breweries in south London
Currently the only brewery in its borough, its labels are unmistakably recognisable by their wild, ring-necked parakeets (also an icon of the local area).
Bexley Brewery, 18 Manford Industrial Estate, Manor Rd, DA8 2AJ. 01322 337368.
Sat Nov 28, 11.15am-12.30pm, £10.
Big Smoke Brew Co
Described as (almost all) vegan friendly, Big Smoke Brew Co makes flavourful, punchy and additive-free beer – drink it at The Antelope in Surbiton where it’s based.
Big Smoke Brew Co, The Antelope, 87 Maple Rd, Surbiton, KT6 4AW. 020 8399 5565.
Mon-Thu noon-11pm, Fri-Sat noon-11.30pm, Sun noon-10.30pm.
Brew By Numbers
A marriage of Belgian, Australian and New Zealand brewing styles, this brewery prides itself on creating new, high-quality, forward-thinking beers.
Brew By Numbers, 79 Enid St, SE16 3RA. 020 7237 9794.
Sat 10am-5pm, Sun noon-6pm.
Brockley Brewery was founded by a group of local residents who felt that the area’s thriving local community was lacking good-quality ales. Housed in a disused builder’s workshop, it opened its doors to the public in 2013 so that everyone could take advantage of a brewery on their doorstep.
Brockley Brewery, 31 Harcourt Rd, SE4 2AJ. 07814 584338.
Fri 5.30pm-7.30pm, Sat 10am-5pm.
By The Horns Brewing Co
From a homebrew kit in a garage, this brewery now features a taproom boasting flagship ales, limited-edition beers and guest ales from other fantastic local breweries.
By The Horns Brewing Co, 25 Summerstown, SW17 0BQ. 020 3417 7338.
Wed-Fri 4pm-11pm, Sat noon-10pm.
Canopy Beer Co
Featuring both guest and house ales on tap such as the Milkwood Amber Ale, this brewery also showcases a range of gins and ciders made in the local area. Sit outside in the taproom beer garden or inside if the weather isn’t all that great.
Canopy Beer Co, Arch 1127, Bath Factory Estate, 41 Norwood Rd, SE4 9AJ. 07792 463386.
Wed-Fri 5pm-11pm, Sat noon-11pm, Sun noon-10pm.
The first microbrewery to have its products 100 percent Vegetarian Society-accredited, Clarkshaws shares its tap room with the London Beer Lab. Go for drinks and a behind-the-scenes look at the brewery itself.
Clarkshaws, Arch 283 Belinda Rd, SW9 7DT. 07989 402687.
Breweries in west London
Find more craft beer in the capital
Craft beer – interesting, progressive beers made by small-scale breweries, and distinct from real ale – is often explosively hoppy and quite unlike traditional British beer. An increasing number of London bars and pubs are specialising in them. Here's our pick.