From their one-room Leyton brewery, brother and sister team James and Lizzie Brodie concoct a bewildering variety of beers in styles that cross international borders. Set up in 2008, the brewery supplies pubs with casks and bottles and has just received organic certification. We particularly like the seven-hop IPA – and the fact the tour’s free.
The Griffin Brewery, Chiswick Lane South, W4 2QB (020 8996 2063/www.fullers.co.uk). Turnham Green tube. 11am-3pm Mon-Fri.
The current brewery was officially established in 1845, though the Chiswick site of Fuller’s Griffin brewery has witnessed 350 years of continuous brewing. On an average day 640 barrels of beer are produced and visitors are guided through the industrial process with up to 20 tours each week.
Tuesday evenings next year just got a little bit brighter. The Meantime Brewery in Greenwich has decided to open its doors to the public for weekly tours. Expect ample opportunity to learn about (as well as sample) brewmaster Alastair Hook’s award-winning beers. Tours are 6.30-8.30pm Tuesdays from January 11 2011 and cost £15.
Ha’penny Brewing Company
Cuckoo Hall Brewery, Unit 8, Aldborough Hall Farm, Aldborough Road North, Aldborough Hatch, Ilford, IG2 7TD (020 8599 1338/www.hapenny-brewing.co.uk). Barkingside tube.
On a farm near the eastern end of the Central Line, this cask brewery (the name is an amalgam of the brewers’ surnames: Happé and Penny) began as a weekend project at university for friends Gavin and Chris. It is run during the week by Gavin’s dad Lee while they are busy with their day jobs in accountancy and law. Without knowing it they built the brewery on the site of the historic brew-house of a nearby pub. The beers are named after characters of London legend: the Guildhall giants Gog and Magog, and from Sweeney Todd, Mrs Lovett’s Most Efficacious.
Andy Moffat began brewing Redemption cask ales earlier this year at this small north London site. Aiming to be environmentally sustainable, he uses only British hops and malt, renewable energy and composts spent grain at a local allotment. Two ales are currently brewed: a pale ale (3.8 per cent) and the Urban Dusk bitter (4.6 per cent) with a rich burnt sugar sweetness.
Founded by Duncan Sambrook in 2008, this Battersea brewery sources all ingredients from within 100 miles. The deep amber Junction ale and lighter Wandle ale will be joined by a new Porter from November 2010. Groups of ten or more can book a brewery tour (£10pp) 7-8.30pm Monday to Thursday or at noon or 3pm on Saturdays. Smaller groups or individuals can attend open evenings (third Wednesday of each month at 6.30pm (£7). Tours include a brief history, tastings and a look at the brewery.
Mind the Gap tours took us on their London pub tour. http://www.mindthegaptours.com/drinklondon/ The guide was John and he was very enthusiastic about the area and pubs. We learn lots of history about the pubs and would seriously recommend this tour. They must be confident as they offer a 100% no quibble money back guarantee. There trip advisor reviews speak volumes, not one negative one.