London's best microbreweries



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When does a microbrewery become a brewery? Unlike the US, the UK has no legal definition. London has some great independent breweries though, and these pubs are all great places to drink handcrafted artisan beers - the antidote to bland offerings from the big brewers

  • London's best microbreweries

    Scott Wishart

    • Kernel Brewery

      98 Druid St, SE1 2HQ (07757552636/ London Bridge tube or rail or Bermondsey tube. 9am-3pm Sat.

      Evin opened his Bermondsey Kernel Brewery at the end of 2009 and has already scooped up awards for two of his brews from SIBA the Society of Independent Brewers. Three pale ales, two porters, a white ale, an IPA and a Stout are currently available. He currently opens the brewery to the public on Saturdays 9-3, when several other nearby producers also open shop – including Monmouth Coffee Company, Neal’s Yard Dairy and French and Italian importers, the Ham and Cheese Company. The brewery is quite small inside but there is space to quaff your brew outside and graze on the other select offerings.

  • The Florence

    131-133 Dulwich Rd, SE24 0NG (7326 4987/

    Tasting notes are on the pumps at this Herne Hill pub, which currently has its own-brewed Weasel ale and Beaver wheat beer on draught. Sup your pint in the conservatory or out on the expansive terrace. Read more

  • The Horseshoe

    28 Heath St, NW3 6TE (7431 7206)

    This Hampstead gastropub has a small brewery in the basement. Two own-made ‘Camden Hill’ beers are usually on tap – on our recent visit a pale ale and a wheat beer – that change with the seasons. There’s also a good range of bottled beers from the US. Read more

  • The Old Brewery

    The Pepys Building, The Old Royal Naval College, SE10 9LW (3327 1280/

    In prime position by the meridian line in the stately environs of the old Royal Naval College, this artisan brew-house (which is almost definitely too big to truly be called a microbrewery these days) carries an extensive range of beers. Since the bar and restaurant opened earlier this year, there have been two ales brewed on-site in vast copper vats – a smoky, sweet Hospital Porter, and the light Kellerbier. The rest of the excellent Meantime ales are brewed on bigger premises a few minutes away. The food is also good and sitting in the large walled beer garden, our sentiments were echoed by a nearby diner as she pleaded: ‘Can we stay for dinner too?’ Read more

  • King William IV

    816 High Rd, E10 6AE (8556 2460/

    Brother and sister team Jimmy and Lizzie Brodie lovingly restored the brewery next door to their pub in 2008 and have so far created 32 varieties of ales. They keep several of these on tap, currently including the hoppy Californian and a ruby-coloured Irish Red.

  • Zero Degrees

    29-31 Montpelier Vale, SE3 0TJ (8852 5619/

    On the south corner of the heath this state-of-the-art pizza pub only serves its own ales, brewed on-site in stainless steel vats. A light pilsner, a pale ale, a Czech-style black lager and a wheat beer are all well kept, unfiltered and unpasteurised. When we visited, the special was a mango-flavoured wheat beer; next up will be strawberry.

  • Brew Wharf at Vinopolis

    Brew Wharf Yard, Stoney St, SE1 9AD (7378 6601/

    The cavernous exposed brick interior is flanked by an open kitchen and brewing vats at this beer hall. A world of beers are available to try, including pricey ‘speciality’ tipples. Two beers are currently brewed on-site: Three Lions and Hopfather, a US-style IPA.

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