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The best London breweries

London's craft beer scene has grown at an astonishing rate, with a whole host of taprooms and brewery tours now open to the public. Here's our pick of the best London breweries

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, but bear in mind that opening hours can be changeable, so check Twitter first to avoid going thirsty.

Breweries in north London

Beavertown Brewery

Few London breweries have expanded at the phenomenal rate of Beavertown, which now occupies a huge warehouse space in Tottenham. Whether such progress owes anything to the fact that its founder happens to be the son of Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant, we couldn’t possibly comment. But when the beer – as bold and brash as its can art – is so consistently good, who cares?

Sat 2pm-8pm

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Tottenham Hale

Camden Town Brewery

From Thursday to Saturday, the brewery’s taproom plays host to a variety of street food vendors along with beers such as the famous Camden Hells Lager.

Tue-Wed 2pm-9pm, Thur-Sat noon-11pm, Sun noon-9pm.

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Kentish Town

London Brewing Co

Specially matching their handcrafted beer to their food, the staff at The Bull pub in Highgate will always find something to your taste.

Sun-Thu noon-11.30pm Fri-Sat noon-midnight.

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Highgate

Breweries in east London

Crate Brewery

This unique venue created from scavenged material such as railway sleepers and bed springs features house beers and guest brews from around the world. Savour with a hand-rolled, made-to-order pizza.

Sun-Thu noon-11pm, Fri-Sat noon-midnight.

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Hackney Wick

Howling Hops

The first of its kind, this taproom serves its beer directly from the tank, as opposed to the more traditional cask or keg. It serves ten different beers, including the Howling Pils, as well as coffee, meats and sarnies.

Sun-Thu noon-11pm. Fri-Sat noon-midnight.

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Hackney Wick

Maregade

When Howling Hops expanded into a bigger site in Hackney Wick, its birthplace in the basement below the Cock Tavern on Mare Street was taken over by this fledgling outfit. The Cock’s taps are constantly home to at least a handful of Maregade’s brews, which tend toward traditional English styles.

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Hackney

Redchurch Brewery Taproom

Inviting their favourite musicians and DJs along to complement the beer, these Bethnal Green brewers have turned their brewery into a destination.

Thu-Fri 6pm-12.30am, Sat noon-12.30am.

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Bethnal Green

One Mile End

Though there’s no taproom at One Mile End’s big new Tottenham site, the pub beneath which the brewery was born – The White Hart in Whitechapel – still flies the flag, showcasing the latest stuff out of the tanks. The Salvation! pale ale is a reliable session-starter.

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London

The Wild Card Brewery

The Wild Card Brewery bar offers a range of bottled and cask beers as well as a selection of other, locally made alcoholic beverages.

Fri 5pm-Midnight, Sat 11am-Midnight, Sun 11am-10pm.

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Upper Walthamstow

Breweries in south London

Anspach & Hobday

Just minutes from London Bridge, Anspach & Hobday serve their range of quirky and quality beers including Pale Ale and Smoked Brown. Enjoy with food from the nearby Maltby Street Market.

Fri 5pm-9.30pm, Sat 11am-5.30pm, Sun noon-5pm.

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Bermondsey

Bexley Brewery

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).

Sat Nov 28, 11.15am-12.30pm, £10.

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Slade Green

Bianca Road Brewing Co

One of south London’s newer breweries occupies a massive warehouse space just off of Old Kent Road. As well as hosting regular Sofar Sounds gigs, the taproom opens for on-site drinking and takeaways every Friday. The beer line-up is heavily influenced by sessionable styles from the American west coast, with all except the Red Rye clocking in under 5% ABV.

Friday 3pm–8pm.

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Peckham

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.

Mon-Thu noon-11pm, Fri-Sat noon-11.30pm, Sun noon-10.30pm.

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Surbiton

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.

Sat 10am-5pm, Sun noon-6pm.

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Bermondsey

Brick Brewery

Brick was founded in 2013 and is located under the arches of Peckham Rye Station; its taproom hosts a range of their core cask, keg and bottled beers, including the amazing London Brick rye.

Thu 5pm-9pm, Fri 5pm-10pm, Sat noon-10pm.

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Peckham Rye

Brixton Brewery

Even the grandparents and kids of this family-run business pitch in and lend a hand in the creation of these beers in the heart of Brixton, highlighting the breweries’ emphasis on community spirit.

Sat noon-5pm.

 

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Brixton

Brockley Brewery

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.

Fri 5.30pm-7.30pm, Sat 10am-5pm.

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Brockley

Bullfinch Brewery & Bar

Occupying a pair of small railway arches next to Brockwell Park, Bullfinch specialises in punchy American-style pales. Its beers are becoming a feature of some of the city’s finest craft beer pubs, but the best way to sample the full range is by settling down with a tasting flight in the on-site taproom.

Thu-Fri, 4pm-10pm; Sat-Sun, noon–10pm.

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Tulse Hill

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.

Wed-Fri 4pm-11pm, Sat noon-10pm.

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Summerstown
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Breweries in west London

Fuller's Brewery

This west-London stalwart has been mashing, boiling and fermenting since long before today’s brewers were twinkles in their grandfathers’ beards. The on-site shop is the best place to find Fuller’s lesser known beers (don’t worry, there’s lots of London Pride too), and the £20 brewery tour includes plenty of tastings.

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Chiswick

Long Arm Brewing Co

More than 200 years after a brewery originally opened on the site, the Ealing Park Tavern is now home to the Long Arm Brewing Company, which currently serves Red Ale, Pale Ale and an American IPA.

Mon-Wed 11am-11pm, Thu-Sat 11am-midnight, Sun 11am-10.30pm.

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South Ealing

Wimbledon Brewery

Determined to make sure SW19 is recognised for more than middle-class sport and trash-clearing critters, this cask-focused brewery’s reputation is slowly but surely spreading beyond south-west London. See what the fuss is about by booking onto a brewery tour, or dropping by for a ‘beer appreciation day’ on the last Saturday or every month.

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Collier's Wood

Find more craft beer in the capital

London's best craft beer bars and pubs

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. 

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By: David Clack

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