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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Through the back of the George and Dragon pub, the Dragonfly Brewery makes a range of seasonal cask ales.
Sun-Thu noon-11pm, Fri-Sat noon-midnight.
Fourpure is one of south London's largest breweries, and there's always something new and exciting across its taproom's 16 taps.
Fri 4pm–8pm, Sat 11am–8pm.
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.
If you live within a mile, you’re entitled to a 15 percent discount off everything in the brewery; even more of a reason to check out the range of moreish ales.
A short walk from the brewery itself, the fittingly named Taproom is a permanent stockist of the Hop Stuff Brewery’s entire range as well as other local breweries and locally sourced food.
Mon-Thu 4pm-11pm, Fri-Sat noon-midnight, Sun noon-10pm.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Tasting Rooms at the Meantime Brewing Co are located in the heart of the brewery, giving you the opportunity to watch the brewers work their magic while you enjoy a pint of their refreshing London Lager.
Mon-Wed noon-10.30pm, Thu-Fri noon-11pm, Sat 11am-11pm, Sun noon-6pm.
Featuring four core ales, including a Düsseldorf style ‘old ale’ and seasonal offerings to match, this south London brewhouse takes inspiration from all over the world to create its beers.
Thu-Fri 5pm-11pm,Sat-Sun noon-11pm.
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.
The distinctive, brightly coloured labels of this brewery make the idea of sampling its range of pale ales and saisons even more enticing. Check them out every Saturday afternoon and drink in or take away.
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.
Visit for an after-work pint on a Friday or during the day on a Saturday for a range of six hand-pulled cask beers and several others straight from the cask. Combine with food from the local Maltby Street Market.
Fri 4pm-8pm, Sat 11am-7pm.
This Bermondsey operation is unique among London breweries in that it also houses a collection of small pilot kits with which, for a monthly fee, truly dedicated hopheads can brew their own. As well as producing its own range of house beers, Ubrew also leases its full-size kit out to a small group of fledgling commercial brewers – notably Old Kent Rd Brewery – who are gaining a reputation in their own right.
Thu–Sat, noon-11pm; Sun noon–7pm.
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.
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.
Enjoy speciality beers, including a mango-flavoured ale, at the brewery’s restaurant in Blackheath. Also try the beer cocktails.
Zerodegrees, 29-31 Montpelier Vale, SE3 0TJ. 020 8852 5619.
Mon-Sat noon-midnight, Sun noon-11pm.