Considering the city's craft brewing scene is in the midst of a new wave of hoppy, dark, and sour drinks, it’s no surprise some of us are put off going within ten feet of anything labelled ‘beer’ ever again.
But, as these brews should show, all is not lost for new drinkers this summer. Believe it or not, London’s breweries do make the odd beer that won't clout you over the head with a sack of hops.
40ft Pale Ale
By creating a not overly hoppy pale ale, these Dalston boys have brought London exactly what it needed. The big tropical fruit notes you get from this brew are a bit like shoving a particularly ripe mango into your face. Like fruit? Consider this one of your five-a-day. Try it at various bottle shops, or their Dalston brewery.
Alright, this one might not knock you off your feet, but it is a solid intro to the German-style weissbier, where you’ll typically pick up subtle notes of banana and clove. A good starter beer, because it’s a little sweet, not bitter, not hoppy, and definitely not like licking an ashtray. Try it at various bottle shops, or their Greenwich brewery.
Beavertown Smog Rocket
While Beavertown’s signature range is well hopped, this one’s a tad more conservative. At least, to start with. At the back of the mouth you’ll get a hit of coffee, with soy and dark chocolate undertones – a rich, complex but accessible beer. Try it at various Oddbins and other bottle shops, or their Tottenham Hale brewery.
Partizan Lemon & Thyme Saison
Like Beavertown, Partizan has put a lot of time into its aesthetic. They’ve also put a lot of thyme into this beer (geddit?). Fortunately, not enough to overwhelm your delicate palate. It's refreshing and funky, with sweet lemon rind on the nose, while the mouth gets a pleasant dose of sourness and spice. Try it at their Bermondsey brewery.
Howling Hops Howling Pils
So, you figure yourself for a lager drinker, but your six-pack of Friday Foster's just doesn’t do it for you anymore. Understandable. Step forward another kind of lager – Howling Hops’ rather Bohemian-looking (and tasting) pilsner. Contrary to your Foster's, it’s clean, it’s crisp, and it’s a crime not to be drunk. Try it at various bottle shops or their Hackney Wick brewery.