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London is synonymous with good ale and beer and microbreweries abound in the metropolis. Microbrewery typically refers to a small scale brewery that produces traditional cask ale. The first microbrewery was founded in 1975 in Litchborough, a Northamptonshire village in the United Kingdom. These days, the term represents the attitude and approach to the adaptability and experimentation of brewing. Products compete on the basis of quality and diversity as well as customer service.
Frustrated by a lack of local beers, Duncan Sambrook came up with his idea in 2007 and started out with a five barrel brewery which has grown to a 20-barrel production. The brewery produced Wandle beer – a light and refreshing ale available at Havelock Tavern, Hammersmith, W14; Bricklayer’s Arms, Putney, SW15 and The Lighthouse, Battersea, SW11.
Zerodegrees is named after the temperature at which beer ferments and allows customers the experience of drinking in a real brewery, amongst chrome pipes and apparatus. Four homemade ales and lagers are served as are a range of speciality beers like stout and apple wheat. The venue also serves amazing pizza. The Signature beers and Zerodegrees Pilsner along with the brewery’s ale can be found at 29/31 Montpelier Vale, Blackheath, SE3.
King William IV Hotel and Bar
This brewery was originally the official tap for the adjoining Sweet William Brewery, but it was eventually abandoned and in 2008 taken over by a brother and sister who now brew Brodie’s IPA and more than 30 other beers. The brewery offers sixteen different types of beer every weekend for just £1.99 a pint and can be found at 816 High Road, Leyton.
Found in the Pepys Building at the Old Royal Naval College, SE10 9LW, the Old Brewery carries and impressive range of beers. Two ales are actually brewed on site – a light Kellerbier and a smoky but sweet hospital Porter. All the other ales are brewed nearby on bigger premises. The food at the establishment is great too and even better when enjoyed in the walled beer garden.
This pub currently boasts its own brewed Weasel ale and Beaver wheat beer on draught and there are tasting notes on the pumps. Pints are best enjoyed in the conservatory or on the terrace at 131-133 Dulwich Road, SE24 ONG.
The Horseshoe is a Hampstead gastro pub housing a small brewery in its basement. On tap are two own made beers that change with the seasons. This pub also offers a great range of American beers and can be found at 28 Heath St, NW3 6TE.
This brewery boasts a vast collection of beers two of which are brewed on-site. Mainstay Brew Wharf Best is the standing favourite and is usually joined by a guest beer weekly. The menu is influenced by beer too with the likes of delicious battered haddock. Beer-making gatherings are held fortnightly at Brew Wharf Yard, Stoney Street, SE1.
This popular pub has been voted as one of the best for a pint in London. They offer many draughts and a great selection from around the world but their Truman’s Runner Ale founded in 1666 stands out from the crowd. The ale lasted until 1989 but was resurrected in 2010 by two local enthusiasts. The bitter Truman’s Runner is in memory of the original that was just called Runner. The Carpenters Arms is at 73 Chershire Street.
Once associated with bearded men and musty pubs, ale and beer is now being enjoyed by a younger crowd and the number of women beer drinkers has increased greatly. London truly is a microbrewery capital and a pub crawl to try the different offerings is an absolute must.
This article was written on behalf of Claridges, a 5 star hotel in London.