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Where to Drink: Craft Beer in London

Whether you're a seasoned beer boffin or hopeless when it comes to hops, you'll love these bars and breweries

 The Gipsy Hill Brewing Company
Taproom: Unit 5, 160 Hamilton Road, SE27 9SF
The Douglas Fir: 144 Anerley Road, SE20 8DL



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What? A passion project turned booming business with great brewing and a community feel at its core.
Where? Their large and fully accessible taproom is tucked away on an industrial estate in, as the name would suggest, Gipsy Hill, whilst their popular bar, The Douglas Fir is halfway between Crystal palace and Anerley stations.
Why? The team at Gipsy Hill Brewing Co seem to pride themselves on two things: perfecting the production of their range of high-quality craft beers, and creating spaces where everyone, no matter your level of knowledge for craft beer, can feel welcome and free to enjoy what’s on offer. Their Gipsy Hill taproom is spacious and airy, with regular events including a great weekly pub quiz and a brewery tour and tasting every Saturday for just £15. Their self-proclaimed ‘micro bar’ down the road in Anerley opened in 2016 and, although small in size, is popular with the locals and boasts eight craft keg taps with a selection of Gipsy Hill’s finest and two cask pumps featuring selected choices from guest breweries. Gipsy Hill have six core beers mainly consisting of pales and IPA’s including the popular Hepcat, as well as a smorgasbord of seasonal specials, meaning you’ll definitely have to visit more than once if you want to try them all, but we’re sure you won’t mind. 

Howling Hops  
Unit 9A Queens Yard, White Post Lane, Hackney Wick, E9 5EN

What? It has the claim to fame for being the UK’s first all-tank brewery.
Where? Smack bang in the centre of Hackney Wick
Why? Tank brewing means all their beers are unfiltered, unpasteurised and have never touched a can, keg or bottle, meaning you get fresh, flavoursome beer every time. With four core beers as well as seasonal brews and one-off special batches (all suitable for vegans) at their spacious Tank Bar, it’s a nice place for a weekend session – plus if you like a dance it’s known get lively here later into the evenings.  

Brew By Numbers 
Arch 79 Enid Street, Bermondsey, SE16 3RA


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What? Good beers and great atmosphere in London’s beer capital.
Where? Their original taproom and brewery sits in the heart of Bermondsey’s Beer Mile, whilst their newer offering, the Barrel Store, is a little further south in Peckham. 
Why? Any self-respecting beer fan in London really needs to head to the Bermondsey beer mile, the capital of London beer thanks to its rich brewing history and the number of breweries, bottle shops and bars in the square mile area. Brew By Numbers is definitely one to tick off that list as their taproom is directly in front of their main brewhouse, meaning that whether you’re after their classic session IPA, a hoppy Saison, a refreshing pale, or wanting to treat your taste buds to something a little different, you get to try everything directly from the source. 

Canopy Beer Co 
Arch Unit 1127, Bath Factory Estate, 41, Norwood Road, SE24 9AJ


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What? A no-frills brewery that makes up for lack of glamour with a friendly vibe and a passion for beer. 
Where? Under the railway arches of Herne Hill
Why? Whilst it might be a little hard to find, Canopy is always happy to welcome fellow beer enthusiasts to enjoy a drink or two at their rough around the edges South London taproom. With four core beers (we’d recommend their light and fruity Snapper session IPA) and a selection of specials, as well as a well-stocked can and bottle fridge, it’s a great little discovery especially when the sun is shining. 

Brick Brewery
Arch 209, Blenheim Grove, SE15 4QL


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What? An up and coming brewery that all began in a shed in 2013. 
Where? Less than a minute walk from Peckham Rye station
Why? From humble shed beginnings, Brick now boasts a Peckham taproom with 20 taps offering up their entire foundation range of beers as well as exclusives only available for those visiting the taproom. Whilst their own core range are the stars of the show, they also offer guest taps showcasing their own favourite finds, as well as a bottle shop on site so you can stock up at home too. With a rustic vibe and plenty of space in and outdoors, Brick has a relaxed and friendly atmosphere come rain or shine. 

Mikkeller Bar London
2-4 Hackney Rd, London E2 7NS


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What? A Danish brewing expert and an 80s pop sensation walk into a bar. No, it’s not the start of a pretty obscure joke, but it was the start of what became this popular East London bar.
Where? On the corner of Hackney Road in amongst lively Shoreditch
Why? When Rick Astley of ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ fame and the ensuing rickrolling trend met Mikkel Borg Bjergsø, one of the founders of cult status Danish brewery Mikkeller, to collaborate on Astley inspired ‘Astley’s Northern Hop Lager’ they had such a great time they decided to open Mikkeller London.  Open since October 2018, the welcome Scandi influence on the bar’s décor is Pinterest level, and admittedly the prices here can be reminiscent of those in Bjergsø’s native Copenhagen (read: it ain’t cheap) but there’s a reason Mikkeller has become something of a craft beer institution worldwide, the quality of the beer speaks for itself so it’s a must-visit for any discerning craft beer fan. Find out more here.

Sorry, we couldn’t resist.
Ghost Whale 
70 Atlantic Rd, Brixton, SW9 8PX and 134 Upper Richmond Road, Putney, SW15 2SP


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What? A fast-growing independent bottle shop with a passion for bringing the best of the world’s craft beer to London.
Where?Their first store is in Brixton, just down the street from Dogstar, whilst their newest Putney offering is over the road from East Putney station. 
Why? For a store that’s only just over a year old, Ghost Whale mind-bogglingly has over 400 beers and ciders to choose from in both their stores, carefully selected from the best of the craft beer scene both in the UK and across the globe. Add to that their six taps at their Brixton flagship store offering up a frequently changing roster of specially chosen beers in a range of styles, and Ghost Whale is enough to make any beer aficionado feel very hoppy happy indeed. 
The Beer Merchants Tap 
99 Wallis Rd, Hackney Wick, E9 5LN

What? A popular taproom and bottleshop serving up an abundance of quality beers, with plans of their own production in the pipeline.
Where? Three minute’s walk from Hackney Wick station
Why? Staying true to their name, The Beer Merchant’s Tap have become quality distributors of an epic array of worldwide beers through their online shop and popular Hackney taproom, stocking over 600 bottles and cans as well as fresh offerings from their 20 keg taps and two cask pumps. Not content on just selling the best of the best and with a particular love of Belgian and British beers, they’ve opened their own blendery where they’ll be creating their own Lambic-style beers – watch this space.