London has a long history of brewing – in fact, in the 18th century, the capital became a national leader when it came to the fine art of brewing beer with the famous Samuel Whitbread founding what would become a beer brewing dynasty, back in 1742. Over the centuries to follow, the city remained an important site for brewing, and although the industry has transformed greatly, London is still an important place for the craft brewing industry.
No wonder Brits (and, more specifically, Londoners…) love a pint!
Though they’re a lot smaller than the large, industrial breweries of years past, London’s many craft breweries have set up shop across smaller warehouses and railway arches, with a vibrant and exciting new beer culture.
If you’re staying in London and fancy exploring the variety of breweries around, there is plenty to choose from. With over 80 small breweries across the city, there is plenty to see and sample. It’s worth booking yourself into a centrally located hotel such as the Park Grand London Kensington where you can easily get around the city, and still have plenty of energy and time left over to try some of London’s other great attractions.
Read on for a review of some of the most popular breweries around the city.
Wild Card Brewery
Founded in 2012 on a small trading estate in Walthamstow, this unassuming microbrewery has quietly but quickly risen to popularity across London, and supplies award-winning beers all over the city. The brewery began with a strong community focus, hard at work during the week, before opening the doors to their friends and neighbours at the weekend, with beer festivals, live music and other fun events.
Their beers are packed with flavour and personality, drawing on local inspiration, as well as more international flavours. You’ll find fruity beers with fresh and surprising flavours, inspired by traditional breweries across Europe, and delicious pale ales that make the perfect laid-back drink. And bringing in a little local taste, they’ve also created a special botanical brew with fresh ingredients and herbs foraged from a nearby nature reserve.
The brewery has two taprooms based in their founding neighbourhood of Walthamstow, which is easy to access from central London via the Victoria Line. Featuring lots of special events held regularly, it’s a fun and lively place to head to on a date night. And with great value London hotels romantic packages on offer right now, why not book a relaxing trip away to the city?
Based in Tottenham in North London, the craft brewery has made a splash in the broader beer world, attracting attention from bigger names in the industry and growing to larger premises to meet the growing demand. But that doesn’t detract from their status as an innovative and stylish brewery that combines high-quality brews with a bold and brash sense of style.
The brewery’s diverse range of flavours comes from unlikely and novel sources of inspiration, such as the Industrial Revolution and childhood sweets, as well as a great range of classic IPAs. Every beer is topped off with their unique and eye-catching artwork, characterised by brightly coloured illustrations, giving the brewery its distinctive persona.
As well as featuring some fantastic events at their brewery site, you can sample their beers across the city, and are great to enjoy on a night out or with a meal. If you’re having dinner at the Park Grand restaurant, a locally brewed beer is an excellent way of finishing off the night.
Five Points Brewery
Based in Hackney, Five Points Brewery is a small, independent brewery, committed to creating award-winning beers with fantastic flavours with a unique and modern sense of style, as well as a great commitment to ethical practices.
Taking their cue from the international craft brewing movement, Five Points’ beers are focused on small-batch releases, with unfiltered and unpasteurised ales for the best taste. They feature full-flavoured IPAs and refreshing lagers, as well as a classic London Porter, infused with delicious coffee and chocolate flavours.
If you’re interested in learning more about the fine art of brewing beers, you can even take a special tour around their site, where you’ll get to sample tasters from their latest ranges, learn about their history, and the philosophy that drives their approach to the business. You’ll also get to learn in detail about the difference between casks and kegs, whether to enjoy your beer from a can or a bottle, and a few other surprising insider secrets.
Their tours take place on the second Saturday of every month. You’ll find them in their brewery in Hackney, which is easy to get to from central London. They usually last about 90 minutes and are a great way to spend an afternoon with friends. If you find yourself peckish for a snack afterwards, treat yourself to a satisfyingly full flavoured Park Grand London Kensington Afternoon Tea, providing the perfect complement after a day of tasting beers.
If you’d like to get a little more involved in the brewing process, then one of the city’s best breweries to head to is Meantime, located down in Greenwich. This stylish brewery was founded by a world-class brewer, Alastair Hook, who kick-started the brand in his flat before moving on to bigger and better places.
Meantime have won countless awards over the years, and were the first British brewery to win the World Beer Cup. As well as enjoying their full spectrum of flavours, Meantime also offers the chance to learn more about both the process and the variety of beer, with brewery tours that show you what life is like behind the scenes of a modern working brewery.
You can also take a master class with one of their experts, where you can learn more about pairing beers with the best foods, as well as the chance to ask a knowledgeable beer guru about the intricacies of the brewing process, and how to develop a successful business in the growing industry.
Which London brews are you going to taste while staying at the Park Grand London Kensington? Leave us a comment!