5 of the best places in London to enjoy a fine beer

Beer, or real ale, is inextricably tied up with English history. While many these days prefer to stick to continental lagers, there is still a huge contingent which is serious about their beers. In fact, the 13th to 17th August 2013 sees the Great British Beer Festival land at London’s Olympia exhibition hall. If you’ll be in town at the time, it’s a fun event to get involved with. The show sees 55,000 people pass through its doors over the five days, and over 800 real ales, ciders and perries are on offer, along with food and entertainment.

Great British Beer Festival

If you can’t make it to that, here are some of the best independent places in the capital to try some locally produced English ale.

Brodie’s Beers, High Road Leyton

In 2008, this husband a wife duo took over an abandoned brewery and set to work making their very own brews, based on recipes they used to make at home. They create a range of nine main beers named after trendy London hangouts, ranging from a Bethnal Green Bitter to a Dalston Black IPA. Visitors are welcome, but if you’d like to enjoy a pint of their beer in a pub environment, head to the unique Cross Keys pub in Covent Garden.

Kernel Brewery, 98 Druid Street

This Bermondsey-based microbrewery has only been going since 2009, and produces an impressive range of pale ales, porters, white ales, IPAs and stouts. The flagship brew is the Export Stout London 1890 – a rich, strong beer made to a 19the century recipe. The beer maker here has already won awards from the discerning Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA). The brewery is open to the public on Saturdays during the day for those keen to visit.

The Florence, Dulwich Road

A self-styled ‘brew pub’, this fashionable old pub brews three of its own beers directly on site. There’s the Weasel – a hoppy, citrusy golden ale; the Bonobo – a dark, fruity beer made from malted barley; and the Beaver – a wheaty, cloudy beer with a twist of orange peel flavour. Pop in to taste the beers and stay for lunch or dinner!

The Florence

CRATE Brewery, Hackney Wick

Set inside a former print factory along the East London canal, CRATE Brewery is a relatively new one on the scene, opening back in the summer of 2012. The brewers create a delectable range of lager, golden ale, pale ale, bitter and stout and serve them up in their bar alongside other craft beers from around the world. Go on a nice day and sit outside by the edge of the canal for a bit of calm in the crazy capital. The undeniable selling point of this place is that it is also a pizzeria. What more could one wish for?

Duke’s Brew and Que, De Beauvoir Town

This lovely pub’s associated Beavertown Brewery is enhanced only by the addition of the ‘que’ – a serious piece of barbecue equipment which serves up incredible beef and pork ribs, pulled pork sliders, steaks and burgers to a hungry, fun-loving crowd. Started in 2009, the beers used to be brewed in the pub, but now the Beavertown Brewery has expanded to new premises on Fish Island. They specialise in ‘experimental beers’, brewing a new blend every new weeks and getting local artists to design the labels.

Duke’s Brew and Que, De Beauvoir Town

Stuart Leckie is Director of Sales & Marketing at St. Ermin’s Hotel.

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