In a dimly lit room, the wooden floor creaks and a fire crackles in the corner fireplace as a business-mannered bartender fills dimpled glass mugs with tepid cask ale. This is the scene in a typical London pub – and could accurately describe any one of the thousands of pubs in the city (yes, thousands). Classic pubs are a staple in London; a throwback to a bygone era that remains oddly fashionable in the present-day metropolis. (Read about our Classic Pub Crawl along the River Thames.) However, there is an alternative beer scene brewing in London: small craft breweries are opening throughout the city for microbrew consumption. Differentiating themselves from characteristic London pubs, the small batch breweries are often informal and industrial. Determined to get a good taste of the burgeoning scene, we joined hipsters and beer lovers for a self-guided London Craft Beer Crawl on the Bermondsey Beer Mile.
The Bermondsey Beer Mile – technically, a mile and a half – is located in southeast London along a stretch of elevated train tracks. As early as 2009, brewers started moving into the area to take up residence in the brick railway arches below the tracks. The industrial spaces are bathed in stark light, littered with beer-making supplies and emit the strong aroma of fresh hops. The area is now home to several breweries, who open their doors to the public for limited hours on weekends. With a list and a plan, we visited five taprooms on our London Craft Beer Crawl on the Bermondsey Beer Mile. (Map and tips below.)
A London Craft Beer Crawl: Bermondsey Beer Mile
- Address: Arches 29-30, 24 Old Jamaica Road, London SE16 4AW
- Hours: Thursday 12pm – 11pm | Friday 12pm – 11pm | Saturday 12pm – 11pm | Sunday 12pm – 7pm
As the name implies, UBREW is all about teaching YOU how to BREW. Since we just had the afternoon, we skipped class and headed straight for the taproom (but we did take a peek into the room full of ‘students’ taking a hands-on brewing course).
Brew by Numbers
- Address: 79 Enid Street, London SE16 3RA
- Hours: Friday 6pm – 10pm | Saturday 11am – 8pm
Good beer attracts good crowds, which explains why Brew by Numbers was chockablock. The jolly revelers spilled out onto the patio, where a street food shop was grilling sausages for sale.
- Address: 8 Almond Road, South Bermondsey, London SE16 3LR
- Hours: Saturday 11am – 5pm
At Partizan Brewery, patrons imbibe amongst giant steel tanks in the small standing-room-only space, which seemed to invite a more laid-back, beer-aficionado crowd.
- Address: 15 Almond Road, London SE16 3LR
- Hours: Saturday 11am – 5pm
Not a brewer, but a local craft beer distributor, EeBria pours a variety of microbrews on a rotating tap. Empty kegs and crate pallets serve as tables and chairs – and an air hockey table provides entertainment.
- Address: 22 Bermondsey Trading Estate, Rotherhithe New Road, London SE16 3LL
- Hours: Friday 4pm – 8pm | Saturday 11am – 8pm
At Fourpure Brewing, the large, open warehouse had a slightly more polished feel. Featuring ample seating, an actual bar and a DJ spinning tunes – as well as street food on the patio – the inviting space was comfortable. We could have stayed for one more round, but it was already closing time.
Additional Breweries to visit on a London Craft Beer Crawl on the Bermondsey Beer Mile
A more ambitious London Craft Beer Crawl on the Bermondsey Beer Mile could include a couple more breweries that we missed.
- Address: 118 Druid Street, London SE1 2HH
- Hours: Friday 5pm – 9pm | Saturday 10:30am – 5:30pm | Sunday 12:30pm – 5pm
- Address: 46 Druid Street, London SE1 2EZ
- Hours: Tuesday 7pm – 10pm | Thursday 7pm – 10pm | Friday 5pm – 10pm | Saturday 11am – 6pm | Sunday 11am – 4pm
- Address: Arch 11 Dockley Road, Industrial Estate, London SE16 3SF
- Hours: Saturday 9am-2pm
The Kernel, the original Bermondsey Beer Mile brewer, is no longer serving beer from the brewery. It is still open, however, as a bottle shop on Saturdays from 9-2.
Bermondsey Beer Mile Public Transportation
- Tube Station: Bermondsey Station– Jubilee Line
- National Rail: South Bermondsey – Southern Line
- Buses serving the area: C10, 1, 47, 188, 381, P12
London Craft Beer Crawl: Bermondsey Beer Mile Map
Links to Google Maps with walking directions:
- Map of Our London Craft Beer Crawl Route on the Bermondsey Beer Mile
- Map of Our London Craft Beer Crawl Route on the Bermondsey Beer Mile, including Public Transport Stations
- Map of London Craft Beer Crawl on the Bermondsey Beer Mile with additonal breweries
More London Itineraries and Things To Do
- 3-Day London Itinerary on a Budget
- 15-Day London, Paris, Rome Itinerary
- How to Spend a Sunday in London
- One Day in Greenwich: 5 Sights to See
- Visiting the Sky Garden in London
- A Walk in London: Westminster Sights
- River Thames Pub Crawl in London
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