With the thirst for craft beer showing no sign of slowing down, more and more craft breweries have begun popping up around the country. It should come as no surprise then that one of the areas most densely populated with breweries is our very own capital. As of 2015 London was home to more than 74 breweries, and with this number continuing to grow steadily over the past two years, it is now surely much closer to 100.
And while many of these breweries offer occasional tours or open days, some have fully operating tap rooms, where guests can go to get stuck in. A well curated tap room is an egalitarian place, a space for people to congregate on upside-down milk crates or rickety picnic benches. It’s a space where people from all walks of life can share packets of salty crisps while shouting over the endless playlist of classic hits. Like Cheers with better beer, here’s our list of London tap rooms that get the magic formula just right.
At the very end of the famous Bermondsey Beer Mile, set inside a large industrial park is Fourpure Brewing Co. and tap room. With the smell of hops and malt in the air, you’ll feel dwarfed by the ceiling high fermentation tanks and towers of oak barrels that surround. With 16 taps offering all of the core range as well as limited edition brews, Fourpure’s tap room also doubles as an event space hosting dinners and occasional live music. Normal opening hours are Friday from 4 – 9pm and Saturday from 11am – 8pm, check their website for details on upcoming events.
Bermondsey Trading Estate, Rotherhithe New Rd, London SE16 3LL
From Bermondsey, head further south to Canopy Beer Co to try some of the occasionally featured brews exclusive to the tap room. With 10 taps, 2 hand pulls and a growler refill station, Canopy also keeps fridges full of guest beers, plus local cider, spirits, and soft drinks. Open from 5pm – 11pm on Wednesday to Friday, Saturday 12 – 11pm and Sunday from 12 – 10pm there are more reasons than ever to head south of the river.
Arch 1127, Bath Factory Estate, 41 Norwood Rd, Herne Hill, London SE24 9AJ
Just off Hackney Road, inside a pair of railway arches (of course, where else?) lies Redchurch Brewery and tap room. While the brewery has expanded their main operation to a bigger facility in Harlow, these humble arches are where it all began for Redchurch just 6 years ago. Housed in the mezzanine above the original brew house, this tap room gets pretty crowded on the weekends thanks to the tasty taps and excellent tunes. And if that wasn’t already enough reason to swing by, rumour has it that snooker legend turned DJ, Steve Davis, has been known to spin from time to time. Open Thursday and Friday from 6pm – 12.30am and Saturday from 12pm – 12.30am
275-276 Poyser St, London E2 9RF
From Hackney head northeast to a neighbourhood that has become quite the destination in the past couple of years. Now home to more than a few craft breweries, Wild Card Brewery is one of Walthamstow’s best. Ideal for large groups, this tap room has tables both inside and out and hosts different street food vendors in the car park every weekend. With plenty of beers both on tap and in the bottle, grab one to go and take a tour of Europe’s largest neon gallery, God’s Own Junkyard, which occupies the space right next door. Opening times are Friday from 5pm – 12am, Saturday from 12pm – 12am, and Sunday from 12pm – 10pm. Unit 7, Ravenswood Industrial Estate, Shernhall Street, Walthamstow, E17 9HQ
Rounding out the list are the big boys from the North, Camden Brewery. What started in 2010 as a passion project for founder, Jasper Cuppaidge, lead to an £85 million buyout from AB InBev in 2016, which allowed them to build London’s biggest brewery, in Enfield. While the bulk of the brewing now takes place at the larger facility, the tap room still occupies the same railway arches, just behind Kentish Town West Overground station, where Camden became a household name. Street food, great music, and the obvious, delicious beer, Camden’s is a story of triumph and success and their tap room reflects the same. While other craft brewers may say that Camden sold out, they’re just jealous it wasn’t them! Open Sunday – Thursday from 1pm – 9pm, Friday from 1pm – 11pm, and Satruday from 12pm – 9pm. 55-59 Wilkin St Mews, London NW5 3NN