Discover The Best Breweries in London

London has a rich history of brewing, and today, it boasts a thriving craft beer scene with numerous top-rated breweries. Whether you're a beer enthusiast or simply looking for a unique experience in the capital, exploring London's breweries is a must-do. From the traditional ale houses to the rise of microbreweries, there's something for everyone to enjoy. So, grab a pint and let's dive into the fascinating world of London's brewing scene. 

The Rich History of Brewing in London

London has been brewing beer for centuries, with records dating back to the Romans who first introduced the art of brewing to the city. The Romans, known for their engineering and cultural advancements, recognised the importance of a good brew and brought their brewing techniques to this bustling city. The locals quickly embraced this new beverage, and brewing became an integral part of London's culture.

Over the centuries, London became a hub for brewing, with breweries popping up across the capital. The city's access to fresh water from the River Thames and its strategic location for trade made it an ideal place for brewing. As London grew in size and prosperity, so did its brewing industry. The 18th and 19th centuries marked a significant period of growth for London's breweries.

The industrial revolution brought about the rise of large-scale breweries, making London one of the biggest brewing cities in the world. The advancements in technology allowed for mass production of beer, and London's breweries took full advantage of this. They produced vast quantities of beer to meet the growing demand of the city's population, as well as to export to other parts of the British Empire.

The Rise of Microbreweries in the Capital

In recent years, there has been a resurgence in smaller, independent breweries known as microbreweries. These breweries focus on creating unique and innovative brews, often experimenting with flavours and styles. The craft beer movement has gained momentum in London, with beer enthusiasts seeking out new and exciting flavours.

Many of these microbreweries can be found in East London, which has become a hotbed for craft beer enthusiasts. The area's vibrant and creative atmosphere has attracted a community of brewers who are passionate about their craft. These microbreweries offer a more intimate and personalised experience, allowing visitors to witness the brewing process up close and even participate in tastings.

Exploring London's Top-Rated Breweries

If you're looking to sample some of the best brews in London, there are several top-rated breweries that you should visit. 

Brick Brewery - Peckham Rye

Believe it or not this brewery had its humble beginnings within the confines of a shed. Their journey into the realm of home brewing began in a simple garden shed, meticulously crafting recipes that drew inspiration from some of their most cherished brews. Yet, the shed wasn’t big enough to contain their passion.

In 2013, they transitioned to more capacious headquarters, where the inception of Brick Brewery unfolded. They erected the brewery within a railway arch adjacent to Peckham Rye station in the vibrant SE London. 

Much has changed since their early days. The very railway arch that once marked their rise to prominence transformed into their permanent haven of their own Taproom. This space is ample, encompassing both indoor comfort and the serene expanse of a beer garden, where customers can bask in seclusion. They welcome visitors Tuesday through Sunday, and is a must-visit if you are looking for the very-best that London has to offer. 

40FT Brewery - Dalston, Hackney

Situated in the vibrant locale of Dalston, Hackney, stands 40FT - an independent brewery dedicated to crafting contemporary and refreshing beers. The origins of this particular venue can be traced back to the very heart of a Hackney Houseshare’s kitchen, where three passionate homebrewers embarked on a journey of creating beer to elevate their house parties - if only we could’ve been there from the beginning!

Swiftly outgrowing this, the brewery found its footing in a pair of 20ft shipping containers nestled within a dormant Dalston car park in 2015. Their persuasive prowess led them to successfully enlist the expertise of the head brewer from their local brewery. 

Spanning the course of 6 years, 40FT Brewery has undergone an organic evolution. The addition of shipping containers became the building blocks they needed to progress, while concurrently, a team of 15 talented individuals was assembled, each contributing their own skills and passions to their craft. 

They facilitate the production of an impressive 7,000 pints weekly, gracing the glasses of their customers across pubs and restaurants in East London, not to mention their own acclaimed 40FT Taproom. 40FT stands as a remarkable example of how dedication, innovation, and collaboration can transform a simple idea into a thriving and award-winning reality. And did we mention how good their beer is?

Toast Ale - Triton Street, London

At the crossroads of innovation, sustainability and social responsibility, Toast Ale have made their impact at the heart of London by partnering with Change Please, a visionary social enterprise, to introduce their loyal customers to an unparalleled taproom experience.

By day they serve invigorating coffee that not only satisfies your taste buds but also supports Change Please’s mission to eradicate homelessness. Any profit made is harnessed to provide individuals experiencing homelessness with an opportunity for a fresh start, by training them as specialty coffee baristas. Change Please helps to propel them towards self-sufficiency, offering housing, therapy, employment, and a chance to rebuild their lives. 

By night, the taproom transforms into a sanctuary of good spirits, offering a diverse range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages that champion both the palate and the planet. Their menu showcases the unique range of Toast beers alongside an artful selection of guest beers. 

Located at 17-19 Triton Street, London, NW1 3BF, conveniently nestled near Warren Street and Gt Portland St tube stations, their doors are open from 8am to 5pm, Monday through Friday, and on Wednesdays and Thursdays, the taproom festivities extend to 10pm. 

The Goodness Brewing Company - Coburg Road, London

The Goodness are much more than just a brewery - as they say. While crafting exceptional beer stands as their primary pursuit, their main mission lies in delivering the most delicious and refreshing beers imaginable. And it is safe to say that they do just that. Their commitment to quality is the driving force behind their success, infusing meticulous care into every single aspect of their craft.

Their journey began back in 2015 with three kindred spirits, Mike, Zack, and Damien, who turned their fascination with homebrewing into Wood Green Hopping - a collective endeavour to cultivate hops within the community. Yet, this quickly metamorphosed into something much greater - an aspiration to curate a space where their shared passions could flourish. 

They wanted The Goodness to be more than just a venue; it would be a focal point for goodness. It would stand as a platform for positive social change without their local and extended communities. 

In May 2019, they unveiled this space to the world, which swiftly evolved into a local sanctuary, a space cherished by a diverse range of people loyal to their brews. So, whether you’re dropping in for a quick midweek pizza and pint after work, or relishing the chaos of a Friday or Saturday night, their doors are wide open. 

Brixton Brewery - Brixton, London

In the vibrant heart of Brixton you will find a taproom like no other, where the spirit of Brixton comes alive through the freshest brews, taproom exclusives, and array of delightful options to take home.

And what’s more? You can fully immerse yourself into the world of this particular brewery through an enthralling guided tour and tasting experience led by one of their own authentic brewers. 

Step into a brewing haven, where they unveil the intricate secrets that contribute to the magic of each drop of beer. You can traverse the very space where they found their humble beginnings, and discover not only the process behind their craft, but also the captivating stories that infuse their popular brews with the spirit of Brixton. 

Whether you’re a brewing enthusiast, someone seeking new sensations, or simply someone looking for a fun way to spend their afternoon, Brixton Brewery’s guided tour was designed for you. And at the end of the tour, you can spend some well deserved time in their taproom, where a tasting session of their acclaimed beer awaits. 

The Art of Beer Making in London

Beyond just the brewing process, London's breweries are known for their dedication to the craft and their use of unique techniques and styles. Each brewery has its own signature approach, resulting in a diverse range of beer offerings across the capital.

London has a rich history of beer making, dating back centuries. The city has been a hub for brewing since mediaeval times, with breweries popping up in every corner. The art of beer making has been passed down through generations, with brewers honing their skills and perfecting their craft.

Unique Brewing Techniques and Styles

London brewers often experiment with various brewing techniques, to create distinctive flavours. These techniques add complexity and depth to the beers, making each sip a unique experience. From hop-forward IPAs to rich stouts and crisp lagers, there's a beer style to suit every palate.

One popular technique used by London brewers is barrel ageing. This involves ageing the beer in wooden barrels, which imparts flavours from the wood, such as vanilla or oak. The result is a beer with a smooth and complex taste, reminiscent of fine spirits.

Another technique that London brewers have embraced is dry hopping. This involves adding hops to the beer during fermentation, which enhances the aroma and flavour. The result is a beer bursting with hoppy goodness, with floral and citrus notes that tantalise the senses.

Sour beers have also gained popularity in London in recent years. Brewers intentionally introduce bacteria or wild yeast into the beer, which creates a tart and acidic taste. These beers are often fruity and refreshing, with a tangy twist that sets them apart from traditional styles.

The Influence of Local Ingredients

London's breweries take pride in using locally sourced ingredients, such as hops, malt, and even fruits from nearby orchards. This commitment to local produce not only supports the community but also adds a unique character to each beer. It's a testament to the creativity and resourcefulness of London's brewers, who constantly seek inspiration from their surroundings.

London's breweries also make use of the abundance of fruits grown in the surrounding countryside. They source fresh berries, apples, and even rhubarb from nearby orchards, adding them to their beers to create unique and fruity concoctions. These beers are a celebration of the local produce and showcase the flavours of the region.

London's Brewery Tours: A Unique Experience

One of the best ways to fully appreciate the world of London's breweries is by taking a brewery tour. Many breweries offer guided tours where you can learn about the brewing process, from the malt room to the fermentation tanks. You'll get a behind-the-scenes look at the craft and dedication that goes into every pint. The aroma of malted barley fills the air as you walk through the brewery, immersing yourself in the sights and sounds of the brewing process.

During a guided tour, knowledgeable staff will take you on a journey through the brewery’s history and explain the various brewing techniques used. They’ll showcase the ingredients, equipment, and the love put into each batch of beer. You'll discover the different types of malt and hops used, and how they contribute to the unique flavours of each beer. The tour guides will regale you with fascinating stories about the brewery's founders and their passion for brewing, giving you a deeper appreciation for the artistry behind every pint.

And of course, no brewery tour is complete without a tasting session, where you can sample a range of beers and discover new favourites. As you sip on the carefully crafted brews, you'll be able to discern the subtle nuances in flavour and aroma. From hoppy IPAs to smooth stouts, there's a beer to suit every palate. The knowledgeable staff will guide you through the tasting, offering insights into the characteristics of each beer and suggesting food pairings to enhance the experience.

Pairing Your Brew: London's Best Pub Grub

To complement your pint, London offers a fantastic selection of food options at its pubs. Whether you're looking for traditional British dishes or modern gastro pub fare, there's something to satisfy every craving.

Traditional British Dishes to Complement Your Pint

Many London pubs pride themselves on serving up classic British dishes that pair perfectly with a pint of beer. From the iconic fish and chips to the hearty pies filled with succulent meat and rich gravy, these dishes showcase the rich culinary heritage of the country. The crispy batter of the fish, paired with the fluffy chips, provides a satisfying crunch that perfectly complements the flavours of the beer. And let's not forget about the comforting bangers and mash, with its juicy sausages and creamy mashed potatoes, a true British delight.

But it's not just the well-known dishes that steal the show. London's pubs also offer lesser-known traditional dishes that are worth exploring. Have you ever tried a Scotch egg? This delightful creation consists of a hard-boiled egg wrapped in sausage meat, coated in breadcrumbs, and deep-fried to perfection. It's a delicious combination of flavours and textures that pairs wonderfully with a pint of your favourite brew.

Other Brewery Related Content

We have produced a number of blog posts to support you on your brewing journey. If you enjoyed this content, please check out the rest:

Why It’s Important to Support Your Local Independent Brewery

5 Ways To Promote Sustainability in the Beer Industry

How we helped Lost & Grounded expand their growth in the London area