Beer fans will be thrilled to discover Bermondsey, a neighborhood of London that has come to be known affectionately as the “Beer Mile.” Here, no fewer than 10 working breweries open their doors on Saturday afternoons for tastings (some are open on Sunday too!). The most common route to visit them starts at Fourpure, not far from the South Bermondsey station, and finishes at Southwark Brewing Co, not far from the Bermondsey station. Check out the gallery to follow the progress of one of our writers as she walk’s London’s Beer Mile.
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Fourpure Brewing Co. is particularly well known for its pale ales, especially its IPA. This iteration of the classic brew is far less bitter and more refreshing than many of its American counterparts. Fourpure is also working at changing the face of canned beer in England by selling its craft brews in cans.
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Brew by Numbers gets its title from the way it names its beers: each style has a number, for example saisons are 01, and stouts are 08. The beer's name is a combination of the style number and BBN's iteration of the style – their first saison was 01/01.
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On my most recent visit to Brew by Numbers, I tried the superb 01/24, a rye saison with a nice, spicy edge.
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While some spots have indoor seating, for the most part, folks tend to congregate in the streets outside the breweries.
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Bottle Shop, as its name suggests, isn't a brewery but a shop selling a variety of different bottles. They also propose a constantly changing selection of draught beers, like this Weizenbock from Thornbridge.
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Bottle Shop will usually feature two breweries at once, one on the downstairs taps and one upstairs. They also frequently host tap takeovers and "meet the brewer" events.
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The Kernel used to brew in Bermondsey as well, and while their tap room is closed, they do maintain a spectacular bottle shop right on the route.
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One benefit of visiting the breweries is that you can try things you just can't get in the bottle, like Anspach and Hobday's spectacular altbier.
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Most of the bars offer half-pints and full pints, but some also offer thirds so that you can make it to all ten breweries without losing your palate (or falling over).
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Anspach and Hobday offers tasting flights, allowing you to sample several different beers at once on an easy-to-carry paddle.