For the uninitiated/sober, the Bermondsey Beer Mile is pretty much what it sounds like: a mile’s worth of beer in the form of breweries & bottle shops. In Bermondsey.
You’ll find it along the stretch of railway arches that run underneath the train lines spearing into London Bridge station. There’s no central organisation behind it – railway arches just happen to make idea spaces for micro-breweries and bottleshops. But, like a beautiful alignment of the planets, pretty much all of them happen to be open at roughly the same time each Saturday, making a natural stretch of pint-palaces that’s just BEGGING to be crawled.
Where to begin? Glad you asked. Going from north to south, here are the venues you’ll hit as you wander down…
- Southwark Brewing – your first stop, and the maker of ‘Bermondsey Best’ English ale.
- The Barrel Project – a London Beer Factory spin-off, the focus here is on, that’s right, barrels. Oak ones. There are 200+ beers ageing in them, and 24 taps pouring ’em.
- Hawkes Cider – Brewdog’s cider outlet, Hawkes has some truly inventive & well-crafted apple ales. Try the ‘Elephants On Ice’ spiced cider.
- Hiver/All Good Beer – Hiver make honey beer, and it’s genuinely delicious.
- Anspach & Hobday – these craft brewers make some old school stuff (cream ale, porter, table beer, etc.) and very new school stuff (guava sour, West Coast DIPA, etc.).
- Moor Beer – these guys make all natural, live yeast, vegan friendly beers. That live yeast makes it more like natural wine, and very interesting.
- London Calling Sweden – this place is a bottle shop that specialises in Swedish craft beers, particularly Poppels.
- Cloudwater – these Manchester-based brewers make some intriguing beers wrapped in psychedelic cans. Expect 10% ABV triple IPAs and double dry hopped pale ales.
- Brew By Numbers – each beer made here has two numbers; first the style (porter for instance is style No.3) then the variety. Thus, their 03/08 is the 8th version of a porter the they’ve made.
- Bianca Road – inspired by a cycling trip across the US, these guys brew West Coast inspired beers, like their TropiCali IPAs.
- The Kernel – one of the Bermondsey OGs, they’re constantly making new varietals, and they’re consistently excellent.
- Spartan – true to their name, Spartan are a no-frills enterprise. But that means you can get a pint straight from the tank if you ask nicely.
- EeBria – this bottleshop has beers from virtually every decent brewer in the country. And they have shuffleboard.
- Partizan – one of the older and wiser breweries on the mile, Partizan have a justifiable reputation for innovation and excellence.
- Fourpure – the taproom here is really impressive, and has a mighty 43 draughts at any one time. And there are hotdogs. Which by this point in the mile, you NEED.
Image: Google Maps
They’re all usually open from around 11am to 5pm each Saturday. And if you’re looking for something to soak up the suds, you’re a hop a skip and a jump away fro the Maltby Street Market, which is open from 10am to 5pm on a Saturday.
It’s like it was meant to be.
NOTE: The Bermondsey Beer Mile is unofficial, but some kind soul has made a Google Map listing most of the breweries with their Saturday opening times, and a decent walking route right HERE. All the listed breweries and bottleshops are open from roughly 11am to 5pm every Saturday, so if you want you could simply wing it quite easily. Check out an unofficial list of all the venues right HERE.
The Bermondsey Beer Mile | Across Bermondsey
Header image: The Barrel Project