Beer and skittles: our guide to the capital’s best brews

Beer Festival PIC Anna Sorensen

The Eastlondonline boroughs offer a plethora of locally brewed beers  Pic: Anna Soerensen

Fancy a beer but don’t know your Heineken from your Guinness? Fear not – the capital is undergoing a craft beer “boom” with a record number of micro-breweries opening over the past year according to a new study.

Accountancy business UHY Hacker Young said 36 boutique firms brewed their first ales, stouts and lagers in the capital last year, a 24 per cent rise on the previous year.

With that in mind, Eastlondonlines has bravely sampled some of the capital’s best brews.


  1. Balham Black Lager, lager styleBelleville Brewery, Wandsworth Common

This light-bodied cask lager, sticks out from your typical beer with its dark, chestnut brown colour and roasted notes. A tasteful beer with a fruity aroma and dry finish that goes well with poultry, seafood and hearty dishes.

  1. Black Prince, porter styleBexley Brewery, Erith

Black Prince, the winner of the Bexley Beer Festival April 2015, is a mahogany coloured, rich ale with brown, chocolate, black and crystal malts. This half-bitter porter has a sweet finish with a vanilla aroma and deep flavours of coffee and chocolate, and goes well with barbecue, seafood and dessert.

  1. Red Ale, ale style – Brockley BreweryBrockley

With its autumnal colour, this South East London-brewed red ale offers a fruity beer experience with its hints of grapefruit and initial citrus burst. Though a light and crisp aroma, Brockley’s Red Ale is quite bitter and leaves your mouth rather dry; a good choice for those who appreciate a tasteful beer experience, but it may be slightly too bitter for lager lovers. Red Ale goes well with most food, particularly seafood.

  1. Rye, rye styleCrate Brewery, Hackney Wick

A medium-bodied beer brewed in the heart of Hackney. This bitter and copper brown rye has a surprisingly refreshing smell of exotic fruits and pale grain malts. Crate’s Rye is a beer of choice for those with a taste for sweet caramel, nuts and sweet fruits. Rye pairs well with foods like jerk chicken, cheese and desserts.

Ticketholders enjoying some of the drinks on offer at the Croydon Craft Beer Festival

Ticket holders tasting some of the drinks on offer at the Croydon Craft Beer Festival Pic: Anna Soerensen


  1. New Zealand IPA, pale style – Hackney Brewery, Railway Arches, Hackney

With its heavy use of flavourful hops and notes of mango and passion fruit, this Indian Pale Ale offers a tropical beer experience filled with a wide range of flavours and long, bitter finish. New Zealand IPA is even tastier in company with aged cheeses, fried foods and deli sandwiches.

  1. Morning Glory, amber styleLate Knights Brewery, Penge

Do not let the name put you off this beer, as the only thing erect about Late Knight’s Morning Glory is its toffee flavours and amber colour. This beer, brewed in South East London, might seem bitter at first, but with a nutty flavour and honey-like aroma it finishes with sweetness. Serve it at your barbecue party or pair it up with some matured cheese or a slice of banana bread to bring this tasty beer to full justice.

  1. Black Perle, stout styleWeird Beard Brew Co., Brentford

Brewed in partnership with London based coffee roasters Alchemy Coffee, this milk coffee stout is a smooth balance between bitter dark malts and chocolate and milk sugar sweetness. Embrace your inner pirate and enjoy this perle hopped, black stout in company with a full English breakfast.


  1. Elderflower, cider style – Turners Brewery, East Sussex

If beer is not your tipple, then hopefully Turners’ Elderflower cider meets the requirements of your taste buds. This unfiltered craft cider made with Kentish apples and sweetened with a hand-made elderflower syrup is something a bit different from your typical dry, bitter sweet cider.

Eastlondonlines has created a map showing the London breweries mentioned above.

Leave a Reply