There was a time in the not so distant past when the only beer available in most London pubs and bars was strong European lager. And perhaps a couple of old English ales if you were lucky. Now, however, Londoners are almost overwhelmed with craft beer options, including plenty brewed right here in East London.
This is great news for beer aficionados of course. But, it’s also a boon for visitors whatever their tipple of choice. A brewery tour or tap room visit is a really fun way of getting under the skin of one of East London’s hottest food and drink scenes. For those unfamiliar with craft beer in particular, it’s an excellent opportunity to learn something new. Meaning, you can impress your friends on your next trip to one of the many well-stocked bars and pubs near The East London Hotel.
Take Redchurch Brewery, for example, which started life on Redchurch Street in Shoreditch (hence the name) but has been based at its Bethnal Green railway arch home since 2012. The tap room is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, plus Saturday afternoons. You can also try the whole range, from the Shoreditch Blonde to the Hoxton Stout, via our personal favourites, the Bethnal Pale Ale.
Just up the road in the railway arches south of gorgeous London Fields park and you’ll find London Fields Brewery.It was the first commercial brewery to open in Hackney for over 100 years when it was established in 2011. They serve their own delicious beers plus select choices from sister brewery, Brooklyn Brewery, in the tap room (open Thursday-Sunday). To eat, it’s sliders from SoBe – they’re small but they’re powerful, and it’s hard to stop once you get going!
Further afield in Hackney Wick, Crate Brewery offers regular tours of its canalside brew shed. That include plentiful tastings of Crate’s lagers, IPAs and ciders.
Fill up on authentic stone-baked pizza afterwards, or opt for a premium tour. This comes with sharing platters to bring out the flavours of your beer.
Tours tend to book up in advance, but don’t despair if you don’t manage to get hold of tickets. The bar and pizzeria are open seven days a week. And the staff is happy to talk you through the various tipples on offer to help you make your choice.