UK/Ireland Visiting London Guide

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London is a massive city with a rapidly evolving beer scene. To help guide any visitors that are looking for recommendations on breweries, pubs, shops, etc., I've curated the most often recommended places to visit while in London. The content below is geared towards the average visitor who may be interested in visiting some historic pubs as well as some top craft beer bars and drinking anything from cask bitters to hoppy IPAs to lambics.

Recommended Breweries/Brewpubs:
  • Beavertown. Saturdays only, 2-8pm. American-style brewery with a great pale ale and black IPA. They also have a brewpub, Dukes Brew & Que, that serves BBQ along with beers from Beavertown and other London breweries.
  • The Kernel. Saturdays only, 9am-2pm. No onsite drinking. Only open for bottle sales for takeaway. Excellent hoppy ales and stouts.
  • Partizan. Saturdays only, 11am-5pm. Walking distance from The Kernel. They brew a huge range of styles and excel at saisons. Small place with very little seating.
  • Fuller's. Tours Monday-Friday. Book in advance. The biggest brewery in London. They brew mostly traditional English styles. Fuller's pubs are pretty common around central London.
  • Brodies/King William IV. The best place to get Brodies beers but it's pretty far east and not easy to get to. The Old Coffee House in Soho is a good place to find Brodies beers in central London.
  • Howling Hops/The Cock Tavern. Howling Hops brewpub with guest beers from other London breweries as well as several ciders. All the bartenders have amazing beards.
  • Brew by Numbers. Saturdays only, 10am-5pm. Walking distance from The Kernel. Good saisons and golden ales.
  • There's several breweries and a bottle shop in Bermondsey that are only open on Saturdays. From west to east: Anspatch & Hobday/Bullfinch, The Bottle Shop, Brew by Numbers, The Kernel, Partizan, and Fourpure. That stretch is commonly referred to as the Bermondsey Beer Mile and you can read more about it here: http://www.londonbeerguide.com/article.php?ID=bermondsey.

Recommended Pubs and Bars

Traditional Pubs:

Pubs In Touristy Locations:

Bottle Shops:

Maps:

Great UK Breweries to Seek Out:

Some Helpful Tips:
  • No tipping if you order drinks/food at the bar. ~10% is customary for table service but isn't required.
  • Pints are 20 ounces, which can be a lot for a non-session beer. Ordering half pints is common and some pubs only list the half pint price.
  • Let the bartender know if someone else is before you. Jumping the queue is strongly frowned upon.
  • Get an Oyster card and load it with money or buy a one week travelcard for zones 1 & 2. It'll save you time and money when getting around via bus, tube, and overground.
 
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For anyone coming to London, drop me a line and I'll be happy to meet up and share or trade beers. May even be able to set up a bottle share while you're here.
 
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Highly highly recommend The Kernel's IPAs and stouts. Craft Beer Co Clerkenwell is a great place for tickers, they have so much weird stuff I had never seen before and tons of great, well-known stuff as well. The White Horse had some great cask beers.
 
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This is awesome. I'll be back to London next year for the first time in like 8 years so this is crazy helpful for planning.
 
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London is a massive city with a rapidly evolving beer scene. To help guide any visitors that are looking for recommendations on breweries, pubs, shops, etc., I've curated the most often recommended places to visit while in London. The content below is geared towards the average visitor who may be interested in visiting some historic pubs as well as some top craft pubs and drinking anything from cask bitters to hoppy IPAs to lambics.
As a former Londoner (2003-13) I wholeheartedly approve of and endorse this list.
Also, deeblo is a stand-up guy, so you should take him up on that offer of drinks/tasting.

See you in Copenhagen, man!
 
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A good friend of mine will be visiting London in April and was wondering if anyone would be interesred in an IP trade.

He's a craft drinker but not an active trader and has access to lots of great PNW beers. He said he was staying near the Earl of Essex. Holler at me if anyone is interested in setting something up.

Cheers
Matt
 
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A good friend of mine will be visiting London in April and was wondering if anyone would be interesred in an IP trade.

He's a craft drinker but not an active trader and has access to lots of great PNW beers. He said he was staying near the Earl of Essex. Holler at me if anyone is interested in setting something up.

Cheers
Matt
When will he be in London? I'm traveling for most of April but may be able to meet up if I'm in town.
 

drgarage

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I loved Euston Tap when I was there -- especially because my hotel was across the street. That's the first place I had ever seen BCVBS on a shelf, and it was reasonable, too!

I'm pretty sure we also spent time at the Bree Louise, which was over-run, but was a nice cask-only visit in addition to Euston.
 
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It looks like I should be in London in August. I really appreciate the list. Also, looks like we will be there during the Great British Beer Festival. Has anyone attended in the past? http://gbbf.org.uk/
It's a great fest. Lots and lots of beers not just from the UK but also from the US, Belgium, Germany, Czech Republic, and other countries. All beers are in casks or bottles, no kegs. Since the better London craft breweries mainly brew keg beer, they won't be there, but there's the London Craft Beer Festival around the same time.
 
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It's a great fest. Lots and lots of beers not just from the UK but also from the US, Belgium, Germany, Czech Republic, and other countries. All beers are in casks or bottles, no kegs. Since the better London craft breweries mainly brew keg beer, they won't be there, but there's the London Craft Beer Festival around the same time.
Thanks for the information. I will look into it. The London Craft Beer Festival seems more on point for my interests. It also looks like that is London Craft Beer Week.
 
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Fantastic thread, thanks for taking the time deeblo! I'll be in town June 2nd thru 10th and would certainly be up for a pint / bottleshare / pub crawl or what have you if you're so inclined. I'm a brit living abroad, but very much not up to date on the UK craft scene. Beyond stumbling upon the wandsworth common halloween beer festival of 2012 last time I visited I'm blissfully ignorant.
 
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I'll be in London for work from August 11-23rd. Would love to grab a pint with you UK beer geeks. Also planning to bring some tasty beverages for a trades/bottle shares.

It looks like I should be in London in August. I really appreciate the list. Also, looks like we will be there during the Great British Beer Festival. Has anyone attended in the past? http://gbbf.org.uk/
Thanks for doing my homework for me! You'll find me at bar B7 attempting to replace my blood with Cantillon Kriek.
 
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Is this guide still largely up to date? Will be in London for 1 night this Wednesday and might just try to book a hotel close to something interesting. Ideally not too far away from London Docklands (or St Pancreas but then I have to take the metro in the morning which might not be advisable).
 
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Is this guide still largely up to date? Will be in London for 1 night this Wednesday and might just try to book a hotel close to something interesting. Ideally not too far away from London Docklands (or St Pancreas but then I have to take the metro in the morning which might not be advisable).
It's still mostly up to date. A lot of new places have opened in the past year but I wouldn't say any of them are must visits. There's unfortunately not much for beer around the Docklands. Shoreditch/Bethnal Green or Kings Cross/Angel would be much better areas.
 
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I was in London over Halloween and Craft Beer Co Clerkenwell had Framboos, Vigneronne, Iris and shelf 'loons for drink-in. No idea about prices, I was too busy getting pass-out drunk on fresh Kernel IPAs and Summer Wine Teleporter.
 

Padraig

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The Framboos is £75.

Let me know next time you're in town. There was a fun tasting with the RB crew upstairs on Monday.
 
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Thanks Padraig, I added those to my post. It's tough to stay up to date with all the changes in London from across the pond.
 
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