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London, UK (and London Beer!)
If I’m being honest, the Bermondsey Beer Mile was at the top of my list for a return visit to London. There is just something about London even before ever visiting that draws me back time and time again. If you’re visiting for the first time, there are many quintessential first-time London experiences you should have.
There’s just something about the history and monarchy that drives culture in London, the green spaces and parks, the food, the walkable areas and charming neighborhoods that are so easy to wander and get lost in that make London an amazing place. Oh, and did I mention the pubs & beer? (It’s usually one of the most important aspects for a craft beer traveler!)
On a previous visit to London after taking a day trip to Windsor castle, we had an amazing time at a local brewery. During my third time in London and after popping into a handful of fun pubs on past visits I made a beeline to South London and the Bermondsey Beer Mile. A beer mile in the UK? Say no more, I was sold! Let’s dive into the details of London beer and the Bermondsey Beer Mile.
Beer in London
Sure you visited London where there’s a pub on every corner (or so it seems!) London, over the years, has gotten more into craft brewing and there are an abundance of places to grab great brews. If you’re a craft beer traveler like me, believe me, you need to head to South London!
The Bermondsey Beer Mile is a great gem where the breweries are literally so condensed they’re right next to each other. Hopping on the tube to South London was well worth the journey to spend an amazing afternoon hopping from brewery to brewery.
Beer Mile Bermondsey
Located in South London and something I’ve been so excited to check out for myself since I first heard of it, the Bermondsey Beer Mile! Essentially what this is is a stretch of craft beer breweries of about a mile and a half in London. Literally a craft beer traveler’s dream!
The Bermondsey Beer Mile started in 2009 with the first brewery in this area and since has grown in popularity. All of the breweries were really busy when we visited on a Saturday. True to craft breweries’ typical locations, Bermondsey Beer Mile breweries are located under elevated railway arches.
You can choose to spend a day hopping to as many breweries as you can or break up your visits into a few different days. Many of the breweries aren’t open earlier in the week so be aware of that. Read on for tips for planning your visit to the Bermondsey Beer Mile in Southern London.
Tips for Planning Your Visit
#1: Plan Ahead
Coming from the United States where many breweries (can be) open 7 days a week (while it’s more common they’re closed on a Monday or Tuesday) the hours of many of these establishments is very limited. So, PLAN AHEAD!
Before you set out check the specific Bermondsey beer mile opening times of the specific breweries you want to visit. (This could very well dictate where you start and what tube station to navigate to!)
#2: Eat in advance! (or bring snacks)
First hand, I did not listen to my own advice. Being in a hurry to get to the breweries after arriving in London I should have grabbed something to eat. I was saved by some of the breweries offering chips (or crisps) and small snack items for purchase. A more substantial meal prior to visiting multiple breweries would have been a smarter way to approach the Bermondsey Beer Mile.
The Maltby Street Market is located nearby for delicious quick eats before hitting up a day of drinking craft beer. Most days the street market closes by 4 or 5 PM so it’s best to visit before the breweries. If you’re coming from the West via the London Bridge tube station Borough Market also isn’t too far away. (You’ll be doubling back to go to Borough Market vs. Maltby.) Maltby is closer to Southwark and the Western point of the Bermondsey Beer Mile.
#3: Start early(ish)
Start early! Especially if you plan on hitting up as many of the breweries along the Bermondsey Beer Mile, you’ll have to start around 11 AM or noon when some of them open up. Even if you start early, if you’re having a beer at each place it’s not realistic to go to all in one day. Maybe 8-10 at the most is realistic but you definitely want to drink responsibly and ensure you have your wits about you when navigating back to your hotel for the night.
#4: Have fun!
Don’t take it too seriously! Head out with no expectations and take in the different brewery environments and enjoy a wide selection of craft beers in Southern London. Many of the taprooms are more compact so you may even make a few new friends! New friends in Bermondsey breweries is never a bad thing.
#5 Visit on Saturday
Saturday is the best day to drink some amazing London craft beer on the Bermondsey Beer mile as most of the establishments are open. True to many craft breweries around the world, at times the taproom hours are limited especially earlier in the week. In order to get the most out of your experience, pencil it into your Saturday plans or carve out a Saturday on your itinerary to visit. What’s better than sampling some amazing craft beer on a Saturday afternoon?
Breweries on the Bermondsey Beer Mile:
There are almost 20 breweries in a little over a mile located in Southwark London making up the Bermondsey beer mile. The breweries that are open or have since closed or relocating are continually changing. The concentration of the number of breweries in this area makes it worth a visit.
Visiting 6 of these breweries after landing in London and being jet lagged is pretty impressive! Definitely planning on visiting again in the future to check out more breweries when not so exhausted. You definitely have to add these breweries to your London breweries list.
The London Beer Factory: Barrel Project
The London Beer Factory is located really close to the Maltby street market. If you plan on visiting the market first, this is a great place to start your London beer mile experience!
With so many varying styles of beer available, LBF is a great place for any beer drinker! For example, I tried a cherry pie beer and a peach and mango smoothie sour. I couldn’t decide! But, if you’re planning on visiting many breweries or pubs in Bermondsey you might want to stick to one beer at each stop.
Many of the breweries are located on Druid Street. But, Hiver is on the other side of the Bermondsey Beer Mile so you will cross over a tunnel under the railway arches to get there.
Hiver offers a more limited amount of beers compared to some of the other Bermondsey beer breweries. They were out of a lot of things on draft, so we opted for some bottled beers. We tried the honey blonde & session IPA.
Anspach & Hobday
Many of the breweries on the Bermondsey Mile are located on either Druid or Enid street. Anspach & Hobday (coined “the arch house”) is located on Druid street.
Offering many different draft beers as well as more delectable brews in cans. Their space spills out into the street and when it’s nice patrons crowd around tables and barrels situated outside. The chocolate brown beer in a can was my choice here.
Bianca Road Brew Co.
Bianca Road Brew is located on Enid street along the beer mile. Enjoying a delightful chestnut honey stout toward the end of our visit to the pubs on Bermondsey street was a great choice!
Moor Vaults & Taproom
Located on Enid street, Moor Vaults Taproom was really busy! I loved their marketing slogan “Drink Moor Beer” which was really clever.
Cloudwater was the last stop of our pub crawl. Being jetlagged and having had a few pints at this point, things aren’t as easy to remember. Enter the most amazing app, Untapp’d! It helps me in scenarios such as this to check in the beers I drank and remember what I had at each brewer. At clo
To be honest, it’s hard to keep up with new breweries and ones that have shut down. But, going to the Bermondsey Beer Mile with just the intention of hopping from place to place or finding a brewery that has a great vibe is a great way to approach this fun area of London. London calling Sweden is a great example of a popular location that is permanently closed. Below is a list of other establishments we weren’t able to make it to this time around.
List of Other Breweries
- Kernel Brewery (the first brewery on the Bermondsey Mile in 2009)
- Southwark Brewing Company
- Hawkes Cidery & Taproom
- Gosnell’s Meadery Taproom
- Brew by Numbers
- Craft Beer Junction
- Mash Paddle Brewery
- Three Hills Brewing: The Outpost
- Spartan Brewery
- EeBria Tap
- Partizan Brewing
London pub tour & beer tasting
If joining a group to go brewery or pub hopping is more your speed there are many options in London to do so. It’s always fun to have a local guide that you can ask questions from a local’s perspective.
Check out a few options below!
What is the Bermondsey Beer Mile?
The Bermondsey Beer Mile is an unofficial pub crawl. Really, it’s a bunch of closely located craft beer breweries on the South Bank in London. Many of the breweries are located in railway arches and warehouse-style industrial taprooms. All of the breweries are in a little over a mile radius so it is coined the Bermondsey Beer Mile.
Is Bermondsey Beer Mile open?
The Bermondsey Beer Mile is generally open, however, the breweries that comprise the Bermondsey beer mile have varying open times. There is no standard across-the-board Bermondsey beer mile opening hours. The best time to visit is on Saturday when all of the breweries making up the mile are open. They don’t all have the same open and closing times so plan accordingly if there are specific stops along the craft beer crawl you want to be sure to hit.
Where is the Bermondsey Beer Mile?
The Bermondsey beer mile is located on the South Bank of the Thames River in London in the borough of Bermondsey. Depending on where you’re coming from the closest transit stations include: London Bridge or Southwark station (if you’re starting at Southwark Brewing Company.) This is the most western point of the beer mile.
Where does the Bermondsey Beer Mile start?
There is no official start or end of the Bermondsey Beer Mile. Truly thats the beauty of it! You could go specifically to one brewery or make it into a full-blown pub crawl. You can choose to start at Fourpure or Southwark Brewing Company. Southwark Brewing Company is closest to the London Bridge tube station.
Can you drink beer on the street in London?
In general, there aren’t any laws prohibiting drinking in public or on the streets of London. (Unless it’s clearly posted that it’s restricted.) However, you cannot drink alcohol on public transportation. This includes the London Underground, buses, railways, trams, and London overground railways.
Wrap up: Bermondsey Beer Mile
Now that you know the Bermondsey Beer mile is the ultimate location for craft beer in London, what are you waiting for? Add this fun activity in London to your next visit to explore Bermondsey pubs. You can be completely dedicated and try to visit all of the breweries in one day, or visit several times to experience all of the different establishments. Buying beer to go to bring home beer in your checked luggage is definitely an option too!
One thing that’s certain, if you enjoy craft beer and you’re traveling to London don’t sleep on the Bermondsey beer mile! It’s a really fun experience, jet-lagged or not!
Beyond The Bermondsey Beer Mile: Other Beer Travel!
If you love craft beer & travel, you’ve definitely found the right place! Finding great tap rooms whether traveling across the United States or abroad is always on my agenda. Drink local, where ever you are, am I right? I hope you enjoyed my tips about the Bermondsey Beer Mile in Southern London.
Below are some additional travel articles outlining some awesome places to drink dang good beers! Cheers!