I don’t pretend to be a hipster. I live in south west London because I went to Public School and so I can be close to my mummy. For anyone unfamiliar, there is a plethora of incredible pubs, specialist bars, breweries and brew pubs in spitting distance of ‘upcoming’ locations such as Bethnal Green, London Fields and Hackney.

Some of my favourite beer bars are near here (Well & Bucket, Brew Dog, The Electric Showroom etc). So today I thought I’d push the bar out a little and go further afield. To my surprise, Redchurch Brewery is not on Redchurch street (my bad) so after an extremely bland beer at The Owl and Pussycat, we licked our wounds in the familiar environs of Brew Dog, Shoreditch. Mikkeller Galena IPA for myself and Flying Dog, Horn Dog for @LondonGlutton got us started.

Lesson 1

Not all breweries are open Saturdays. Redchurch is one.

Lesson 2

Don’t go to The White Horse on Great Eastern Street if looking for a friendly pint. Lack of windows should have been a clue.

Hanging my head in shame that I didn’t check the website we made the (decent) stroll from unit 276 AKA Redchurch Brewery, to London Fields Brewery whereupon a winter hideaway awaited us.  Great little spot that feels like Santa’s Grotto for grown ups, serving homemade seasonal beery treats such as Pumpkin Ale and Dopplebocks alongside their usual offering. Friendly, Christmassy and trendy. Nice little window to the brewery where they also run tours through the weekend.  Be sure to book a table!

It would have been rude not to slide into Look Mum No Hands round the corner, to kick back on some school chairs and feel rebellious drinking a beer whilst everyone around you is doing homework. From what I can tell it is a coffee joint where hipsters come for peace and quiet to work on their start-ups. All good e-businesses are born on artisan coffee and craft beer these days.  We enjoyed a Kernel Export India Porter and an Partizan ale. Both lovely and served in flute glasses not coffee mugs thankfully.

Lesson 3

Pressure Drop does not have a brew pub

Lesson 4

Neither does Five Points

The Old Cock, Hackney felt a bit cavernous. Stools were littered everywhere (the seats without the back or arms kind), the service was pretty unfriendly but the number of taps was mind boggling. Beers from Their own brewpub Howling Hops as well as London Fields, Camden Brewery, Pressure Drop among others were prevalent. The Dobbel I had was awful. Sour like soy sauce.  My faith was restored by the Bramble Porter, rich sweet, dark fruits, hint of chocolate as well as good refreshing bitterness. It was very drinkable and a lovely flavoursome porter.

Perhaps we are spoilt in South London for breweries throwing their doors open to the public? (E.g. The Bermondsey breweries, Sambrooks, By The Horns) Maybe there are enough pubs selling quality beer in the East London vicinity to negate the need for breweries to depart from their main vocation of selling beer?

I don’t know the answer but I’m not convinced that a beer pilgrimage out East will lead you to the promise land of London Craft beer, even though much of it is brewed there. Perhaps naively I expected them all to be open on a Saturday. Isn’t the fun part of owning a brewery opening the doors to the public and seeing what assortment of geeks turn up?

Do you agree, have I missed something?

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