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The Bermondsey Beer Mile: London’s not-so-secret Hipster Destination

Craft beerMany people, including Londoners, haven’t heard of the Bermondsey Beer Mile. So for those of you who aren’t familiar with this concept, let me explain. The Bermondsey Beer Mile is a group of independent brewery bars and beer shops, called ‘bottle shops’, located along a stretch of railway arch that winds its way through to Southwark’s trading estates. And as you’ve correctly assumed, it’s about a mile long.

You can only visit all the venues on Saturdays, but thanks to a number of new restaurants in the surrounding area and Maltby Street Market’s weekend hours, a handful of places now open their doors on Friday evenings and Sundays. However, I recommend Saturday to enjoy it to the fullest!

If you’re going to visit the place, please wear something comfortable! I can’t stress this enough. This isn’t a nightclub or posh restaurant! You will be tasting beers in industrial spaces with few luxuries. Hence expect very basic settings. Plus, you’ll be walking everywhere! So wear comfortable clothes, and trainers!

Many people have asked me where to begin. Well, you can begin from any point, either Fourpure Brewing Co next to South Bermondsey station or Southwark Brewing Co, which is a 10-minute walk from London Bridge station – but not before you have grabbed something to eat from Maltby Street or Druid Street Markets. Personally, I can’t look past the oozingly debauched toasties from The Cheese Truck, but each to their own. If you like cheese, I suggest a cheese toastie from the Cheese Truck!

Once you’re there, you might think, ‘Hey! This seems longer than a mile!’ And you’d be right. Despite its name, it’s actually closer to two miles long these days. The Bermondsey Beer Mile is something that’s grown organically over a period of years, with bottle shops, food stalls and breweries opening up or moving, there’s no limit on how big this ‘mile’ is. But that’s not a bad thing, as it give us, the customer, more choice, more space, and of course more beer!

On the downside, there’s no definitive central resource you can consult in order to find out where all the bars are. That means, this place has no website. There are only food bloggers, like me, who write about them. And because bars and eateries in the Beer Mile change from time to time it’s hard to keep up with what’s there.

Despite this minor hiccup, the one thing these brewery bars and bottle shops have in common is that they’re all open at roughly the same time on a Saturday afternoon, giving those of you who fancy some exercise the chance to indulge in a rather fine activity, called a pub crawl.

Craft beer

A pub crawl at The Bermondsey Beer Mile will not only provide you with exercise, but also more knowledge of beer. Not to mention a memorable afternoon with friends, old and new. That is, however, if you can manage you way around it with all the confusion of the Saturday afternoon drunk hipsters, which may or may not be a bad thing.

Anyways, I’ve made out a guide of how you can get around as it currently stands, more or less. I’ve taken this guide from a guide I saw online a few years ago. I’ve posted of picture of it here. It’s a good comprehensive guide and it’s served me well.

The list below is my ‘Advanced level’ Pub Crawl Guide, and it was last updated the last time I was there, around June 2018. Hence it’s as current as it could possibly be. So basically, you could start at the either end and work your way to the opposite direction. For this plan, I started with the Cheese Truck, at Maltby Market. However, if you’ve already eaten lunch, either skip the truck or start at the opposite end, with Fourpure Brewery (they’re actually one of the best breweries in the UK, but all the others are still world class).

I must mention, this is a guide of the location of some breweries. It’s not a plan, nor a mission. And it’s definitely not a challenge!! There’s no need to stop at every location trying to drink your way through the mile! That’s a bad idea! Don’t do that!

Personally when I used this guide, I’ve only gone to three places, and saved the rest for another weekend. Drink responsibly, not dangerously. Anyways, here’s your pub crawl guide. You’re welcome:

Start at The Cheese Truck, Maltby Street Market
Hiver/All Good Beer, 56 Stanworth Street
Southwark Brewing, 46 Druid Street
The Barrel Project, 80 Druid Street
Hawkes Cider, 96 Druid Street
Anspach Hobsday, 118 Druid Street
The Bottle Shop, 128 Druid Street
Motor Beer, 71 Enid Street
London Calling Sweden, 72 Enid Street
Brew By Numbers, 75/79 Enid Street
Bone Daddies, 27-28 Old Jamaica Business Estate, 24 Old Jamaica Road
The Kernel, Arch 11, Dockley Road Industrial Estate
Affinity, 7 Almond Road
Spartan, 8 Almond Road
EeBria, 15 Almond Road
Partizan, 34 Raymouth Road
Fourpure, 22 Bermondsey Trading Estate

Keep in mind, It’s possible, of course, to start from Fourpure and go backwards.

Anyway, enjoy your crawl, but please: drink responsibly!!

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