22 January 2016

Bullfinch Brewery taproom - Herne Hill

Six West Berkshire based beer enthusiasts headed to South London on Saturday 16 January.
Having seen A London Beer and Pub Guide tweet that listed Bullfinch Brewery as one of the top three new London taprooms in 2015, the Herne Hill based taproom was part of our itinerary.
After visiting Brixton Brewery shortly after opening time at noon, we headed to Bullfinch Brewery in Herne Hill by alternative routes. 
Brixton station
Tim used his travelcard to catch the Victoria to Sevenoaks train from Brixton station. Herne Hill was the first stop on this service which operates every 15 minutes on Saturdays. The others walked to Herne Hill.
From Herne Hill station it is a short walk down Norwood Road, beside Brockwell Park, until a left turn into Rosendale Road leads you to Bullfinch Brewery, located under railway arches. The taproom is in arch 887.
The unit may not look open from the road but if the gates are open and the blackboard is outside then the Bullfinch Brewery taproom is open with access through a door within the blue roller shutters.
A blackboard next to the arch shows the taproom opening hours (subject to change).
On a clear, cold day, we decided to sit inside the taproom and not on the benches outside.
Inside, it was not much warmer than outside yet so we kept our coats on and ordered from the range of beers which included keg and cask options.
Keg beers are competitively priced at £4.50 pint with cask beers at £4 pint. My first half was Luna (4% ABV), a light pale ale, served in a tulip shaped glass. After this refreshing beer it was time for a half of Milou (6% ABV) a zingy saison.
Milou - Saison
Apart from a busy photographer we were the first arrivals at the taproom and spread ourselves around the picnic tables set up inside.
The tables were laid with hessian cloths and the bench seats were covered by strips of blanket.
The taproom is lit by strings of bulbs suspended overhead. It was soon time to return to the bar which has an illuminated lettered sign and original artwork of the 'horned' bullfinch adjacent.
On the other side of the bar is a display of bottles and snacks. One or Two pint take away containers are available.
I took the opportunity to deliver some copies of Ullage, the West Berkshire CAMRA magazine. Rascal (4.8% ABV), a session APA, was my final beer at the Bullfinch Brewery taproom.
Rascal is currently hopped with Kazbek, Simcoe, Ahtanum and Columbus hops.
Rascal is one of the beers available in 330ml bottles along with Empire (7% ABV) a Transatlantic IPA hopped with English (Target) and American (Ahtanum) hops, Wolf (5.8% ABV) an American Pale Ale and RyPA (5.8% ABV) a full flavoured Rye IPA.
Ryan McLean with Ullage
Before leaving there was time to buy some bottles to take away and have a chat with Ryan. I was able to hand him a copy of Ullage and pass on greetings to him from Andy Parker (Elusive Brewing) who knew him from the days when Bullfinch Brewery used to operate from a railway arch on the Bermondsey 'beer mile'.
The next stop on our tour of South London taprooms would be Mondo Brewing Co in Battersea. We caught a 68 bus from Norwood Road to Denmark Hill and then an Overground train from Denmark Hill (photo) to Wandsworth Road station.

Bullfinch Brewery, Arch 886 / 887, Rosendale Rd, London SE24 9EH
Phone: 0789 9795823
Website: www.thebullfinchbrewery.co.uk 
Twitter: @Bullfinch_Ale

Taproom details from Bullfinch Brewery website (22/1/2016):

Our tap room is open every Friday, Saturday & Sunday and is in the adjacent arch to the brewery.

We have 12 taps featuring our core range of beers plus our experimental and exclusive editions, we also have guest beers from our favourite local breweries.

We are dog and kid friendly.

The tap room hours are:

Friday 16:00-22:00
Saturday 13:00-22:00
Sunday 13:00-22:00

Please note we are in a residential area and kindly ask our patrons to be respectful of our neighbours.


  1. Oh, doesn't it look welcoming and festive inside? I think I'd like it there a lot.