12 June 2016

Bermondsey Beer Mile

It might be worth avoiding Millwall FC home games when picking a Saturday to visit brewery taprooms and beer bars along the 'Bermondsey Beer Mile'. We started our trail from South Bermondsey station, one stop from London Bridge on the Southern Railway network. This station also serves The Den, Millwall FC's football ground.


Fourpure Brewing Co was the biggest of the brewery taps we visited and was not constricted by the dimensions of a railway arch. However, there are several railway arches to walk under before we reached the premises at Bermondsey Trading Estate on Saturday 11 June, 2016.
 Details of beers are displayed on a flat screen. There is a feed for Twitter, Untappd and Four Square in the top section of the screen. Most draught beers were priced at £3 for 2/3 pint goblet glass or £4 for a straight pint glass.
With several staff behind the bar, service was prompt.
Cans were also on sale from a tall fridge, priced at £2 per can or 6 for £10 (June 2016).
Mike, Tim, Richard and Sam at Fourpure Taproom
I enjoyed 2/3 pint of Shape Shifter West Coast IPA dry hopped with Citra, Mosaic and Centennial. Before leaving, a can of Skyliner wheat beer brewed with Fourpure's house American ale yeast was also purchased.
Fourpure beer mats include the tagline 'Inspired by Adventure' and it was nice to see that the brewery organises a related speaker series. Mark Hines was one of the adventurers to be featured at a June 2016 event together with short adventure films curated by Sidetracked.


Partizan Brewing is located under railway arches in Almond Road. Here we found a smaller range of beers but a bigger choice of saisons with both a Lemongrass and a Raspberry / Lemon saison available.
 Draught beers were served in 2/3 pint goblets with most priced at £3. My saison had a recognisable raspberry flavour and some red in its colour. It was a beer suited to sipping rather than quaffing.
There was no queue at the bar and room for drinkers inside and outside at tables edging the service road.
Soon after we arrived, a torrential downpour drove the outside drinkers inside and the heavy rain gave us something to wonder at!
Partizan labels are boldly colourful and framed artwork on the wall reflected this style.


Before the rain stopped completely we made a refreshing dash for the EEbria taproom, just a few arches further along Almond Road.
As a drinks distributor they do not brew on the premises but there is a bar with draught keg beers served in disposable plastic glasses priced at £2 per 1/3 pint, £3.50 per 2/3 pint and £5 pint (June 2016).
The premises do not need to be as big as a warehouse because the bar is a showcase for more than 100 craft brewers that have agreements with EeBria. Customers ordering online via EeBria receive beer direct from the brewers.
Jayne, Mike, Richard and Sam at EeBria Taproom
On some Saturdays, a single brewery will takeover the taps but on our visit there was a variety of breweries featured and I enjoyed Boardwalk, a Transatlantic pale ale brewed with English malt and American hops, from The Kiln Brewery based in Burgess Hill.
Two towers - Lucey Way, near Dockley Road
Walking along Lucey Way on the way to our next brewery, we passed a tall water tower beside the railway which is said to date from the 1960s. The Shard at London Bridge was also visible from this and many other points of our walk today.

Brew by Numbers

'Drink In' queue at Brew by Numbers
We met our first and only queue at Brew by Numbers. Perhaps this is because it is only a short distance from Bermondsey tube station on the Jubilee Line.
A £3 deposit is needed for the stylish 2/3 pint glasses. To redeem the deposit you were allowed to go straight to the other side of the bar which also deals with take away bottles.
While queuing we passed a framed poster showing the design of the Brew by Numbers brewhouse. Soft drink and dairy vessels were converted to create the bespoke 12 barrel brewhouse. Volunteers helped with the cladding and banding of the vessels.
The draught beer here was not any cheaper than at other brewery taps (£3 for 2/3 pint in June 2016). Perhaps we arrived at the wrong time or more staff are needed to cope with demand?
I enjoyed 'Session 4' a collaboration beer brewed with Brasserie de la Senne of Brussels and launched in the UK on Friday 10 June, 2016 at the taproom. The hoppy 4% session pale ale is brewed with wheat, Saaz and New Zealand Motueka hops.
 All kinds of businesses operate from the railway arches including car valeters and garages. We passed a scooter business on the way to the next taproom.

Anspach & Hobday

Sam had found Anspach & Hobday (A&H) overcrowded on a previous visit but there was no queue when we reached there so we made it our fifth refreshment stop.
I was pleasantly surprised by a half pint of The Cream Ale (5.2% ABV). This American style is a cross between a Pale and a lager. The smooth character comes from a small amount of corn. The A&H version is hopped with Japanese Sorachi Ace and the brewery is the only one in London to regularly brew this style.
The other A&H beers available were The Patersbier (3.7% ABV), The Hoppy Brown Ale (5.1% ABV), The Irish Dry Stout (4.1% ABV) and The Summer Fruit Saison (4.7% ABV).
Beer prices range from £2 for a third pint to £5.50 for a pint. Also available on draught were Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier - Märzen from Brauerei Schlenkerla (Bamberg), Estivale from Brasserie Artisanale de Rulles (Belgium) and Münchner Hell from Paulaner (Munich).
From our seats near the entrance we noticed a sign showing that the taproom is open on Friday evenings and during the afternoon on Saturdays and Sundays.
Further inside the arched space some impressive new brewing vessels were visible.
On a table near the bar, a free copy of Open Pen, a short fiction magazine was available. A&H and Partizan are both outlets for this monthly literary magazine which is also available from independent bookshops.
I swapped my copy of Ullage, the West Berkshire CAMRA magazine for Open Pen.



Our sixth visit was to the only brewery tap with cask ales served by handpump. Southwark Brewing Co 'Modern recipes - Traditionally brewed' is located at 46 Druid Street, not far from London Bridge rail and underground stations.
There are four handpumps on either side of a keg font serving Pale Ale.
Left Side of bar
I enjoyed a half pint of Full Sail - Spring Pale Ale (4.5% ABV) - 'with floral and citrus aromas from Ahtanum and Mosaic hops'. Other cask ales included LPA (London Pale Ale), Harvard American Pale Ale and Maltby Street Mild named after Maltby Street Market, a nearby street food market that stretches along Ropewalk.
Right side of bar
We had hoped to visit some pubs or bars in and around Borough Market beyond London Bridge station, before heading back to Newbury but decided to leave that until another day in order to get back to Berkshire in time for the England v Russia game of the European Championship.

Thanks to everyone at the places we visited for serving us with good beer. Thanks also to Sam Williams for organising this trip.

Follow the links in the text for further details of the brewery taps etc.


  1. Nice write-up Tim. We've always found BBNo jammed so not surprised it was for you too. Did you not stop at the Bottle Shop (by Anspach & Hobday) or U-Brew?

    1. Bottle Shop & U-Brew not on itinerary - will have to do it all again and include them!

  2. Really good and useful. Love the cheeky Ullages.

  3. Wow, there's no shortage of craft beer establishments in the area! I'd quite like the Lemongrass or Raspberry / Lemon saisons.

    I quite like Ropewalk / Maltby Street Market. It's much less hectic than Borough.