I currently help behind the bar on Saturdays at Anspach & Hobday on the Bermondsey Beer Mile (pop in and say hi) which is now a very popular must do beer crawl. But what about other breweries and craft bars in South East London? Last Saturday I had a day off from working in the brewery bar tap to go and, well, visit other breweries bar taps. Is it possible to devise another beer crawl? The answer is yes. I had a look on the map and sorted a route.
You can find the route here: Rad beer map
We would start at Hop Burns & Black just off Rye Lane in Peckham then onwards to Brick Brewery a little further north off Rye Lane. Next stop would be Beer Rebellion on Queens Road then a trip over to Loughborough Junction to The Beer Hive. The penultimate stop would be Brixton Brewery and finally Stormbird in Camberwell as that brings us nicely to near home. We also planned some much needed food stops.
We decided to ride our bikes in between each stop as the distances are not too far (I think it’s 6.5 miles in total). We were not wobbly as we had a half in each stop from 11am – 7pm so 3 pints over 8 hours, hardly hardcore drinking. If you don’t want to do it on bikes there is an option to do it partially on foot and bus which I will give details for.
I met my friends by the butterfly mural on Wells Way and headed off through the Surrey Canal path to Peckham Rye.
First stop – Hop Burns & Black, East Dulwich Road next to Balfes
This shop is pretty much a genius concept. It sells Beer, hot sauce and vinyl. All they need to do is add tea and chocolate to the mix and my essential needs are catered for. The beer selection in here is wide, stocking beers from all over the world and also having a great sour selection. It’s pretty much become my new go to bottle shop. They have some beers in the fridge and also sell growlers on tap and have a bin ends box which today contained a Wild Beer Wineybeast which I sadly left behind. We plunged for a Beatnik from Gipsy Hill as it has a low ABV of just 3.8% and well today is all about pacing yourself and not being a drunken dick on a bike. Plus I’ve not actually got around to trying any of Gipsy Hill’s beers yet. This was impressively malty and flavourful for such a low ABV. My friends went for an addition of a scotch egg (which comes accompanied by homemade hot sauce) whilst the other half bought some psychotic looking hot sauce for his dad for father’s day.
After a lovely beer outside in the sun we headed off north to Brick. This is walkable.
Stop two – Brick Brewery, Blenheim Grove
I’ve never been here before, the space outside is great (especially today as the sun is shining). They had a good selection at the bar, I have only ever seen their Pils and Archway Steam in other places I have been to so was good to get to try others. They always have a pop up food stall at hand which today was provided by Streetfish and we, conveniently, got here at lunchtime. I had a Blenheim Black IPA and a steak, lobster, cheese and bacon burger with sweet chili sauce. Yes, you did just read that correctly. Drool. The table we sat at had been reserved from 3pm so you can do reservations by the looks of it which is handy.
After shoving amazingly tasty animals in our gobs we headed back up Rye Lane and along Queens Road to Beer Rebellion. Get the P12 bus from Rye Lane and get off at Carlton Grove.
Stop Three – Beer Rebellion, Queens Road
Another place I’ve not yet ventured to. The beer selection in here is impressive and they have their own in house brewery called Late Knights based in Penge. The Bar staff here are incredibly helpful and knowledgeable. I had a Late Knights Porter which was incredibly roasty. Beer Rebllion run quiz nights on Mondays and they have a sister bar in Gipsy Hill.
We left here and embarked on the longest bit of our journey to Loughborough Junction. Walk 5 mins to Peckham bus station and get on a 345, get off at Loughborough Junction Station.
Stop Four – The Beer Hive, Belinda Road
The Beer Hive is relatively new. It is a co-operative brewery between Clarkshaw’s and the London Beer Lab. I have been to the London Beer Lab’s base in Brixton before to do a brew day with Bruno (great fun btw) and also to pick up some homebrew supplies. It’s great to see them get a bar tap. The bar tap is on an industrial estate and it may seem like you are in the wrong place but there is a very hopeful “craft beer this way” sign, just keep going and you’ll get there. The lady who served us was very friendly, we tried all of the beers on tap (the Phoenix rising red was particularly nice). I went for a Clarkshaw’s Hellhound, an English style IPA. My friends went for a Beer Lab Columbus APA which was delicious and a smoked chilli lager which smelt all kinds of wrong but was actually pretty decent (I assume this has come from the crazy mind of Bruno the head brewer at the Beer Lab. I made a speculoos beer on my brew day with him) and the other half had a Clarkshaws Gorgon’s Alive which was a nice refreshing golden summer ale (with a great medusa label). We plonked ourselves down in the comfy car seats and remarked on the fact that there is now something in Loughborough Junction other than the railway junction.
We headed off to Brixton (this is walkable)
Stop Five – Brixton Brewery, Brixton Station Road
Brixton Brewery are based in a small railway arch on Brixton Station Road just off Gresham Road (look for the friendly street cat outside with the massive knackers). They have two beers on draft and seven different beers in bottles. I had a Lupulo Pale Ale which was lovely and fruity whilst my friend went for their collaboration with Volcano Coffee Works, Lavarush Coffee Stout, which has been successful in tasting like coffee with a velvety mouthfeel.
From here I had already planned a crucial cupcake stop at the vegan Ms Cupcakes on Coldharbour Lane. I am lactose intolerant so this shop is a godsend and when I lived in Herne Hill I came here pretty much every weekend for an Ambassador (a cupcake which tastes like a ferero rocher). Today I decided it was time to try something else so had a pina colada which was delicious but I’ll be definitely going back to the Ambassador. Other half had an amazingly large pecan and salted caramel cookie sandwich. We also stopped for Mexican take out at Casa Morita in Market Row having the three tacos and salad meal with refried beans. I took the opportunity to pop into Market Row Wines (another place I used to frequent when I lived in Herne Hill). They have a small but very good beer selection in here including Burning Sky’s Vatted Porter. They also, obviously, have an amazing wine selection.
My friend needed to go to the Beer Lab for some home brew supplies so we wandered over. They also sell bottles in the Beer Lab and I couldn’t resist the coconut porter and a few days later it met all of my expectations of being like liquid bounty.
Homebrew supplies, takeaway Mexican and cupcakes bagged we headed to the last stop (sadly in the rain, fuck you clouds)
You can avoid the clouds by getting the 345 back towards Peckham and getting off at Camberwell Church Sttreet/Camberwell Green
Stop Six – Stormbird, Camberwell Church Street
Stormbird is in Camberwell and I have been in a few times. They always have a great selection on tap and also, cleverly, have their bottles in neatly labelled sections in the fridge. I had a To Ol Garden of Eden which, by far, is the fruitiest beer I have had all year. It is conditioned on guava, mango, passion fruit, apricot and papaya. It was like drinking an alcoholic Rubicon. Stormbird are also great as they allow you to eat takeaway food inside, so we tucked in to our Mexican/cupcake feast and reminisced on what a great day it had been. As we were close to home we decided to have just one more beer. I went for a Mikkeller It’s Alive (a wild Belgian beer) which tasted like soaked Christmassy raisins mm mm.
I’d recommend this route as it was relatively quiet compared to the Bermondsey Beer Mile. If you have your hill legs an idea could be to go from Loughborough Junction to Brixton and then include popping to Canopy in Herne Hill and then onto Gipsy Hill Brewing and Beer Rebellion’s Gipsy Hill branch. We were going to include Orbit in Walworth on our route but they were closed as they were at a beer festival. I’d recommend Orbit (who also have a food stall), they are lovely guys and the Ivo is tasty, go chat to them.