Working in the beer industry throws up some real treats, all in the name of research.
If you get to London of a weekend, as we do fairly regularly, try the Bermondsey Beer Mile. It’s at that not-yet-mainstream stage where you can still enjoy a sense of discovery and smug hipness (along with a few fresh beers, of course).
1. Kernel Brewery
For us, this was the first stop, and consequently c•••ed up the neat mile route that’s possible if you start early. Kernel is halfway along the mile and a must-see, but with doors closing at 2pm, you either have to get your act together or, like us, arrive in a sweaty state of panic off the tube and try to find the right entrance in a warren of railway arch doors. We made it and slaked our thirst with a pleasantly tart Raspberry Sour, followed by a delicious Mosaic Pale Ale and Export Porter. The high concentration of beards and aging hipsters was mitigated by the cute/troubling sight of the under-10 glass collector and even smaller child go-karting around the brewery, lending a quirky family wholesomeness to the place. Alas, adults are not allowed in the sandpit.
2. Brew by Numbers
Even by the second stop, you start to feel you’re on an upmarket bar crawl, spotting familiar asymmetric haircuts and beards. Brew by Numbers offered tasty beer (saison with hibiscus was quite special) with friendly service and a suntrap out front. Altogether pretty ace.
3. Anspach & Hobday
Great looking, but less satisfying on the tastebuds, was Anspach & Hobday. This route did, however, allow us a trip along Maltby Street Market, where it’s basically rude not to stop for a custard filled donut from St John and some smelly (read delicious) cheese.
And that’s as far as we got, this time. But we’ll be back for more of the mile. And you should try it. Do it for the beer, do it for the experience, do it for the donuts. Do it, even, for vintage treasures like this in stumble-upon-able second hand shops en route.