Posts Tagged ‘london breweries’

London — By Andrea Kirkby on September 17, 2009 at 11:49 am
Filed under: beer, london breweries, real ale

A London microbrewery – Sambrook’s

Brewing used to be big business in London. There was Thrale’s in Southwark – near the Hope Exchange, where this vital ingredient was traded; there was the Trumans Brewery on Brick Lane, Whitbread in Chiswell Street near the Barbican, and many others.

But London lost many of its breweries in the 1970s and 1980s when the big brewers took them over and closed them down, brewing at huge new facilities and in the process losing much of what made London beer distinctive. Youngs and Fullers alone were left to keep the flag flying.

Of course one of the problems with London is the high property prices. A London brewer is going to have to pay several times more in rent than, say, one in Norfolk or Cornwall. Fortunately, the country’s largest beer market is right on their doorstep – but with a huge number of London pubs belonging to one of the big tied estates (Fullers or Youngs), actually getting the beer distributed can be a bit of a problem.

It takes a brave person to tackle this market! Fortunately there are a few brave, or perhaps mad, micro-brewers around. One of these is Duncan Sambrook, who gave up accountancy (hurrah!) and started a micro in Battersea. Sambrook’s Brewery brews just one beer – ‘Wandle’, a 3.8% session bitter that’s intended to provide a thirst-quenching, and decidedly hoppy ale.

The brewery runs open evenings every third Wednesday of the month, and groups can also book a weekday evening tour.

In Central London, you can find Sambrook’s beers at the Betjeman Arms in St Pancras station, and at the Harp in Chandos Place. (The brewery’s website gives details of other pubs around London where you might find Wandle.)

Other London breweries include Meantime, based in Greenwich; Brodie’s, in Leyton, East London; and Redemption, in Tottenham, as well as Zerodegrees, in Blackheath.

Photo by Jason Rogers on flickr

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