Back in September Eric read a BBC article about six craft breweries clustered around Bermondsey, an area of East London we hadn’t yet visited. Most of the breweries are located in railway arches supporting the London Overground, and tasting rooms are only open on Saturdays. With all of that in mind we made Bermondsey our Saturday afternoon destination.
Anspach & Hobday — We approached the string of breweries from the north, so this was the first stop. At 1pm it was still rather relaxed and not crowded so we picked out three tasters (4 oz each) for 6£ and grabbed a bench by the door. Our choices: Bullfinch Rouge ‘Un (slightly tart, German-style roggen beer), A&S Smoked Brown (mildly smoky, solid), and A&S Stout Porter (my favorite of the three, nice mix of bitter and malt and strong at 8%).
The Bottle Shop / Weird Beard — We hadn’t planned to stop here (simply because we didn’t know about it) but the Tap Takeover sign for Weird Beard intrigued us. We found the kegs upstairs and after a lovely conversation with one of the owners, Gregg, and his assistant-pourer Theresa (who was wearing an Alvinne shirt which started another round of talking about Belgian beer festivals) we took a seat and enjoyed the Something, Something Dark Side (9.4%) and the Mariana Trench Transpacific Pale Ale (5.1%). Very nice beers, and it induced us to try another Weird Beard beer later in the trip too.
The Kernel Brewery — By far the most crowded place we tried a beer. We stood in the draft line for about 10 minutes and managed to grab a seat after a group left. There was a variety of interesting choices available in bottles but we stuck with the fresh pours. Eric tried the London Sour (2.8%) and I ordered the Export Stout (6.7%). Both beers were good but beer was not allowed to be consumed on the patio area so it was super crowded and noisy in there. Also good to note that this place is the earliest in the area to stop serving – 2pm.
The Bermondsey area was definitely a fun afternoon outing in a unique railway environment, and we would return on a future trip to try some of the other brewers.