Has beer ever been so popular? The rise of craft beer and independent breweries means there’s a host of brilliant places to get a good beer in South West London. The Resident picks out the best breweries, pubs, bars, shops and tap rooms…
1 Mondo Brewing Company
In 2014 homebrewers Todd Matteson and Thomas Palmer opened Mondo Brewing Company in an empty warehouse space in Battersea. The first brew went into the tanks in April 2015 with an aim to make the best beer, using the ‘best equipment, the best practices, and the best ingredients’. Mondo brews include James’ Brown Ale, Kemosabe IPA, London Alt and Rider Pale Ale. There’s an on-site shop and a Tap House for tasting too.
86 Stewart’s Road, Battersea SW8 4UG; mondobrewingcompany.com
2 By The Horns Brewing Co
Chris Mills and Alex Bull used to make their own beer with a homebrew kit in the garage, but they turned their hobby into a career in 2011 when they opened a microbrewery creating small-batch ales. At first, they produced four flagship ales but, following a brewery expansion, including the addition of a tap room, By The Horns, now brews six flagship ales and several seasonal ales over cask, keg and bottle. ‘Craft Beer is certainly a hot topic,’ confirms Mills. ‘After recent expansion and investment in new equipment, it is set to be a great year at By The Horns with new exciting beers and events at the brewery tap.’ Their best selling beer is still the first beer they ever brewed – Stiff Upper Lip, 3.8% Pale Ale. By The Horns will be screening all of the Six Nations rugby matches in February and March – watch the games on one of two 10 ft HD screens and choose between 14 rotating beer lines plus guest beers.
25 Summerstown, Wandsworth SW17 0BQ; bythehorns.co.uk
3 The Four Thieves
The Four Thieves in Battersea is a Laine’s London pub, complete with its own brewery, which produces up to 40 casks a week – that’s 1,440 pints. Beers include an amber-coloured ale called Pumpkin, a dark ale called The Porter and a sweeter dark ale called Smoked Porter, as well as The Four Thieves’ own keg pale ale and own brewery fresh lager – a Czech-style pilsner that is served straight into the glass from the brewery tanks. Alongside the brewery, there is also a distillery producing Four Thieves Gin.
51 Lavender Gardens, Battersea SW11 1DJ; fourthieves.pub
4 The Wimbledon Brewery
The Wimbledon Brewery started producing beer at its 30-barrel brewery in June 2015 and within a few months began supplying beer to over 150 venues in SW London, including The Hurlingham Club, The RAC and the Royal Wimbledon Club. SW19 resident Mark Gordon founded the brewery and teamed up with Master Brewer Derek Prentice, who said ‘Our philosophy is to utilize the best of English brewing traditions and the best ingredients.’ Tours are available, see the website for details on how to book.
8 College Fields, Prince Georges Road, Wimbledon SW19 2PT; wimbledonbrewery.com
5 We Brought Beer
We Brought Beer is a craft beer store that stocks something for all levels of beer drinkers. It now has two stores in South West London (Battersea and Balham), in which you’ll find over 400 craft beers from all over the world. Owner James Hickson told Sudi Pigott that ‘more women are drinking craft beers than ever before and many of their customers are wielding buggies not tattoos.’ Hickson also hosts events, including a monthly Homebrewing club that’s free to attend. See the website for details.
78 St John’s Hill, Battersea SW11 1SF & 28 Hildreth Street, Balham SW12 9RQ; webroughtbeer.com
6 Brixton Brewery
Brixton Brewery’s beers, brewed under the railway arches, pay homage to the rich heritage and modern-day character of the area. Electric is an Indian pale ale inspired by Electric Avenue and made with New World hops, giving it an energy and attitude. Effra is a smooth amber ale that balances pine, lime and grassy hops. And then there’s the Reliance, a light pale ale that raises a glass to the 1920s market arcade where local cobblers and tailors still practise their craft.
Arch 547, Brixton Station Road, Brixton SW9 8PF; brixtonbrewery.com
7 Sambrook’s Brewery
In 2006 two friends hatched a plan to open a London brewery whilst at the Great British Beer Festival. In August 2008 that dream became a reality when Duncan Sambrook left a successful career in the City yet sampled his first own-brewed beer three months later. Whilst looking for premises, Sambrook met a successful brewery, David Welsh, who backed the plan. The first Sambrook’s beer, Wandle (a bitter) is now joined by Junction (a premium ale), Pumphouse pale ale and Powerhouse Porter in the cask collection; meanwhile keg beers include Battersea IPA and Battersea Rye. Find them in The Candlemaker, The Westbridge Draft House, The Northcote Draft House, The Northcote, The Falcon and Dip & Flip in Battersea, and The Ship, Wandsworth.
Unit 1 & 2 Yelverton Road, Battersea SW11 3QG; sambrooksbrewery.co.uk
Independent Scottish brewery BrewDog opened the doors to its craft beer bar in Battersea in 2014. The brewery was founded by friends James Watt and Martin Dickie in 2007 ‘to make other people as passionate about great craft beer as we are’, and was one of the first in the craft revolution of the UK. With 40 taps of beer on offer, not to mention the bottled and canned beers, it’s a vast emporium of craft beer in SW11.
11-13 Battersea Rise, Battersea SW11 1HG; brewdog.com