Crawling through breweries in South London (with video)

Gipsy Hill Brewing Company

London is a world-class beer city. This has always been the case – after all, London has shaped the development of beer styles such as Porter and IPA. But what was sometimes missing was the opportunity to visit breweries for a beer. However, the number of breweries with taprooms has risen sharply in recent years, so that not only the legendary beer mile in Bermondsey is worth a visit. For example, we traveled further south and visited six breweries there.

Anyone planning such a crawl must consider at least two parameters:

  • A sensible route – the breweries are usually not within sight, but fortunately they are in walking distance with good footwear (and strategically selected bus rides).
  • Opening hours of the breweries – There is nothing more annoying than being too early or too late in a place. And with quite idiosyncratic opening hours, certainly worth a look.

Equipped with an internet connection, we climbed into the Overground and rode to Peckham Rye. Practically below the station, the first brewery was not far away.



Brick Brewery

In retrospect, Brick was one of our favorites from this trip. The weather was quite pleasant, there were seats outside and the beers were solid and numerous. Breakfast was still in our stomachs, so we didn’t dare to go to the food stand. But the smoke that fogged us in had a pleasant aroma and we started the long walk in a good mood.

  • Beer: Good and according to style, inconspicuous which is a compliment nowadays.
  • Food: Yes.
  • Atmosphere: Beautiful outdoor area, depending on where the wind is blowing.
  • Railway bridge arch: Yes.

Comment from Mr. Schneider:

  • Tap Room with approx. 20 beers, approx. 10 own and approx. 10 guest beers
  • good to very good quality of their own beer – true to style
  • small beer garden – very urban


Nowadays one suspects a brewery under each railway arch and that is also where Clarkshaws can be found. Probably the smallest brewery we ever visited in London: The pots are practically behind the door and if one is not careful, you’re an obstacle to the brewer. Even if the chairs in front of the arch are a bit wobbly, what the brewery lacks in commercial polish, it makes up for with charm.

  • Beer: Few. They were served of plastic cups.
  • Food: No.
  • Atmosphere: Tiny, somewhat chaotic and hardly any room for a sizeable beer belly.
  • Railway bridge arch: Yes.

Comment from Mr. Schneider:

  • Nanobrewery – tenant of a railway arch
  • during the visit 3 own beers at the tap
  • Niche products with vegan beers
  • Quality: upward potential

Detour: Mamma Dough – Brixton

Because beer (or more precisely: hops) makes us hungry, we took a break here. A few doors further up there would have been an exciting looking Korean, but the pizzeria serves Kernel beers and makes the dough itself. The pizzas were really good and it strengthened us for what was to come.

Brixton Brewery

Even before Heineken secured a minority stake in Beavertown, they had already invested in Brixton Brewery. The inflow of money must have allowed the second location, but we visited the first one. You can tell from the equipment that there is money here. You sit right next to the tanks and there is no actual taproom, rather there are some benches and tables next to the entrance gate.
Brixton stands out in particular due to its very colorful but also appealing corporate design. We also found the beers to be appealing, but we drank them with some amount of guilty conscience.

  • Beer: Good.
  • Food: No.
  • Atmosphere: More brewery with benches than taproom. Which is nothing to dislike.
  • Railway bridge arch: Yes.

Comment from Mr. Schneider:

  • beautiful, small brewery – tenant of a railway arch
  • 6 own beers at the tap – solid quality

Canopy Brewery

Dark. Really dark. The railway bridge arches have a tendency to not-be-bright. But they rarely look like caves. Not Canopy. Here it was really dark. Not dirty, but dark.
The selection of beers was bigger than our thirst, despite the interesting selection. Outside there were families with children, which is somewhat curious, with Hoodlums loitering not far away a few bridge arches down the tracks.
The brewery also produces cans with great designs. But we didn’t notice that you could buy them. Even though you probably could.
This brewery oozes potential. We’ll hear more of Canopy in the future.

  • Beer: Definitely enjoyable. Didn’t leave a lasting impression, however.
  • Food: No
  • Atmosphere: Scruffy is a bit too harsh, but the brewery had a back-alley atmosphere that features a brewery cave.
  • Railway bridge arch: Yes.

Comment by Mr Schneider:

  • Microbrewery – tenant of a railway arch
  • approx. 10 own beers at the tap
  • classic beer styles – solid quality (with some limitations)

Bullfinch Brewery

There were almost as many dogs as visitors at Bullfinch Brewery. The dog of the month is celebrated and while we were there, one dog celebrated on the jacket of an unknown table neighbor.
Apart from these risks, the taproom is small, narrow, but still cosy. There is also outdoor seating and the brewery does community outreach, there’s a book club and board games. The Taproom has the character of a local meeting place, as there are mainly houses in the neighbourhood. We were then spontaneously invited to a guided tour of the brewery in the arch next door. It’s very narrow there too, but we liked the charming, honest handicrafts atmosphere. If you drink here regularly, you will soon know everyone personally.

  • Beer: Solid but still needs a tick to grow beyond it
  • Food: No
  • Atmosphere: A bit narrow, but cosy
  • Railway bridge arch: Yes.

Comment by Mr Schneider:

  • Microbrewery – tenant of a railway arch
  • the brewery is located in a separate arch next to the Taproom
  • is brewed on equipment from 1972 – classic English!
  • approx. 12 own beers at the tap
  • Quality: Potential upwards – beautiful Porter (Darkside of the Moon)

Gipsy Hill Brewing Company

The man behind the bar at Gipsy Hill wore a wooly cap, didn’t want to break a sweat and thus hastened his movement. Hence the service was quite lame and at times a long queue formed at the bar. Also, several beers, which we wanted to order, were still written on the wall, despite the kegs already empty. This gave the establishment a bit of a disorganized impression.

But, it’s a nice taproom. A lot of space, comfortably furnished and thanks to the pilot kit and the cold storage room, it has some brewery charm. There are also plenty of guest beers and luckily we showed up here last and tired, because otherwise we would have probably spent more time here and our whole plan would have disintegrated.

  • Beer: Good enough not to wonder about the popularity of Gypsy Hill.
  • Food: Yes
  • Atmosphere: Beautifully furnished, lots of space, leaves a bit the aftertaste of hipster and trendy.
  • Railway bridge arch: No.

Comment from Mr. Schneider:

  • the brewery is separated from the taproom
  • very generous Taproom – with approx. 20 beers, of it approx. 10 own and approx. 10 guest beers
  • good quality – nice selection of guest beers

The south of London had even more breweries to offer, but it was already a long day. The breweries are within walking distance, but between Brixton and Canopy we boarded the bus. Nevertheless there were about 20’000 steps in total, which made even these Swiss hikers tired.

Because moving pictures are even more beautiful than photos, here is a video of the excursion.

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