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Monthly Beer Club: February 2019: Lacons Brewery & Pub Quiz

A trophy cabinet probably wouldn’t be the first thing you’d think of when designing a brewery, but for Lacons that’s been an essential part of their planning. Their visitor centre has a selection of the 52 cups, certificates and medals on display representing the demand for their beers.

Established as a brewery in 1760, the business was bought, then subsequently closed in the mid-60s, but brewing returned to the east Norfolk coast again just over 5 years ago. Working closely with the Lacon family, the new owners revised the iconic falcon logo and even started using the yeast from the original beer that had been held in deep freeze.

The current Lacons team are just as fastidious about producing a quality pint as their predecessors were 250 years ago. The brewing methods and equipment may be state of the art now, but tradition still plays a part in what they do. The beer range currently stands at 27 different varieties, offering a fantastic choice of styles for both the traditional drinker and the craft beer enthusiast alike. The malted barley is bought from a local specialist supplier and hops are sourced from around the world.

Encore, the flagship beer has been crowned “World’s Best Bitter under 4.5%” on two separate occasions at the World Beer Awards, as well as receiving Overall Cask Champion at the International Brewing Awards (the Oscars of Beer!) and category Bronze at the World Beer Cup.

Monthly Beer Club: December 2018: Focus on Tynt Meadow and Pub Quiz

Did you know there are fewer Trappist breweries in the world than there are breeding giant pandas in captivity? To be specific, there are 43 times more pregnant pandas than monks brewing beer.

While the first Trappist brewery was established over 400 years ago, Tynt Meadow, the sole English producer has only been making beer a matter of months. Situated in rural Leicestershire, the monastery’s motto is ‘Ora et labora’ – pray and work. In order to maintain the historic buildings and provide money for living, the monks have branched out into brewing.
The criteria to become a Trappist producer is very strict guaranteeing quality and authenticity. All produce must be made within the confines of the monastery by the monks, it must be secondary to the monastic way of life and any profit is given to charity.

It isn’t just the beer that is authentic, the bottle label draws on a 12th Century Cistercian script, developed by Brother Anselm Baker. A quill was also used to draw the brewery’s logo of the lancet windows, characteristic of the church.
The beer is only brewed with English malt and hops and is a deep mahogany colour with a nose of dark chocolate and soft fruits. The ideal partner to strong cheese and crusty bread. As you read this, the beer is going through its second fermentation in the bottle.
You might think that monks live solitary lives, but the brothers at Tynt Meadow are always happy to welcome guests -Their door is always open, the heart even more so.

Craft Beer Cans for Festivals

craft beer cans

Ever thought about adding craft beer cans to your festival essentials list? It’s that time of year where you bash the mud off last year’s wellies, air out your tent and give your sleeping bag a shake— whether you’re heading to Glastonbury, V Festival or Bestival this summer, the festival season is upon us!

Now, everyone is always thinking of creative ways to smuggle alcohol into campsites with restrictions on glass going in and out of the sites. Gone are the days of seizing a crate of lager for a tenner and lugging it three miles from the supposed ‘drop off’ point to your rough and ready temporary home. Instead, we find ourselves pouring glass bottles carefully into plastics whilst trying not to spill a drop of that ever important festival juice.

But don’t forget the rules between different festivals on alcohol consumption are ever-changing. I’ve always been under the impression that you can take in whatever you can carry or what you feel is deemed ‘appropriate’— a wheelbarrow full of cans is acceptable, right? But no, make sure you check the specifics; for some festivals, you’re limited to just 8 cans per person! Which isn’t a lot over a whole weekend of live music, UV paint and a makeshift bed under a canvas shelter.

So imagine this…it’s raining (of course it would be in British summertime), you’ve lost your mates (which is bound to happen at least once) and you’re craving a nice beer (I can’t promise you it’ll be cold). Which of your favourite breweries is going to be your hero? Here’s just five of our brewery partners that will be your best friend this festival season.

Allendale Brewery

craft beer cans

Some might say that Allendale Brewery is based in a very remote location but it’s as well-connected as any with a vision that bursts with enthusiasm. If you’re going to grab a case of craft beer cans for your next festival consider Allendale. Their brew ‘Wayfarer’ is a pale ale with a thirst-quenching peachy taste— why not pick an award-winning brew for an amazing time?

The Brew Foundation

Craft beer cans

The Brew Foundation is a father and son venture based in Sheffield. At the Brew Foundation, their goal is to ensure that each beer they make leaves people wanting another pint of it— so it’s definitely a must if you’ll be throwing a crate in the tent for the weekend. We’d recommend ‘Hop and Glory’ for a hoppy and tropical IPA that is incredibly moreish.

Bude Brewery

craft beer cans

If you’re heading to Boardmasters Festival (8th-12th August) this year why not embrace Cornwall even further by taking Cornwall based, Bude Brewery’s craft beer cans with you? You could be singing along to George Ezra with a brew known for its fierce reputation and unique taste. Golden ale ‘Summerleaze’ comes highly suggested with its honey aftertaste which is perfect for summer’s day.

Mobberley Brewhouse

craft beer cans

Taking on Parklife this year? Then Mobberley is the perfect choice for this one as it’s based not far from the infamous music. To make your day extra special why not buy your own share in Referendum Brewery which gives you an opportunity to create your own brew just for you festival day out? Or if you’re wanting just a couple beers to make you a little wobbly check out Mobberley’s ‘Batch 1000’ which weighs in at 10% ABV (note: if you want to remember seeing Liam Gallagher then don’t have too many of these!)

Williams Bros. Brewing Co

craft beer cans

This Scottish brewery prides themselves on supplying beer that reflects its exceptional historical origins! So if you’re looking to take make a little history at your next festival why not take a beer with you which encompasses years of tradition. We’d recommend the IPA hybrid ‘Caesar Augustus’ which adopts the crisp and refreshing taste of a fine lager.

 

So if you’re heading towards a weekend of musical fun this summer why not round off the experience with some sensational craft beer cans? At Best of British Beer, we sell a number of festival-friendly beers available in slabs— perfect for carrying into camp. Or if you feel like a bit more variety, anything from our craft cans range will fit the bill

 

 

Vegetarian Craft Beer and Food

Craft beer and food

With it being National Vegetarian Awareness Week we’ve put together some recipes that combine both vegetarian craft beer and food! National Vegetarian Week 2018 runs from 14th-20th May and it’s all about eating delightful and exciting veggie food. We understand how difficult it can be to keep being meat-free interesting so we hope the mouth-watering recipes below will tantalise your taste buds.

You wouldn’t think that craft beer and food are terms that go hand in hand, well we beg to differ, and we’re challenging you to think outside the box or the bottle. When you think beer, the word ‘healthy’ doesn’t exactly spring to mind…you usually imagine a big ol’ beer belly! But research shows that cooking with beer has a number of health benefits! Most of the minerals and fibre in beer tend to cling on when you cook with it and you don’t need to worry about feeling wobbly after a beer-infused dish as most of the alcohol is cooked off.

But back to my original point— meat-free cooking doesn’t have to be intimidating! You might not know your aubergine from your courgette but throw it all together and I’m sure you can create a delicious meat-free dish. Cooking for friends this weekend? Want to make vegetarianism appealing to all? Then try out our dinner party proposal below and don’t forget to get the beers in to enhance the experience.

Entrée: Cheese and Ale Soup

craft beer and food

Throwing some beer in a pan, melting a chunk of mild cheddar and calling it soup doesn’t sound like the healthiest option. But stop! This recipe uses low-fat ingredients such as; skimmed milk, low-fat cheese and boundless amounts of vegetables. If you're feeling adventurous why not serve this dish with whole wheat beer bread for an extra tangy and rich flavoured starter. Check out the full recipe on Health.com!

Top tip! To make this dish extra special why not choose a fruit flavoured pale ale to add a bit of zest to the soup. We suggest The Crafty Brewery Company’s Pale Ale ‘The Crafty One’!

Main Course: Chipotle and Chocolate Vegan-Chilli

craft beer and food

This recipe flings together so many contrasting flavours and yet they all seem to complement one another in order to produce a well-rounded example of craft beer and food. Chuck in some chilli powder, vegan sausages, espresso powder, an array of beans and that ever important chocolate stout craft beer to create an appetising and memorable main. But of course, I’m not a cooking connoisseur so I’m probably oversimplifying! Check out the full recipe on What Would Cathy Eat?

Top tip! We’d suggest Weal Ale Brewery’s ‘Centwealial Milk Stout’, known for its rich chocolatey finish. But if you find this chilli too bitter then feel free to swap out the dark beer for a lighter one.

Dessert: Beer Tiramisu ‘Beeramisu’

craft beer and food

You might already be full by this point, but let’s face it, there’s always room for dessert! Craft beer lovers can jump for joy over this twist on a pudding classic. For best results buy yourself a smooth coffee porter and pair it with a high-quality dark chocolate. Don’t forget to sprinkle with chocolate after refrigeration; we wouldn’t want you to miss out on some chocolatey goodness! Check out the full recipe on BBC Good Food.

Top tip! This recipe is quick to throw together but make sure you chill the Beeramisu overnight to avoid disaster. For a perfect taste we’d choose Gloucester Brewery’s ‘Dockside Dark’ which produces a wonderful coffee aroma.

If you really aren’t fussed about keeping it veggie friendly then we know exactly what brews to pair with each recipe. For your entrée add a citrusy undertone with Mobberley Brewhouse’s 'Boom Juice'. The star performer in the main would have to be Titanic Brewery’s 'Chocolate and Vanilla Stout', a brew which is sweetened by its chocolate undertones. To create a spectacular twist on the Beeramisu add Stonehouse Brewery’s 'Guatemalan Coffee and Vanilla Ballast Porter' for a smooth and rich finish.

But again I’m off topic. If you’ve ever been tempted to give meat the silent treatment; then why not get involved this National Vegetarian Awareness Week? Inspired by the menu above? At Best of British Beer we have a number of vegan and vegetarian beers available to buy online. Try something unique by uniting craft beer and food this week!

*The recipes above can be adapted to be gluten free friendly*

A Craft Beer for the Royal Wedding

[caption id="attachment_513" align="alignright" width="304"]craft beer Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announce their engagement.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_497" align="alignleft" width="170"]craft beer Windsor and Eton Brewery release 'Harry and Meghan's Windsor Knot'[/caption]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 19th is a huge day for everyone; it’s a day to have a craft beer or two and watch on in awe, hoping to celebrate— it’s the FA cup final! But no, this isn’t what I’m referring to of course. We’ve been blessed with another royal wedding!

Royal fans with a taste for British beer will be able to celebrate Prince Harry and fiancée Meghan Markle's wedding day with a special pale ale brewed in Windsor where the couple get married in just one week’s time. The couple are due to wed on May 19th at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle and the ceremony is billed to be much more intimate than Prince William’s wedding at Westminster Abbey in 2011.

Harry and Meghan are a couple who are embracing what it means to be royal in the twenty-first century! This is why they’re becoming one of the most loved pairs in Britain and across the commonwealth. They’ve already broken royal wedding tradition through their choice of bridesmaids, wedding escort and even their flavour of cake!

In this modern age, we’re able to collectively shrug our shoulders at the foundations that make the ‘perfect royal couple’, because after all there is no such thing as ‘perfect’. We never believed that Prince Harry known for his roguish, bad boy behaviour would ever settle down. His beautiful bride Meghan may be divorced, mixed-race and American but she brings to Britain a breath of fresh air that is needed to revitalise the ancient institutions surrounding the monarchy. The couple who both represent different paths allow the Royal family to replicate a realistic image of modern British families, in a union which will be viewed worldwide.

But how can the British public celebrate this highly anticipated event? Windsor and Eton brewery, just a stone’s throw away from Windsor Castle have just the thing. The brewery is thrilled to once again play a part in the Royal nuptials, with ‘Harry and Meghan’s Windsor Knot’ being a craft ale which acts as the sequel to the limited edition beer made for Prince Harry’s older brother William’s wedding to Kate Middleton.

Windsor and Eton have put a lot of thought into creating a flawless ale which reflects the personalities of both parties. The Windsor Knot embodies elements of the British and American craft beer scene. It was inspired by the couple’s first public appearance together at the Invictus Games in Toronto last year. They’ve decided to marry British hops called Invicta in recognition of Prince Harry’s role in creating the Invictus Games, with some impeccable American West Coast hops to represent Meghan’s American nationality. This beer is finished off with champagne yeast giving it that extra special, bubbly feel.

The brewery has even considered the bottle design of this pale ale by incorporating the Union Jack alongside the Stars and Stripes of the US flag. They’ve even presented the interlocking male and female symbols on the label to reflect that the marriage is one of strength and empowerment. Both the pair openly support causes that they feel deeply about such as; environment, equal rights and rehabilitation of injured service men and women.

I suppose we’re all a little bit gutted that the wedding falls on a Saturday— I’m sure we’d have all loved another bank holiday. But you can still celebrate in style with a taste of British craft beer.

Harry and Meghan’s Windsor Knot is available in 330 ml of 4.5% ABV and also in cask at 4%, so with subdued strengths like that nobody will be getting royally wasted, either.  Check out our website to get your hands on something special, don’t just settle for a commemorative tea towel or coffee mug.

Women in Beer Brewing

Ever thought about who's behind the scenes of beer brewing? With it being the centenary year since women finally gained the vote we’re asking ourselves, is it still a man’s world? Well, we don’t think so! Beer has often been considered ‘a man’s drink’— its men that kick back with a nice cold beer after a hard days labour, whilst the women sit by and sip wine delicately in the corner. But it’s the twenty-first century and times are changing with just over 25% of the beer drinking population being made up of women. But have you ever considered who’s working behind the scenes, brewing the beers that you love so much?


Women have been active in brewing since ancient times; in many cultures, they appear as deities, goddesses and protectors of brewing. In Medieval England, women brewers known as ‘brewsters’, alongside alewives completely ran the ale trade. They provided not only to their husbands and other male relatives but to inns, public houses and businesses nationwide; making them true entrepreneurs.


However, in the last hundred years, the pub has been seen as a refuge for men to ‘get away from the wife’, with slogans such as ‘Saturday’s are for the boys’ becoming common tongue. We could say that industrialisation is to blame for the influx of sexism in beer brewing, the introduction of heavy machinery and bulkier operations dictated that brewing was for men and this pushed women off the bar stools and out into the cold.


In recent years the British beer brewing scene has dramatically changed, largely due to the arrival of microbreweries and their culture of quirky beers available across the UK. The return of local breweries has made it possible for women to once again move out of the kitchen and into the brewery, defying the typical stereotype that beer is for men. Check out some of the top female run UK breweries below and prepare to be inspired.




[caption id="attachment_499" align="alignleft" width="156"]beer brewing Monty's Brewery from left to right: Kate Thomas, Danielle Thomas, Pam Honeyman[/caption]

Monty’s Brewery, Montgomery


Monty’s brewery has had an exciting journey! It started out as a small, family-run startup and is now an established brewery exporting beer worldwide. In June 2008 owners Pam and Russ Honeyman were having a quiet pint when they pondered the question ‘shall we build a brewery?’ They’ve never looked back, Pam attended university and came back with what was to be an award-winning recipe! Their brewery is largely run by a dedicated team of female brewers— that’s pretty great for the world of women’s brewing.


 

 

[caption id="attachment_500" align="alignright" width="156"]beer brewing Sara John, owner of Boss Brewing[/caption]

Boss Brewery, Swansea


The name ‘Boss’ originates from the fact that there aren’t that many female brewers, even though brewing was originally dominatedby women. Owner Sara John created Boss Brewery with her partner Roy Alkin and she wanted to change opinion surrounding women in beer brewing. Their slogan ‘breaking the brewing boundaries #LIKEABOSS’ stands perfectly as a motto for diversity.


 

                                               Stray Cat Brewing, Stone




[caption id="attachment_502" align="alignleft" width="156"]beer brewing Sarah Bradford, owner of Stray Cat Brewing[/caption]

Sarah Bradford has brewing in her blood as her parents own Lymestone Brewery in Stone. As a young twenty-three year old she wants to walk her own path by creating innovative new beers. She didn’t want to feel creatively restrained by the brews already existing at Lymestone so decided to go her own way. Sarah is an inspiration for female brewers and feels that her gender shouldn’t restrict her love for all things beer.

 

 

                                              Wild Card Brewery, London




[caption id="attachment_501" align="alignright" width="150"]beer brewing Jaega Wise, owner of Wild Card Brewery[/caption]

Head brewer at Wild Card, Jaega Wise is a strong campaigner for eradicating sexism within the brewing industry. She spoke at a Brewers Congress in London and urged organisations such as CAMRA to help change gender prejudice in beer brewing. Wise feels that there are three practical ways to improve the status of women in the beer industry in 2018, including; banning sexist beer labels, stricter advertising standards and a call for more information about female brewers.


So if you’re captivated by the women making a stand for gender equality in brewing, then why not try out some of their brews? Here, at Best of British Beer we’re huge advocates of women in brewing— so head to our website and land yourselves a bottle of revolutionary beer.

A Craft Brewery in Focus: Mobberley Manchester

We’re incredibly fascinated by the work of James Roberts one of the country’s youngest craft brewery owners. James started out fresh from finishing his degree at Bangor University as a novice in the brewing scene— he taught himself the basics and has grown from strength to strength. James set his sights on cracking the brewery scene with his innovative and investigational range of craft beers and he’s achieved his goal and then some.

Mobberley Brewhouse is known for its dangerously good beers which are often incredibly hoppy. They take modern beer styles and extend the limitations of brewing. Their double IPA ‘Pipe Dream’ is infamous for being one of the hoppiest beers produced in the UK. Not only has James focused on hops, his Brewhouse is enamoured by the infusion of fruit in beer. This is something which has become increasingly popular over the last decade, they took the risky initiative before fruit beer was determined trendy. All this combined makes Mobberley’s reach impressively extensive; they provide cask and keg ales to pubs, bars and restaurants in the North West and Nationwide.

Mobberley are particularly excited about their brand new ‘White Label’ range! They’re producing seasonal and experimental limited edition brews which all have their own individual charm and purpose. Whether it’s to pack a punch by manipulating alcohol strengths or to tantalise the senses by introducing astonishing new flavourings, these British beers are ones to watch.

Head brewer at the craft brewery, James, said: ‘I drank cask beer in pubs around Manchester before craft beer became popular. When I started to see more American beer coming through I thought that these guys were on to something, and this inspired my experimentation with dry hopping and heavy hop usage’

Mobberley is celebrating their one-thousandth brew since their creation as a craft brewery in 2011. They think that’s pretty incredible and we’d have to agree! So what better way to celebrate such a momentous occasion that with an extra special batch. This one will really knock your socks off as the Imperial IPA weighs in at 10% ABV. But what do you expect from a beer of such strength? Our directors had the privilege of sampling this brew and couldn’t believe the taste; this ale is relatively light, but it soon sneaks up on you when you end up feeling a tad wobbly on your feet.

This year there’s another celebration that James’s looking forward to which will definitely involve toasting with a few beers or many. But how would a beer lover and brewery enthusiast celebrate the day he says ‘I do’?  The answer, of course, being— with his very own limited edition beer. White Label brew ‘Save the Date’ takes its alcohol strength of 5.8% from the date of the wedding.

In the future, this Manchester brewery, buried in the humble heart of the Cheshire countryside is looking to expand from their already thriving brewery, shop and taproom into the bar industry. They’ve recently purchased two bars in the area and are hoping to spread the name of Mobberley Brewhouse nationwide— they want Mobberley to be a place where all can feel enamoured by Craft Beer.

We love Mobberley which is why we’ve chosen them to nurture our latest brain child; Referendum Brewery. We want to makes sure our customers can get the full British beer experience, so what better way than for them to have influence in every step of the brewing process? They’ll start out by choosing the ingredients we throw into the beer, then deciding on alcohol strength, and finally choosing the name and label design. We think this collaboration is pretty fantastic, and we’re proud to have such a good relationship with Mobberley.

Want to try out Mobberley Brewhouse’s finest? Then why not head to our website to pick up a selection of the fantastic beers we have to offer from this remarkable craft brewery. Or if you’re feeling adventurous why not pick up your very own share of Referendum Brewery— featuring a brew by Mobberley, which is designed by you.

[caption id="attachment_498" align="alignleft" width="160"]craft brewery Batch 1000[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_496" align="alignright" width="160"]craft brewery Save the Date[/caption]

St. George’s Day: A Focus on English Craft Ale

With it being St. George’s Day soon we want to talk about British craft ale. St. George’s Day falls next week on the 23rd April and it’s a day to embrace all things England. In reality St. George’s Day is celebrated in some form in numerous countries and cities around the world, but in England, it often passes by without us noticing.

You may be asking yourself why St. George deserves the title of patron saint of England. Well, legend has it that St. George slayed a dragon on flat-topped Dragon Hill in Uffington, Berkshire, and it is said that no grass grows where the dragon’s blood trickled down! Sound’s far-fetched right? But who really cares? It’s another opportunity to kick back with a nice beer and celebrate all things English.

The English craft ale scene has grown by leaps and bounds over centuries and particularly in the lifetime of more recent generations. In 1982 you’d be able to pick up a pint for just 72p! These days you’re lucky to get much change out of a fiver especially if you’re sampling the beers in the South. But what kind of beers would you have expected for such low prices? In the twentieth century, local brewers commanded the pubs within their areas, you’d be unlikely to try brews from miles away unless you travelled there.

In the early parts, it wasn’t uncommon to be faced with very dark beers such as stouts, porters and milds— these were not for the faint-hearted and often hit ABV counts of up to 7%. In history the terms ‘stout’ and ‘porter’ are often intertwined particularly with the restrictions enforced by two world wars which weakened beers. But who were they made for? The working English man— porters originated from the London area and were sunk mainly by their namesakes; the river and street porters of the capital.

As we’ve crept into the twenty-first century the brewing scene in our green and pleasant land has changed greatly; this is largely due to the influx of quirky microbrewers nationwide. But as a nation, we’ve realised that we can be better with a little help from our European friends. Brewer’s these days often choose to include hops from countries such as Slovenia to mimic traditional European styles like Kolsch and Pilsner in order to create well balanced and hearty beers— but we must not forget that these beers are still English. They’re brewed on English soil, with English water making them national gems to be proud of.

Wanting to celebrate St. George’s Day in style? Check out some types of beers below that thrive with a little English charm and the might of a dragon:

Bitter

English bitters developed in the nineteenth century as a by-product of the pale ale. With an ordinary bitter look out for an assortment of distinct aromas of spicy, peppery and grassy hop flavouring to powerful sharpness with a tangy, fruity and nutty malt feel. The bitter extends its charm through variations as; best bitters and strong bitters— spot these by their dominating fruity flavourings with a crucial sharp element.

Stout and Porter

In recent years this old time beer has been reinvented to eliminate its ‘old man’s drink’ associations. Though not as strong as it used to be the beers still retain their appeal as they adopt the same tropes. A pint of Stout

or Porter will typically offer a dark and roasted malt character with undertones of coffee, raisin and liquorice. But it’s not a stout without the undercurrents of a hefty hoppy bitterness.

Pale Ale or IPA

IPA’s were first brewed for their preservative qualities which made them perfect for long overseas journeys. Today pale ales are known for their distinctive golden colouring and interesting infusions of flavours. For a true IPA look out craft ales with 4% strength and above who adopt juicy malt, citrus fruit and peppery undertones alongside their bitter punch.

Golden Ale

Relatively new in the world of beer the golden ale first came to the forefront in the 1980s— its aim was to capture young drinkers from foreign lager companies. Golden ales are particularly eye-catching due to the spectrum of colours they appear as; from straw coloured to amber to yellow. These particular brews derive from pale malts with additions from citrus fruits and hints of vanilla and are known to be thirst quenching on a summer’s day.

Lager

Lager used to be left mostly to foreign producers but now English breweries are expanding the choice available to the consumer. There are now a range of craft breweries that exclusively offer lager making this the time for English brewing. As with the beer styles mentioned, new age brewing loves to interfere with traditional methods offering room for new hybrid beers such as; dark lager, dry hopped lager and other concoctions to sample.

So if you’re looking to celebrate St. George’s Day with a little English pride why not give a nod to the English brewing scene? Whether you’re old school and like to stick to brews with heritage or slightly more new age and strive for beers with a little something extra then we’ve got the thing for you. Look out for our ‘Forever England’ crate which can offer you a brew with the fire of a dragon and a little taste of England.

craft ale

The London Marathon or the London Brewery Tour?

When you think about it a brewery tour sounds a lot more fun than running a marathon. But whether you run, walk or cheer from the sidelines— be a part of the London Marathon this year! With over 40,000 people running in the 26.2 mile race now is the time to embrace this sporting event. Here at Best of British Beer, we know how hard it is to complete such a challenging feat. I’d never be able to finish anywhere near the record time of 02:05:38, you’d most likely find me skulking off after the first mile in search of a cold beer— it’s definitely a spectator’s sport for me.

So if you’ve accepted that you’re no Paula Radcliffe then maybe there are other ways to track the race. We’re huge advocates of the London brewing scene so why not as you’re watching sample the delights of the capital’s ales with the exceptional craft breweries surrounding the finish line? You could call it ‘the alternate marathon’ except in this case the winner would be the last one standing… but please, make sure you find yourself walking over the finishing line instead of stumbling!





  1. Redchurch Beer


Address: 275 Poyser Street, London, E2 9RF.

To kick-start the marathon why not try out the tap room at Redchurch? Bound to be bursting with energy fuelled by live music, food and a range of experimental urban farmhouse beers. This brewery has become the central beer hub of the area and is bound to be a winner.

  1. Howling Hops


Address: Queens Yard, White Post Lane, Hackney Wick, London, E9 5EN.

Needing a trip for another rainy day? Take time out to head over to Howling Hops. Their in-house ‘tank bar’ (the first of its kind) is a haven for beer lovers around; with ten servings tanks pouring a range of unique brews.

  1. Wild Card Brewery


Address: Unit 7, Ravenswood Industrial Estate, Shernhall Street, Walthamstow, E17 9HQ.

Spoilt for choice in the deck of London breweries? Don’t miss Wild Card who open their doors to the public on weekends so you can enjoy beer straight from the source. Not only does the brewery offer their own selection of quirky brews but you’ll find them alongside a selection from other microbrewers; making them a great contributor and supporter of the British brewing scene.

  1. Orbit Beers


Address: Arches 225 & 228, Fielding Street, Walworth, London, SE17 3HD

Hit the mid-way point in your very own marathon with this distinctive and endearing brewery! Situated under a double railway arch in South London this brewery is not one to be missed. They’ve just opened their very own tap bar which is destined to be booming with business in the coming months.

  1. Gipsy Hill Brewing


Address: Unit 5, 160 Hamilton Road, London, SE27 9SF

As a brewer that makes no-nonsense and full flavoured beer, this pop-up taproom is an excellent starter for the final stretch of the trip. Feeling peckish and needing to soak up the alcohol? This bar is infamous for its delicious hog roast and varied Portuguese street food— not one to be skipped!

  1. Brixton Brewery


Address: Arch 547, Brixton Station Road, London SW9 8PF

Looking for a full day out? Why not take a brewery tour? Found just a stone’s through from the resurgent market district in the colourful neighbourhood of Brixton; this brewery is hidden away under railway arches making it a gem of new heritage. If you’re looking for full-flavoured and gutsy beers then you won’t be disappointed!

  1. Hiver Beers


Address: 56 Stanworth St, London SE1 3NY

Wanting to walk away from a brewery with a real buzz about British beer? Then Hiver is the place to be— they really do put the bee in beer. Hiver source raw honey from independent British beekeepers to create the perfect honey brew. Their taproom is located by Maltby street food market and you can even combine a tasting here with an introduction to urban beekeeping!

  1. Sambrooks Brewery


Address: Yelverton Road, London, SW11 3QG

Finish your alternate marathon with a brewery tour overlooking the Brewhouse at Sambrooks’s taproom! If you’re lucky and arrive on ‘free pint Friday’ then you won’t leave much out of pocket. Sambrooks turned an old photography studio into their very own piece of London’s craft beer revolution— so why not end your race in a place that strives for their own slice of excellence?




But if travelling to London and faltering through brewery tour after brewery tour isn’t your cup of tea— or perhaps you’d rather take in the London Marathon from the comfort of your very own living room then we’ve got the thing for you. Here at Best of British Beer, we pride ourselves on providing you with your very own British beer experience. So why not complete your alternate marathon from home? Land yourself one of our handcrafted London Craft Beer Cases containing a selection of bottles from the breweries above and you’re sure to be a medal winner— after all, it’s the taking part that counts!

Brewery tourBrewery tour

Same great beer, less gluten

How is beer made?

Traditionally, beer is made with malt, hops, yeast and water. From this mix, it is the malt that contains gluten, which is found in cereal grains like barley and wheat. In small quantities, the gluten from these cereal grains can trigger an autoimmune response in people who suffer from Celiac Disease- an autoimmune disease which means the body cannot tolerate even small quantities of gluten.

Gluten-free standards vary from country to country- In Britain only food and drink containing 20ppm (parts per million) or less can be labelled as gluten free.

It’s hard to imagine that the term ‘gluten- free’ barely existed 10 years ago, yet the increasing number of gluten-free products are testament to how many people are diagnosed with Celiac disease each year.

To address the increasing number of diagnoses in the UK, a growing number of breweries have now started to cater for those people who are intolerant of their usual beers, and the range of beer available just keeps on growing, which is great news since no-one wants to stop drinking beer! (maybe that’s just us?).

[caption id="attachment_455" align="alignleft" width="225"] Gluten free beer now comes in cans and bottles[/caption]

So how is gluten- free beer made?

The face of beer is changing, so how do brewers replace what is essentially a mix of mostly gluten?

Because gluten is in the malt, the malt gets replaced by cereals such as millet, rice, sorghum, buckwheat and corn, all of which are said to not trigger any autoimmune responses. Alternatively, some brewers brew with barley or rye and reduce the level of gluten to below 20ppm meaning that their usual varieties of beer can be slightly altered.

For this reason, some beers are labelled as ‘gluten-reduced’ rather than ‘gluten free’, which gives people the option to choose which beer they feel their body can handle.

So, when you are on the search for gluten-free beers, remember that there are 2 types- 'Gluten- free' (below 20ppm) and beer labelled ‘Gluten reduced’ which is essentially a manipulated version of the beer. Either way, the breweries are working hard so that taste isn’t compromised!

[caption id="attachment_456" align="alignleft" width="225"] This beer is labelled as Gluten-free which means the content of gluten is less than 20ppm[/caption]