London’s Best Craft Beer Bottle Shops

How to stride purposefully into one of those natty new beer shops and not come out with an armful of lamentable impulse purchases

London’s Best Craft Beer Bottle Shops 5


This outpost doesn’t just offer a godly array of bottles and cans. Grab one of its medieval-looking three-and-a-third pint "growlers" for £6 and keep coming back to fill it up from the ever-changing tap.

Best fencing lager*: Beavertown Quelle Saison (4.1%). More refreshing than a slap round the chops from a yeti.

Big heavy hitter: To Øl First Frontier (7.1%) You’ve not drunk an IPA until you’ve made friends with this Danish sexpot.

Staff pick: “I’m taking The Kernel’s IPA Double Mosaic (9.3%) home tonight,” says Michaela. “It hides its high ABV really well. Perfectly balanced.”

*A fencing lager is one you can drink before going fencing, where one would do well not to be intoxicated

London’s Best Craft Beer Bottle Shops


Tenner says your bottles won’t make it home when you buy them from this New York-inspired bottle shop and tap room under the railway arches in Bethnal Green. Its patio out front and booze hall inside are ideal places to crack them open.

Best fencing lager: The Wild Beer Co Fresh (5.5%). A frisky little tinker made with different hops sourced every six months from both hemispheres.

Big heavy hitter: Mikkeller Spontanlingonberry (7.7%). A sour wild ale that lives to get sipped slowly while you catch the final rays of summer.

Staff pick: “I’m liking the Hibu Avanti March (6.5%) right now,” says Matt. “Mainly ‘cos there’s a great set of cans on the bottle.” Bloody lads!

London’s Best Craft Beer Bottle Shops 1


Run by New Zealanders Glenn and Jen, this place sells the holy trinity of middle-class manhood: hot sauces, vinyl records and craft beer. We had our face pressed to the NZ-specific beer fridge for 95% of our time there.

Best fencing lager: Moor So’Hop (4.1%). An unreal ultra pale ale produced using tropical southern-hemisphere hops.

Big heavy hitter: Tuatara Conehead IPA (6%). Named after reptiles endemic to their homeland, Tuatara’s bottles come with lizard-like scales down their necks. Fun!

Staff pick: “Mikkeller’s Texas Ranger Chipotle porter (6.6%) has just come in,” says Jen. “It’s perfect for our shop: a great craft beer made with chilli.”

London’s Best Craft Beer Bottle Shops 2


Yet another foray into total world domination from Scotland's BrewDog, this stonkingly good craft offy also stocks quality homebrew gear so you can get your own booze empire rolling.

Best fencing lager: Holy Moose (5.5%). It’d be rude not to take home the host’s new Nordic-inspired IPA.

Big heavy hitter: Great Divide Yeti (9.5%). A champion imperial stout to turn your insides all nice and toasty and warm and turbo drunk.

Staff pick: “BrewDog boss James Watt named his dog, Simcoe, after the fruity, piney hop found in this Pressure Drop Alligator Tug Boat (7.2%),” says Sarah.

London’s Best Craft Beer Bottle Shops 3


Like the perfect mullet, this super posh wine shop has a dirty little secret hanging out back – row upon row of London and world craft beers, dubbed "The Brew Testament".

Best fencing lager: Partizan New York City Pale (4.5%). You’ll never go wrong if you reach for these suds from south-east London.

Big heavy hitter: Camden Town IHL 660ml (7.2%). Huge sharing bottles of craft beer are the future. Three of these and you’ll see into the future too.

Staff pick: “I love a Hammerton N7 (5.2%),” says Indre. “It’s got the right balance between fruity and bitter.”

Words by Chris Sayer

London’s Best Craft Beer Bottle Shops 4