For those of you who don't know: the Bermondsey Beer Mile is a loose amalgamation of brewery bars and bottle shops, located along a stretch of railway arch that's closer to two miles long nowadays. The one thing they have in common is that they're all open at roughly the same time on a Saturday afternoon, giving those of you who fancy some exercise the chance to indulge in a rather fine pub crawl. As long as you can find your way between all the bars, of course.
And this is the problem: because the Mile is something that's grown organically over a period of years, and there's no definitive central resource you can consult in order to find out where all the bars are. New ones keep opening, and old ones change location. Virtually all of the documentation of the Mile on the internet consists of one-off blog posts that quickly go out of date. I should know, as I wrote one of those myself back in 2014, and it's full of mistakes now.
(I'm Spank The Monkey, by the way: I've had an arts and entertainment review blog on the internet for over two decades. Most of the words you're going to see on here are mine, with additional contributions and photography by my pal The Belated Birthday Girl. If you're curious to see what the Mile looked like in olden days, here are some pictures The BBG took of it back in 2014.)
In the absence of any official site relating to the Mile, we've decided to start an unofficial one. We'll attempt to document all of the bars currently on the route, and how to get between them all: and whenever we hear about any changes we'll update the site as soon as we can. (You can help with this - feel free to drop us notes in the comments boxes if you find that anything's altered since we wrote about it. We've included links to the official sites of all the bars, which should hopefully have the most up-to-date information.)
Here's the route as it currently stands. (You could start at the other end and work in the opposite direction, but I'll explain why we're doing it this way round in the first post.) Links with distances in them will give you a map of how to get there: links with a bar name in bold will take you to a separate page with more details about it. Bars with an asterisk next to their name also brew beer on the same premises.
- Start at The Cheese Truck, Maltby Street Market (not actually a bar, more of a pre-Mile breakfast location, though there are bars elsewhere in the market)
- Walk 500m to Southwark Brewing*, 46 Druid Street
- Walk 170m to The Barrel Project, 80 Druid Street
- Walk 50m to Hawkes Cider*, 92/96 Druid Street
- Walk 150m to Hiver/All Good Beer, 56 Stanworth Street
- Walk 150m to Anspach & Hobday*, 118 Druid Street
- Walk 220m to Moor Beer, 71 Enid Street
- Walk 15m to London Calling Sweden, 72 Enid Street
- Walk 1m to Cloudwater, 73 Enid Street
- Walk 23m to Brew By Numbers*, 75/79 Enid Street
- Walk 61m to Bianca Road*, 83-84 Enid Street
- Walk 400m to uBrew*, 29-30 Old Jamaica Business Estate, 24 Old Jamaica Road
- Walk 35m to Bone Daddies, 27-28 Old Jamaica Business Estate, 24 Old Jamaica Road (not actually a bar, but a useful halfway point for stopping to eat something)
- Walk 350m to The Kernel*, Arch 11, Dockley Road Industrial Estate
- Walk 950m to Affinity*, 7 Almond Road
- Walk 140m to Spartan*, 8 Almond Road
- Walk 130m to EeBria, 15 Almond Road
- Walk 210m to Partizan*, 34 Raymouth Road
- Walk 650m to Fourpure*, 22 Bermondsey Trading Estate
In memoriam section:
- The Bottle Shop, 128 Druid Street - closed down March 2019
We're updating this page on July 14th 2019, the first birthday of the site. A year ago, there was a panic over Network Rail's plans to sell off their railway arches to the highest bidder, putting a lot of the brewery taps listed here under threat. An organisation called Guardians Of The Arches has been organising resistance to the sale, becoming a trading association for the arch businesses: they've been running a crowdfunding campaign, but nobody seems quite certain as yet what they're crowdfunding for. In terms of closures, the biggest loss has been The Bottle Shop, currently lying dormant but with rumours that a Beer Hawk is circling over their rotting remains (coughABInBevcough): meanwhile, uBrew spent a couple of weeks closed owing to financial difficulties, but is currently open again, having revised its expansion plans downwards a bit. But at least we've had a couple of new bars open successfully on Enid Street, in the shape of Cloudwater and Bianca Road. It's all still rather fluid, but the Mile seems to be flourishing regardless: we'll keep monitoring it and let you know if that changes.
Anyway, enjoy your crawl, but please: drink responsibly.