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 Virtually all of the documentation of the Mile on the internet consists of one-off blog posts that quickly go out of date.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 Maltby Street Market (not actually a bar, more of a pre-Mile breakfast location, though there are bars in the market too)
- Walk 170m 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 300m to Old Jamaica Business Estate, 24 Old Jamaica Road (not actually a bar, but a useful halfway point for stopping to eat something)
- Walk 260m to The Kernel*, Arch 7, Dockley Road Industrial Estate
- Walk 1km 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
- uBrew*, 29-30 Old Jamaica Business Estate, 24 Old Jamaica Road - closed down September 2019
Sorry for the six-and-a-half month gap since the last update on here: you know how it is. Back in August 2020, we were able to report on how the Beer Mile bars were slowly coming back after what we were foolishly calling ‘the lockdown’, when we should have been referring to it as ‘the first lockdown’. As we wait for news on how we’re supposed to make our way out of the third one, we thought it was about time for a recap on where the breweries are currently.
Obviously, all the bars are shut at the moment. But many of them are operating some sort of delivery service, or taking orders for click and collect. If you need some beer in the near future, maybe consider giving Tesco’s a miss and throwing a few quid in the direction of your favourite Bermondsey vendor. See their individual sites for what’s available.
At some point, we hope, many of these bars will be back in business to some degree or other. Sadly, though, we have to report on a few more permanent status changes. We’ll update their pages on here once things have settled a bit, but in brief:
- Hiver/All Good Beer should now be just referred to as Hiver. That’s because All Good Beer, as mentioned back in August, have moved their pop-up out of Bermondsey and now operate solely out of their shop in Hackney Downs, where their online order business appears to be doing pretty well. Though it should be noted that the alcohol-free beer advent calendar we bought from them last Christmas had a bit too much kombucha in it for our liking (i.e. it had some kombucha in it).
- Anspach & Hobday have moved their brewing operation out to Croydon: the taproom is still on the Mile, though, and has now been rebranded as The Arch House (when it’s open, anyway).
- London Calling Sweden is using lockdown as an opportunity for a bit of a rethink. According to this shonkily-translated article from beernews.se, expect it to become more of a general Swedish bottle shop when it eventually reopens.
- Secret Goldmine is still operating as a café for takeaways (primarily for food, though the Yeastie Boys connection is still there). They also appear to run a popup food stall opposite Clapham Common.
- Affinity have moved out of Bermondsey, as previously reported, and are now operating out of the basement of the Grosvenor Arms in Brixton. As also previously reported, Three Hills Brewing have taken over their site on 7 Almond Road, and hopefully when things perk up again we can tell you what that’s like in practice.
- Mash Paddle Brewery are rumoured to be planning a move into Almond Road, and are currently crowdfunding to set up an open brewing site – presumably a bit like what uBrew used to do, but hopefully without the catastrophic financial problems.
Apart from that, we know as much as you do about the future of the Bermondsey Beer Mile. If you want the latest news of what people’s re-opening plans are, keep an eye on the social channels for the various bars and breweries (which tend to get updated a bit more frequently than their websites). In the meantime, stay home and drink lots of ordered-in beer. If God is willing and the R number don’t rise, we’ll hopefully see you for a pint in the near future. Well, maybe a schooner.