Guest post by Anna Nilsen
From its iconic scenery to its thriving cultural scene and rich history, the reasons to visit London are literally endless. For drinking enthusiasts, the so-called “Big Smoke” boasts a rich and diverse beer culture worth exploring.
London is also home to numerous pubs where you can pop in to enjoy anything from traditional English ales like porters and stouts to newer styles like IPAs and craft beers.
Even when on a tight budget, you can have a good time in this popular English city without necessarily leaving a huge dent on your wallet or credit card.
Below are some of the best affordable spots you could check out for an exclusive experience of London’s beer culture when feeling thirsty for a pint or two.
#1. The Porterhouse
Situated in Covent Garden, in London’s West End, The Porterhouse is among the places where you can find an extensive selection of craft beers from around the globe… albeit at reasonable prices.
It’s a great place to enjoy traditional Irish stouts, IPAs, porters, ales, and lagers, plus the ambiance here is lively and bustling. Whether you’re traveling solo in London or with friends/relatives, it’s perfect for those looking for an authentic pub experience.
How much do pints cost? Pints may range from £6.10 to £6.30
Where is it? 21-22 Maiden Lane, London, WC2E 7NA
When? Porterhouse opens at 12pm everyday. It closes at 11pm (Mon-Thur), 11:30pm (Fri & Sat), and 10 on Sundays.
#2. BrewDog Camden
If you fancy something more contemporary and trendy, BrewDog Camden might be just what you’re looking for. Renowned for its unique barrel-aged beers brewed right on site, as well as its international lineup of cask beers and lagers, this popular spot has plenty to offer, even for seasoned craft beer buffs.
How much do pints cost? Prices vary widely. A can of Black Heart stout costs £4.95 while lost lager sells at £11.95 on the website. , Punk IPA £5.95.
Where is it? 113 Bayham St, London, NW1 0ND
When? BrewDog opens from 4pm to 11:30pm (Mon-Tue) and 12pm (Wed to Sun). It closes at 11:30pm (Mon-Thurs), 12am (Fri-Sat), and 10:30 pm Sundays.
#3. Ye Olde Mitre Tavern
Set in Ely Court, Ye Olde Mitre is one of London’s oldest pubs. This cozy establishment whose history dates back to 1546 has retained much of its historic charm with low ceilings and wooden beams. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy real ale, IPAs, lagers, and stouts, served in classic surroundings along with delicious snacks and treats like pork pies.
How much do pints cost? Variable
Where is it? 1 Ely Ct, Ely Pl, London, EC1N 6SJ
When? Open from 12pm to 11pm (Mon to Fri)
#4. The White Horse
In Parsons Green area of Fulham, lies another charming gem that beer lovers ought to check out. They sell a range of around thirty draft keg beers give or take, including one called Landlord Bitter (a British classic).
With almost every beer ever brewed found behind its regal facade; ‘The Sloaney Pony’ stocks up exceptionally rare drinks such as Welsh Dragon cider. The latter is said to be exclusively made by Gwynne Davis at his microbrewery in Somerset!
How much do pints cost? You can get a pint for as little as £5, with some beers a couple tens of pounds.
Where is it? 1-3 Parsons Grn, London, SW6 4UL
When? Opens from 12pm to 11pm or 11:30 pm (Thurs, Fri, Sat)
#5. The Windsor Castle
Named after Queen Elizabeth II’s ancestral palace near Windsor and located in Notting Hill, Windsor Castle is a cozy pub that serves classic British ales, ciders, and more to locals who know it well. This iconic bar has been around since 1835, and currently features a full gastropub menu.
How much do pints cost? variably affordable
Where is it? 114 Campden Hill Rd, London, W8 7AR
When? Opens from 12pm to 11pm or 11:30 pm (Sunday)
Tips for Starting Your Own Brewery
With so many great pubs serving creative beers these days, inspired homebrewers might consider opening their own brewery! If you’ve welcomed the thought of starting up your own brewery but you don’t know where to start, here are a few things to bear in mind:
- Financing: Opening any business often requires significant financing to cover costs such as equipment, staff salaries, and rent.
- Branding: Crafting an eye-catching brand will help establish consumer recognition and loyalty.
- Operational efficiency is vital: Running a brewery also involves a multitude of tasks, from gathering ingredients to supervising the brewing process, managing inventory, processing orders, and more. Having a way to simplify your brewery’s day-to-day tasks can help streamline processes, minimize errors, and increase overall profitability.
- Brewing quality is fundamental: One way of ensuring this is by attending craft courses on brewing techniques at organizations such as the Brew Lab or Beer Academy.
Hopefully, this piece will help introduce you as a drinking enthusiast to value options across London’s iconic drinking establishments. And if you’ve at some point dreamt of starting your own craft beer production line, you could as well find inspiration that will help you succeed.