Britain sure does like a brew, but with so many to choose from it can often be a daunting and cumbersome task seeking out the best. With that in mind I’ve put together a variety of some of the top breweries from across the country to satisfy your desire. From the weird and wacky, to traditional and even non-alcoholic, there’s a little something for everyone.
1 / Beavertown Brewery
With names like Gamma Ray and Neck Oil, you don’t quite know what to expect. Thankfully, Beavertown is one of those rare examples where creative branding and quality of brewing sit hand-in-hand. Many know them as the official craft beer of Tottenham Hotspur FC, but even if that’s not your team, don’t let it put you off. Now in their eighth year of operation and about to launch a second brewery, these guys produce a range of award-winning styles for any occasion, not to mention their microbrewery being inside the stadium itself – the first of its kind!
You’d expect this to be around the 5% ABV mark, but surprisingly, it’s not. This lower-ABV Session IPA gives super welcoming notes of citrus, tangerine, grapefruit and piña colada. Available at Beavertown Brewery.
The perfect ‘any day, any time’ kind of brew with a light, crispy and punchy kick. Extra-pale base malts are used to elevate the flavour. One for those who like it dry. Available at Beavertown Brewery.
The intention was to create a juicy tropical beer and boy did they succeed. Grapefruit, mango and pineapple all make an appearance. This is a beer for those who want an uplifting flavour profile to get their taste buds dancing. Available at Beavertown Brewery.
2 / McColl’s Brewery
Based in Durham, McColl’s Brewery set up in 2017 with an eye to create traditional British, Belgian and new wave beers. ‘Sessionable and balanced’ is its ethos, while I’d also argue the creative touch gets liquid on lips. With brews like Lady Marmalade and Beetroot Biere de Garde, my intrigue is certainly piqued. Naturally hazy and vegan friendly, they prefer an unadulterated approach, which seems to be winning over a lot of beer lovers.
An insane combination of malts and hops join forces to produce this full-bodied sweet sensation. Caramel dominated the palate with spicy rye, citrus and a longer-lasting hoppy finish. Available at McColl’s Brewery.
Yep, as the name suggests this beer absolutely has beetroot in it. The result? A super earthy, crisp bomb of a brew. Brewed with continental malts, noble hops and a ton of beetroot this naturally hazy beer us unfiltered and 100-per-cent vegan. This truly is a ‘beer of the land’. Available at McColl’s Brewery.
3 / Nirvana Brewery
Nestled in the bustling heart of East London, Nirvana Brewery is on a mission to bring great alcohol-free brews to people who still want a great tasting beer. Inspired by the fact her Dad went tee-total, Nirvana’s Founder, Becky launched in 2017 to give those who don’t drink alcohol something to order other than water. You’ll see familiar styles such as stout, pale ale and IPA alongside some more experimental creations like the world’s first kombucha beer. All with 100-per-cent natural ingredients.
It’s all about the dark roasted malts here. Rich in flavour with chocolate, vanilla, caramel and a smoothness taking centre stage. The best bit is, it’s also gluten free. It’s not that often you can get a zero-alcohol beer tasting this good. Available at WiseBartender.
Get ready for some exploration – with Nirvana, the word ‘basic’ was never an option. Introducing one of the world’s first kombucha-style beers. A quirky blend of traditional pale and green tea grace this bottle. It’s the sour beer you never knew existed. Pure green tea, sour plums and cherries with a soothing punch of citrus. Available at Trembling Madness.
4 / Salcombe Brewery
Starting out of a place of love, Salcombe Brewery founders John and Gerry realised their local brew of Shingle Bay was under threat of disappearing, so they took it upon themselves to acquire the recipe, create a brewery and keep the tradition going. Community is at the heart of what they do, with 5p of every sale going back to help the development of their local area. With just 20 barrels, this really is a micro-brewery, producing a variety of core-range and limited edition brews each year. Great story, great people, great beer.
Where it all began – this delightful golden ale has a touch of blackberry and spiced fruit, making it a really pleasant and quaffable brew. Pacific gem hops add a great texture and complexity. All round, it ticks many boxes. Available at Salcombe Brewery.
You know those days where you just crave a beer? This really is a lifesaver. Bronze in colour, this malty ale hits you with a smack of citrus and orange peel before transforming into toffee, liquorice and a soothing floral finish. Available at Salcombe Brewery.
5 / Spey Valley Brewery
I first visited this brewery when filming the last series of the TV show and fell in love with it. The magic is that they’re using the same water source as many of the world-famous whiskies from this area. While Spey Valley Brewery was founded in 2007, they’ve had a slow and steady growth, with it producing some fantastic beers, including some whisky-finished expressions that will blow your mind. Local is everything in this place and their beers represent a true example of Scotland’s incredible beer scene.
At just 3.5% we have another low-ABV wonder, but definitely not in character. This American session IPA is packed with a citrus twist, giving you a zesty and mouth-watering fruit-forward burst of flavour from the first sip. A grapefruit bitterness jumps out making this the perfect remedy for a long summer’s day. Available at Brew Republic.
6 / Harbour Brewing Co
From the heart of Cornwall, every ingredient that goes into these beers is local, whether it’s Harbour Brewing Co‘s unique blend of hops or water fresh from the nearby springs. Don’t let the happy-go-lucky millennial surfer vibe put you off – what’s in the glass is really good. From dark, warming stouts to citrus-forward IPAs – the quality speaks for itself.
This stunningly hazy and natural IPA is oozing with ripe mango, grapefruit, nectarine and papaya. A soft start and mouthfeel turn into a bold and robust kick of flavour with each sip. Available at Harbour Brewing Co.
I always love it when people do something a little different – here we have a modern take on the classic oatmeal porter, using 100-per-cent British malt and hops. Chocolate and smoked raisins hit your nose alongside bonfire, toffee, liquorice and lightly smoked tobacco on the finish. Available at Drink Finder.