Decline the wine, bin the gin: the capital is now the very best place in the world to be drinking beer, and we’ve got 25 reasons to prove it.
1. This is a golden age of beer
Ten years ago, London beer meant a pint of Pride and not much else. We were a city in love with pallid Continental lager. We had lost our identity! But in 2015, you probably have a favourite brewery, a favourite pale ale and a favourite place to drink it. Every week, someone chucks in their dull job and says, ‘I want to be a brewer.’ Every week, a pub realises that Carling Extra Cold leaves us cold – we just want something made in Hackney or Penge or Wimbledon. We really, really love London beer.
2. And it really is bloody delicious!
None of this cheerleading would matter if everything tasted a bit meh. But have you tried The Kernel‘s incredible Double Mosaic IPA? Or Weird Beard‘s Tsujigiri, infused with Asian yuzu citrus? Frankly, we’re embarrassed to have ever allowed the likes of Budweiser to pass our lips.
3. London has been swimming in the stuff for centuries
In the thirteenth century, monks at St Paul’s brewed 67,814 gallons of beer a year to be lapped up by thirsty Londoners. Henry VIII’s Hampton Court entourage necked 13,000 pints every day. Many styles we love originated here – porter kept our city’s ‘hardworking people’ working hard in the 1700s, IPA was brewed to be shipped to the colonies. You’re welcome, world.
4. In fact, the PM’s pad used to be a brewery
The earliest known building on the site of 10 Downing Street was a brewery. Curious, as most subsequent inhabitants would struggle to organise a piss-up in one.
5. We now have more breweries than New York
At time of going to press there were over 80 breweries here, although a couple more have probably opened in the last week.