Brew By Numbers: Read your labels
If one place is going to get me buzzing on the Bermondsey Beer Mile, it’s most likely Brew By Numbers on Enid Street. Before you order, get to grips with the labelling system. Each brew is identified by a unique four-digit code, the first two numbers refer to the style of beer (for example, 1 = saison, 4 = Beriner weisse, 7 = witbier, 9 = brown ale, 14 = tripel, 18 = farmhouse) while the last two numbers refer to the recipe.
Sign up to the newsletter for info on tastings, tap takeovers and food pop-ups, there is almost always something going on in this railway arch brewery. And now that they have secured support from BrewDog, expect this place to get bigger and better – they currently have seven beers on tap every Friday evening from 6-10pm and Saturday from 11am-8pm.
The one downside – paying a deposit on your pint glass. But then they look pretty good, so I’ll give up the £2 if a few of them make it into my handbag.
Then, for an insight into craft beer crowdfunding in action, head over to U Brew on the Old Jamaica Business Estate. Providing the space, equipment, support and ingredients people need to brew their own beer, this open-access brewery and taproom channels a start-up vibe. With 10 keg beers at the bar and a selection of experimental bottled ales brewed on the premises, it’s truly small-scale beer-making in action.
The final countdown: last three
If you are feeling the strain, you will be pleased to hear the last few stops are staggering distance apart – these (almost) neighbours are all on Druid Street – The Bottle Shop, Anspach & Hobday and Southwark Brewing Co. The latter two are breweries – making a core range and more experimental beers – while the former is probably the best place to try international beers in the area.
Spanning two levels, it’s hard not to feel the excitement levels rise as you run your eyes over the well-stocked fridges and shelves of The Bottle Shop. The team stock more than 150 bottles, and run a few regularly changing taps.