Date Published 30 March 2016
Craft beer is everywhere you look nowadays. It's gone from the exclusivity of small-time breweries run by socially awkward men with long beards, to the shelves of a Tesco Express fridge. Yet, there's a reason for this: London is the beer capital of the world.
1. This is a golden age of beer
Ten years ago, London beer meant a pint of Pride. We were a city in love with pallid Continental lager. But in 2015, you probably have a favourite brewery, a favourite pale ale and a favourite place to drink it. Every week, a pub realises that Carling Extra Cold leaves us cold - we just want something made in Hackney or Wimbledon.
2. It's in our blood
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.
3. More craft beer bars than Berlin and more breweries than New York
Two of the trendiest cities in the world and London beats them with beer.
4. Curb your enthusiasm
Got a new job? Congratulate yourself with a pint! Just been sacked? A couple of drinks are essen-tial. Getting married? Let's go to the pub! With an audience like this, how can London breweries really fail?
5. The envy of the world
Vienna has cafés, Helsinki has saunas, we have pubs. Frankly, we're more than happy with this arrangement.
6. Duty of care
Kennington brewery, Two Fingers, gives its profits to Prostate Cancer UK; Peckham's Brick Brew-ery has just launched Coal Line porter, brewed to support a project to turn a disused stretch of rail-way into a green space for the community. Both good reasons for getting another round in.
7. Suits all wallets
Beavertown's Heavy Water imperial stout with cherries and sea salt: £11 a bottle. Camden Town's perfect Hells Lager: £2 a can. Great beer: London's true democratic gift to the world!
8. Forget Oktoberfest: here it's Febfest, Mayfest, Junefest...
There were more than 20 beer festivals in London in 2015, and we reckon next year will be even bigger. One thing to remember, though: always order halves. No one wants to make a tit of them-selves in front of a hallful of studiously sipping craft beer fans.
9. Beer is built into our city
In case you hadn't noticed, we're not short on railway arches in London. Loads of breweries make beer with the sound of trains overhead, from Brixton to Bethnal Green. And despite the race to turn every square inch of the city into luxury apartments, there's still space for expansion.
10. So this story is only going to get better
We imagine soon we'll be celebrating London's 150 breweries, and the idea of drinking something produced in a factory beyond the M25 will seem absurd.