Book Review: Craft Beer London

It’s no secret that London’s craft beer scene is booming. There’s even talk that, one day, they may rival Bury as the chic beer capital of the UK. Well, let them dream, I say. In the meantime, it can be difficult to navigate round the seemingly bewildering list of beer attractions that London has to offer. Yes, the internet is full of info, but it takes time and you need to know where to look.

This is where this pocket-sized guide comes in. You can’t beat having all the information you require at your fingertips and this handy little book promises you a compendium of the best that London has to offer. Compiled by Will Hawkes, the Independent’s beer expert, it breaks London down into manageable zones: Central, East, North etc and highlights the best places to try craft beer.

In a book of this size, there is only so much room for detailed descriptions. Thus this is reserved for the main entries. They each get a nice right up; including transport info. However, there is additional listing space given over to other places of interest in each area. As the emphasis is on where to sample craft beer, breweries and off-licences are featured as well as pubs and bars.

Of course, any book is out of date even before it’s published. However, given that these places tend not to be fly-by-night operations, I think that this, along with its electronic companion, will be useful for some time yet. It’s also something of an educational tool for the beginner: there’s a beer dictionary, a forward by Evin O' Riordain and Will even makes a good stab at answering “What is Craft Beer?”

And, although primarily aimed at the novice London beer drinker, there were a few tips in here that I wasn’t aware of. There’s a lot packed in here and I suspect it will find itself in more than a few imbiber’s pockets over the coming months.
Craft Beer London. Vespertine Press. £10


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