Fourpure Brewery is the first port of call on the Bermondsey Beer Mile, but is it worth braving the winter weather for?
Situated in the outskirts of Bermondsey, Fourpure Brewery is now one of more than 80 breweries operating in England’s bustling capital, at the very forefront of the beer revolution that has swept through and captured the imagination of the city. Every Saturday, hundreds of punters descend on South London to attempt the now famous ‘Bermondsey Beer Mile’ where Fourpure is the first port of call.
Like many breweries that have sprung up in the last five years, Fourpure is located on the heart of a barren industrial estate, crammed between car mechanics and warehouses. On a cold and brisk November Saturday, the brewery is still heaving with people desperate to try the brewery’s extensive range of beers, many of which aren’t available elsewhere in the country. The crowd is a mixture of youthful types on stag-do’s, older families and friends enjoying a day out, and a pleasantly surprising number of women eager to dispel the myth of beer as a past-time solely for the male sex.
Every Saturday, Fourpure are just one of five breweries in Bermondsey that open their doors to the public to showcase their very latest releases. As well as having over a dozen beers on tap, the brewery also sell cans of their core range to take-away, and branded merchandise for the more hardcore aficionados who come to visit. A huge set of wooden foudres line the back of the warehouse, used to barrel-age speciality brews before bottling/kegging.
Although the strength of Fourpure brewery mainly lies in their solidly consistent if unspectacular core range of beers, the taproom provides the perfect place to sample some of their rarer and more experimental brews. Their latest collaboration with Cloudwater, an imperial black IPA called Optare, is a particular highlight, although their amusingly named Mangoes into a bar – a mango infused sour Berliner Weisse – is equally quaffable, although dubiously opaque in colour. Juicebox, the brewery’s 5.9 per cent blood orange IPA, is a popular choice of takeout can at £3 each, or 4 for £10.
Street food, so often the perfect partner to craft beer in many ways, is also on offer. On the day of our visit, High Steaks are in attendance, offering up their classic selection of Argentine inspired sandwiches, which waft invitingly into the cold warehouse, delighting our nostrils.
Perhaps the only thing missing on a cold wintery day is a fire, which would have warmed our frozen mits after a couple of hours standing outside. Still, with a quite considerable beer jacket on, we couldn’t really complain as we headed home, bedraggled and somewhat boozed.
Fourpure Brewery can be found at Bermondsey Trading Estate, Rotherhithe New Rd, London SE16 3LL. Their brewery taproom is open on Fridays between 4-8pm and Saturdays 11am-8pm.