Beer is more than a stuffy drink for pubs now
It’s not just pubs, bars and off-licences where you can buy beer these days. With beer on the rise, as we seem to say in every article, comes the rise of the bottle shop. Bottle shops, for the purposes of this article, are specialist beer emporiums, often incorporating wine as well. These places are trendy and make us feel cool, so you can see why we go to them. We’ve picked 5 of our favourites for you.
Clapton Craft N4
When you leave Finsbury Park station, you’re probably not aware that there’s a slice of beer heaven just around the corner. The fourth Clapton Craft store in North and East London, Clapton Craft N4 brings great beer to the Stroud Green Road.
Filled with beer from all over the world, Clapton Craft is the beer lover’s dream. They have six draught taps to fill growlers with, and the choice changes weekly. Check their website to see what’s on tap before you visit. The store also has Clapton Craft’s largest wine selection to date, so it’s not all about beer.
Caps and Taps
Caps and Taps is Kentish Town’s answer to the growing craft beer movement. Just north of the mayhem of Camden Town, the shop exudes calm with some good music choices and even better beer.
There are fridges stocked full of the latest beers from London and further afar, including a very nice Norwegian beer that we tried. They have a draught tap for filling growlers, which changes regularly. There are lots of options for Christmas presents, including a mystery box of six random beers, which might just be the perfect present for a beer aficionado.
Mother Kelly’s Bottle Shop N16
It makes sense to have a cool bottle shop on Stoke Newington Church street amongst the hipster restaurants, cafés and shops that seem to have no point at all. Mother Kelly’s is that shop, with its dark interior and over 300 choices of bottles.
The second store to have the Mother Kelly’s name, the shops is surprisingly big on the inside, stretching back to the chilled section, along with a cooler room for beer that needs to be kept cold, but not too cold. Six draught lines are on offer for those that want to look cool at parties drinking from a growler (there may be another reason for drinking draught beer from a growler that I’m not seeing here).
Brewdog Gray’s Inn Road
Unlike any other bottle shop on this list, Brewdog Gray’s Inn Road actually has a bar in it too, which we think is pretty cool. This article is about the bottle shops though, and that’s still pretty good in itself.
The Brewdog bottle shop has all the staples you’d expect from the Scottish punk brewers, alongside over 200 other craft beers from breweries all over the world. There’s also a draught tap, if you want a drink to take away with you. It opened in 2014, and has become a fixture on the London beer scene since.
Borough Wines and Beers
What began as a wine stall in Borough Market in 2002 is now a burgeoning fleet of wine and beer shops across London, and as far away as Hastings. They have shops in Stoke Newington, Hackney, on the Essex Road and in Clerkenwell; they have central/north London well covered.
The shops have a lot of wine, but they also have a lot of craft beer to meet the demand for the drink. They promise they’ve sorted an environmentally-friendly wine and beer refill system, although we haven’t tested this out yet. They do have a good selection of beers ready to go though, so pop in and try some out.