Bristol: The Next Beer Mile?

For some time Bristol has been recognized as a great destination for craft beer in cask and keg. The city is blessed with excellent breweries and the cluster of pubs and bars around Welsh Back and King Street is a destination by itself. However, a critical mass of breweries has formed in the industrial areas of St Philips and Easton and over two bank holiday weekends earlier this year they came together to form the East Bristol Brewery Trail; a beer mile with perhaps the potential to rival London’s Bermondsey Beer Mile (read about it).

eastbrisbrewtrail

East Bristol Brewery Trail (click to view)

The Bristol Breweries map at the end of this post shows the principle breweries currently operating in Bristol’s city neighborhoods and provides links to their websites. Of the six that make up Bristol’s Beer Mile, both Moor Beer and Left Handed Giant already post taproom opening hours on their websites and social media. So, even when there isn’t an event–like the East Bristol Brewery Trail–it’s worth giving the beer mile a shot starting from Moor Beer (but do check opening times beforehand). Moor Beer is about 10 minutes walk from Temple Meads station.

From Moor Beer the trail goes via the Barley Mow pub to Good Chemistry then to Left Handed Giant. Between Left Handed Giant and the Dawkins/Arbor locations at the end of the trail, pass by Crane to see if they’re open. They, along with Good Chemistry, have expressed interest in establishing opening hours outside of special events in future.

To watch for East Bristol Brewery Trail events:  #EastBrisBrewTrail

And to keep tabs on the breweries’ Twitter feeds:

Moor Beer | Good Chemistry | Left Handed Giant | Crane | Dawkins | Arbor.

Here are some photos from our last visit to the Moor Beer taproom:



As a side note, besides being a fantastic craft beer destination, Bristol has some really nice small venues for live music similar to those we loved in Seattle (i.e. Showbox, Neumos, and the Crocodile). Back in September, Sunflower Bean, a fast rising alternative rock band out of Brooklyn, New York, wound up their headline European tour with a few dates in the UK. One was at Bristol’s Thekla, a unique small music venue (capacity 300); unique in that it is the converted hold of a cargo ship docked in the floating harbor. The chance to see one of America’s hottest young bands in such a unique venue for just £10 was too good a chance to miss.

Sunflower Bean at The Thekla, Bristol, 13 September 2016:



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4 comments

  1. It’s certainly a bustling place for beer but I don’t think many of these “taprooms” are open in winter months although I know Moor is but it’s fairly sterile and bright and lacks atmosphere.
    You have also missed some terrific breweries out of your blog. More research perhaps would make this a more helpful read.
    Dan German.

    1. Thanks for your feedback Dan; in response I have made a couple of tweaks to clarify my intent. This post is not about Bristol breweries in general (hence my omission from the map of breweries located in ‘double-digit’ BS postcodes). It is explicitly about the emergence of a critical mass of St Philips/Easton breweries that together (through #eastbrisbrewtrail or otherwise) might become a ‘beer mile’ to rival Bermondsey – hence the title “Bristol: The Next Beer Mile?”. I saw a couple of posts from Good Chemistry and Crane indicating that they might like to open in the future–presumably coordinating with Moor and LHGB. This is how Bermondsey came together after all–Kernel starting the ball rolling–then one by one the others started opening on Saturdays. Even though Kernel is now back to off-sales only, the rest are still going strong–some now with Sunday opening too. If I have missed a brewery operating out of a commercial space in a ‘single-digit BS postcode, particularly in the mile or so between Moor and Arbor please let me know.

  2. Thanks for your article on the East Bristol Brewery Trail – did you manage to make it along to either one of those, or any of our other events over the summer? It’s true, Left Handed Giant have closed their taproom for winter and, apart from a Christmas Brewers Market we’re running on 10th Dec, Good Chemistry won’t be doing open brewery until next spring either. We hope to run more regular open brewery events next summer, though, as this year’s were hugely successful and great fun! Hope we’ll see you along to one of those.
    Whether we’ll become a regular Bristol version of Bermondsey Beer Mile we’ll have to wait and see!
    Cheers

    1. I appreciate you taking the time to comment Kelly – thanks. We get down to Bristol only occasionally (to visit family) so I’m afraid we missed the events earlier this year. However, during our visit in September, when we stumbled across Moor Beer while wandering around near the Barley Mow, the environment reminded me so much of the Bermondsey Beer Mile, which in turn evokes our earlier experiences in Seattle with the awesome Burke-Gilman brewery trail. Now I’ve done some digging and discovered six breweries within a mile or so and in proximity to a bike path I figured this needs to be promoted. Any small thing I can contribute – like a blog post – to help push the Bristol brewery trail forward.

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