There are moves afoot along the Bermondsey Beer Mile. They mark a critical juncture for the breweries concerned, and they represent a significant milestone for the beer mile itself. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then read on…
As I’ve written previously, the Beer Mile originally came together after The Kernel moved to the area (Dockley Road) in 2012 and bequeathed their original start-up kit to then new brewery, Partizan. This facilitated Partizan’s own start-up half a mile away in a railway arch on Almond Road. They were soon to be joined by Brew by Numbers (BBNo) and Fourpure, Saturday taprooms were opened, and the beer mile was born.
Marking the end of an era, Partizan Brewing is now in the final stages of moving to larger arch premises on the other side of the viaduct at 34 Raymouth Road. They will be hosting a final ‘going away’ taproom party at Almond Road on Saturday 28th October before opening their taproom for the first time at the new site on 4th November. An early 2018 official brewery launch is being planned to follow. So, numbers 7 and 8 Almond Road have recently been up for grabs.
Enter Affinity Brew Co who have taken over 7 Almond Road. They were a start-up in Tottenham in 2016 and saw the opportunity to move to Bermondsey as too good to pass up. Their Bermondsey launch party was held this weekend and going forward they should have their taproom open each Saturday. And what of the other former Partizan arch, 8 Almond Road? It, too, already has a taker.
Enter Spartan Brewery, the latest hatchling from the UBrew incubator. Spartan has a ‘coming soon’ website and are active on Twitter but with Partizan only now vacating their arch, Spartan will need time for a build-out before the brewery and taproom can open. January 2018 is what I understand their tentative time will be.
When I mention these changes as representing a milestone for the beer mile I am wondering whether the addition of Affinity and Spartan, bringing the total number of Saturday taprooms to 10, plus The Kernel’s retail sales; if this makes a complete trek in one day now perhaps too much?
This is compounded when you add yet another recent newcomer: Bianca Road Brewing, another 2016 start-up who recently moved to Bermondsey from Peckham. Although not exactly situated on the beer mile, their new brewery and taproom is only a short distance away, very close to Manze’s pie and mash shop on Tower Bridge Road.
So now, perhaps, it can be argued that Bermondsey has two beer miles. The cluster of six taprooms at the Tower Bridge end comprises one: Bianca Road, Southwark, Anspach & Hobday, Bottle Shop, Ubrew and Brew by Numbers. The cluster of five taprooms at the South Bermondsey end comprises the other: Fourpure, Partizan, Eebria, Affinity and Spartan. One thing’s for sure: these latest moves have only served to reinforce Bermondsey’s status as the pre-eminent destination for craft beer in London.