6 of the UK's most exciting establishments for craft beer enthusiasts

10th Nov 18 | Lifestyle

With the Craft Beer Rising festival confirmed for next year, these locations will surprise and delight even the most seasoned of pub-goers.

To the delight of beer buffs everywhere, the UK’s largest craft beer festival, Craft Beer Rising, has announced it will return once again in February 2019. The festival is just one more sign that craft beers are breaking free of their hipster roots, and becoming a mainstream drinking sensation.

So, for those of you who know your Orkney Porter from your Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout (or don’t, but are interested in discovering what the fuss is about), here are six of the UK’s best craft beer locations to tickle your taste buds…

1. The Bermondsey beer mile, London

A rite of passage for any craft beer connoisseur from the capital, the mile covers a series of microbreweries snuggled beneath the railway arches next to South Bermondsey station. The ever-changing lineup opens its doors and kegs to the public every Saturday night, and you’re almost obligated to conduct a crawl. It’s a Mecca for beer-lovers, and a good time for everyone else.

2. The Hanging Bat, Edinburgh

Widely considered Edinburgh’s go-to artisanal alehouse, The Hanging Bat features more than 100 different beers, an entire division entitled simply ‘strange brews’,  and urinals made out of beer kegs. IPAs, farmhouse ales, and porters are all reliable entrants on their fluid beer list, while a back room contains an in-house microbrewery called the Alpha Project. Whatever your tipple of choice, this joint will have you covered and then some.

3. Small Bar Bristol

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King Street is Bristol’s hops HQ, and organised drinkers can sample more than 50 unique beers within a 100m stretch. The misleadingly named Small Bar is the headline act, sporting a roster of beverages from independent breweries, each served in specific measurements according to their strength. They eschew pint glasses, feature no mainstream beers at all, and refuse to let you pay in cash. Whether or not this is intriguing or pretentious we leave entirely up to you.

4. Northern Lights, Belfast

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When pre-eminent craft beer purveyor Brewbot pulled its last pint in 2017, locals entered a period of mourning. But this was abruptly curtailed by the news that it had in fact been purchased by Galway Bay Brewery to become Northern Lights – its first craft outlet in Northern Ireland. Featuring 20 taps which cycle through a range of Irish offerings, they also have Jenga behind the bar.

5. Tiny Rebel, Newport

Kings of Welsh brewing, Tiny Rebel have opened a craft bar in Cardiff, but it’s their Newport venues that earned them their fame. One lies on the Wern Industrial Estate, the other in the town centre, but each offers a range of creative concoctions and a stripped down, warehouse aesthetic.

6. Port St. Beer House, Manchester

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At Port Street Bar in Manchester, variety is the name of the game. Their beer list, alphabetised by brewery, contains some 150 different labels, a delight and a challenge for collectors and beer scientists. If you can’t find a favourite on this menu, then you probably shouldn’t be drinking beer.

© Press Association 2018