Brewery Tour: London Fields Brewery – London, England

London Fields Brewery

365-366 Warburton Street London E8 3RR 

http://londonfieldsbrewery.co.uk

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What’s the worst brownie you’ve ever eaten?  What’s the worst back massage you’ve ever gotten?  What’s the worst prize you’ve ever won?

London Fields was the worst brewery tour I’ve ever been on.  Was it horrible?  No.  Did I have a great time?  Yes.  Would I go again?  Yes.

I have a hard time being negative, so I have to tell you that London Fields is a great place.  They have good craft beer (both cask and keg), a cool atmosphere, and friendly people.  The TOUR however, could use some help.

Living in Milwaukee has set a high standard for brewery tours, with Lakefront Brewery and MKE Brewing Company battling for the top of my list.  I also still consider myself relatively new to the craft beer world… I’m estimating at this point in my life so far I’ve been to 30 breweries and toured only 15 of them.  Sure, that’s a lot of tours compared to most people, but not enough to declare any place has the worst brewery tour.  Does 15th place out of 15 sound any better?

I might be too harsh to London Fields, but I was not impressed by the tour.

Traveling in London solo, I walked in to the brewery and saw other people with the same tickets so I sat at a table nearby, waiting to get instructions of what to do.  I’m glad I sat near the bar so I overhead the workers’ conversation – somebody on the tour was running late and they were going to wait 10 minutes before they would start the tour.  Otherwise, I would have been like “WTF is going on?!”  Communication issues…

Then our guide, Nick, took us into the brewery.  He was super awkward.  I don’t know how exactly to explain him… but the vibe of the tour was just weird.  He also didn’t know much about beer or brewing.  I don’t think he even liked beer.  He couldn’t answer simple questions such as “Why do you bottle beers instead of can?” and “How do they add the pinch of sugar and yeast into the bottle?”

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The brewery itself was the more unorganized brewery I’ve seen.  There seemed to be a lot of junk and dirty equipment sitting around.

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As a smaller brewery, they have to hand bottle everything (while adding a “pinch” of sugar and yeast to each bottle… but how??)

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3 HIGHLIGHTS OF LONDON FIELDS:

1. Plenty of Samples

After the tour, we had tables reserved in the brewery for samples.  Our tour had about 15 people.  Everyone else sat at a large table, leaving me with Amy and Ashley, a couple from South Africa.  We each got a glass and Nick would set pitchers of beer on the table for us to distribute while he basically read the descriptions off the menu.

Having only to share a pitcher between 3 of us, and getting 6 different types of beer, we had plenty.  The other larger table seemed to be fully stocked as well.  Definitely the best part of the tour.

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2. The Hop Decorations

The bar area was decked out with real hops.  I assume something was wrong with them (otherwise why weren’t they used?).  When I visited in May, they said that the hops had been there since the previous September.  Along with the wooden cabin feel, the hops gave the bar a real nice homey vibe.

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3.  This Dog

I got nothing else.

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THE BEERS

Beers available (as of May 11, 2015):

  • Hackney Hopster (pale ale) 4.2%
  • Love Not War (red ale) 4.2%
  • Shoreditch Triangle IPA 6.0%
  • Three Weiss Monkeys (hefe/IPA) 5.0%
  • Black Bath Porter 4.2%

All of these were available in both cask and keg.  I don’t remember which we had for most of the beers, but we got to try the Shoreditch Triangle IPA in both cask and keg.  I preferred the cask, only because it was actually colder than the keg version.  I know… it was weird because normally it is the other way around.

None of the beers really stood out, but none were horrible.  It’s a good thing though that they have a few guest taps and other options at the bar.

Beer with History Award:  Love Not War.  First brewed during the London riots.

Runner up:  Black Bath Porter.  Named after a historic trading route.

Beer of Choice:  Three Weiss Monkeys.  A classic German hefeweizen with a hoppy IPA twist.

Runner up:  Black Bath Porter.

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Practical info:

Tours are currently £13

Mon-Fri: 7pm

Sat-Sun: 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm, 5pm

(as of November 2015, check their website to book a tour and for any updated info)

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