Specialist beers

For when craft beers aren't crafty enough

Craft beer is everywhere these days, you can't get away from the stuff. Whatever happened to a good ol' pint of chemically fortified, sterilised-to-within-an-inch-of-its-life, not an ounce of soul to its name, brewed in a billion-litre vat Carlsberg? Oh yeah, it was dreadful and we all stopped drinking it.

But what happens when you've been so blessed with an abundance of craft beer that your average craft beer is just no longer crafty enough? Well, that's when you have to turn to "Specialist Beer"... they're craft beers but more... specialist (yeah, who owns those adjectives?!)

So take a look at our selection of specialist beers guaranteed to put an extra spring in your step and and an extra aspirin in your hangover.




Clapton Craft
Clapton Craft 97 Lower Clapton Road Clapton E5 0NP
Region: Clapton
Nearest Station: Hackney Central (0.3 miles)

AIL Says: Not only does Clapton Craft have a wall filled with beers from all over the world (Orval, Partizan Brewing, Anchor Brewing Company) but it also carries a selection of beers (up to 12 at a time) on tap that you can take away in growlers. The 2Litre bottles are compressed to make sure that what you take away stays fizzy and fresh for days.

  • WINES, SPIRITS & BEERS
  • OUR REVIEW 8/10
Kris Wines
394 York Way Islington N7 9LW
Region: Islington
Nearest Station: Caledonian Road (0.4 miles)

AIL Says: It may once have been all about wine here but this off license near Caledonian Road has since added one of the best selections of world beer in London to its shelves. There are hundreds of different brews from Denmark’s Evil Twin Brewing to New Zealand’s 8 Wired Brewing. The choice is insane.

  • WINES, SPIRITS & BEERS
The Rake
14 Winchester Walk SE1 9AG
Region: Southwark
Nearest Station: London Bridge (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: It started with a market stall at Borough but Utobeer soon added a pub to their domination of the craft beer market in the area. That pub is The Rake, but the stall still runs every week. Great for Belgian beers with a difference.

  • OUR REVIEW 8/10
  • USERS 9/10
Boss Man Wines
79 Lordship Lane Dulwich SE22 8EP
Region: Dulwich
Nearest Station: East Dulwich (0.3 miles)

AIL Says: Craft beer, international ales, world lagers… Boss Man Wines is another off license with a beer selection to match its wine offerings. And the staff in the East Dulwich shop are always happy to help you find something new.

  • WINES, SPIRITS & BEERS
  • OUR REVIEW 8/10
Dr Ink Of Fulham
349 Fulham Palace Road Fulham SW6 6TB
Region: Fulham
Nearest Station: Putney Bridge (0.5 miles)

AIL Says: Fulham’s DRiNK is one of West London’s finest purveyors of beer. The fridges are full of the likes of Mikkeller, Straffe Hendrik and Cave Creek Chilli Beer and the shop also runs tasting sessions to keep you up to speed with the newest beers from around the world.

  • WINE MERCHANTS
  • EMAIL
Highbury Vintners
71 Highbury Park Highbury N5 1UA
Region: Highbury
Nearest Station: Arsenal (0.3 miles)

AIL Says: Once again, another wine shop has become almost as famous for its grain as its grapes. It stocks the full Kernel range along with a range from around the world.

  • WINE MERCHANTS
  • EMAIL
Beer Boutique
134 Upper Richmond Road Putney SW15 2SP
Region: Putney
Nearest Station: East Putney

AIL Says: As well as acting as a wholesaler to pubs and other shops, Putney’s Beer Boutique also sells its huge range to the public. Stop by the Aladdin’s Cave of beer treasure and the staff will guide you to some of the best beers you’ve never heard of.

  • WINES, SPIRITS & BEERS
  • USERS 1/10
BottleDog
69 Grays Inn Road Clerkenwell WC1X 8TP
Region: Clerkenwell
Nearest Station: Chancery Lane (0.3 miles)

AIL Says: Bottledog is the baby of Brew Dog, one of the country’s biggest craft beer breweries. Their shop features the full lineup of Brew Dog brews as well as some specially selected offerings from the UK and further afield.

  • WINES, SPIRITS & BEERS
Brew by Numbers
79 Enid Street Bermondsey SE16 3RA
Region: Bermondsey
Nearest Station: Bermondsey (0.3 miles)

AIL Says: Brew By Numbers took a note out of the Kernel’s book and set up their brewery in Bermondsey to become their neighbours. They too open their doors every Saturday, when they give you a chance to come and sample their latest brews and eat from their latest food pop-up.

  • WINES, SPIRITS & BEERS
  • OUR REVIEW 8/10
Utobeer
Borough Market Southwark SE1 9TL
Region: Southwark
Nearest Station: London Bridge (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: It started with a market stall at Borough but Utobeer soon added a pub to their domination of the craft beer market in the area. That pub is The Rake, but the stall still runs every week. Great for Belgian beers with a difference.

  • DELICATESSEN


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