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FOOD + DRINK
London Craft Brew
Three small batch breweries rethink the The Big Smoke's take on beer
by Karen Day
on 06 August 2012

Nothing goes better with a carefully constructed burger or a gourmet hot dog than an equally well-crafted beer. With London's independent food scene heating up, a number of local producers are creating brews to match this artisanal sentiment. Born from the quest for better-quality beer, here are three we've found that stand out for their distinct flavor and meticulous brewing process.

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Redchurch Brewery

Following an unfiltered brewing process, Bethnal Green's Redchurch Brewery bottles each beer live for the most in flavor and maturation. The 10-barrel brewery launched a year ago by lawyer-turned-brewer Gary Ward, who aims to raise the bar for traditional English beers by adding more depth to the classics with big, hoppy flavors. The Redchurch range currently includes aptly titled brews like Hackney Gold, Hoxton Stout—a rich, dark beer modeled after Guinness Foreign Extra—Shoreditch Blonde, Bethnal Pale Ale, India Pale Ale and Old Ford Export Stout.

The Kernel Brewery

Located in South London, The Kernel Brewery also bottles their beer alive, allowing it extra time to grow and mature while in the bottle. Now three years old, the brewery is the upshot of former cheesemonger and Kernel founder Evin O'Riordain's trip to Brooklyn, where he became inspired by the level of attention paid to both producing and consuming beer. His range has grown to include a handful of porters, pale ales and IPAs, as well as an award-winning stout based on a recipe used by a London brewery back in 1890.

London Fields Brewery

Started just a year ago, London Fields Brewery reflects Hackney's industrious spirit and artistic fervor. The 10-barrel brewery currently handcrafts five regular beers, including Pale Ale, Hackney Hopster, Unfiltered Lager, Wheat Beer and Love Not War—a nod to the London riots, which trapped the first batch inside the brewery. An integral part of the community, London Fields also frequently collaborates with their peers to create both experimental beers and neighborhood food events, like their summer affair with The Dead Dolls Club and their pop-up with Tomscoopery gelato.

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