Look, we know you love your local pub. You’re on first-name terms with the nice barmaid, you’ve got lifetime dibs on the comfy seat in the corner, and the chef knows to give you extra roast spuds on a Sunday.
But every now and again, a man need a change. More importantly, every now and again, a man needs to be reminded of where his precious beer was born.
It’s a stroke of luck, then, that almost all of our favourite UK craft breweries also have a bar, or tap room, under their roofs so that we can massage our thirsty livers while watching all the hard work that went into the very pints in our hands.
So warn your local landlord that you might not be seeing him this weekend. Instead, here’s twelve of the best brewery bars you should check out ASAP.
CRATE Brewery, Hackney Wick
Just a shot-putter’s hurl away from the 2012 Olympic Stadium, you’ll find the small industrial estate where CRATE’s distinctive bottles are born. Have a couple in the compact ‘brew shed’ as you watch the brewmasters at work, then stagger over to the slick CRATE bar for a killer pizza and more beer.
Magic Rock, Huddersfield
Serving up nine kegs and two cask lines of the best Magic Rock beer you’ll find anywhere, Hudderfield’s finest is open Thurs-Sun. We recommend getting down the on a Thursday or a Sunday though, as they promise to serve up local pork pies with to help line your stomach.
Camden Town, Kentish Town
You’ve not lived until you’ve celebrated the start of the weekend under the railway arches with these guys. In fact, stop what you’re doing right now, and get down there. Go on. Go. If your boss starts complaining, you need a new job.
Totnes Brewing Co, Totnes
These Devonians are the babies of the bunch, only setting up shop this May, but boy do they know their biscuits. They don’t just serve their own wares, but also source hard-to-get brews from the likes of Denmark’s Mikkeller.
Northern Monk, Leeds
It’s open from 8am. It serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and 20 draft beers. It’s doesn’t stop ‘til late. We’re moving in.
You're limited to doing your boozing on a Saturday here, but take it from us: get yourself down there. Not only should you bring your drinking shoes, but wear your ping-pong pants too, as there’s always some serious table tennis going down.
It’s been 15 years since family-run Zerodegrees first started brewing their suds, but since then they’ve set up microbreweries in four locations, Bristol, Reading, London and Cardiff, making it super easy for us to see them for an ultra fresh brewski and a wood-fired pizza.
Meantime Brewing Co, Greenwich
As brothers in boozy arms, not only do Meantime help us out with our annual & Pistachios awards but they share our vision for a perfect drinking experience: cool, crisp, tasty pints of fresh nectar in an place that makes the world’s problems disappear. And a top notch array of snacks and all.
Skinners Brewery, Truro
Go on, get yourself down to the sunny, sandy, surfing mecca of Cornwall for a long weekend with the boys. And while you’re at it, pay the Skinners Brewery bar a visit. The interior maybe a touch traditional (alright, it’s proper old school), but an evening tour is cheap as chips, and they’ll throw in a pasty or two on top of the beer samples for good measure. Proper job.
Wild Card Brewery, Walthamstow
No longer just a place you wake up in if the late-night beers have taken their toll on the Victoria Line, Walthamstow has undergone a meteoric boom to become the capital’s must-buy area for cool kids looking to lay some roots. But even if you’re not looking to invest in bricks and mortar, make your way to Wild Card Brewery’s industrial tap room, complete with guest food trucks a-plenty, for a very chilled brew.
Siren Craft Brew, Wokingham
If there’s a new name in the craft beer game that you should become acquainted with immediately, it’s Siren. That means getting a bottle of their Undercurrent and cracking it open tonight. Or, going one better, and paying them a visit.
By The Horns, Wandsworth
Stuck for a place to catch the Rugby World Cup next month? Do yourself a favour: ignore the guy that keeps trying to persuade you that JD Wetherspoon is the place to be, and drag your band of merry men to Wandsworth to make use of By The Horns’ big screen in their brewery.