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London ales take centre stage at Great British Beer Festival as microbrewery boom continues in the capital

The number of breweries in London has continued to rise at a meteoric rate, with 52 real ale brewers now calling the capital their home compared to 44 this time last year – an 18% rise. Even more impressive, this comes after brewery numbers doubled in the previous twelve months, jumping from 23 in 2012 to 44 in 2013.

According to statistics released by CAMRA to mark the start of the Great British Beer Festival – which will in 2014 feature beers from 30% more London-based breweries to match the growth – London has seen the steepest rise in new brewery openings of anywhere in the UK.

 “It’s fantastic to see the growth in London based breweries reflected at this year’s GBBF with brand new beers from fantastic breweries featuring alongside well established real ale brands. For many year’s London was lagging behind the rest of the UK in terms of the number of breweries, but a boom in microbreweries and brewpubs in the capital over the last few year has really put London back on the map of British beer.” Tom Stainer, CAMRA’s Head of Communications.

The stories behind the breweries are as diverse as the beers they brew.  From the 10-barrel microbrewery ‘East London Brewery’, run by a husband and wife team who quit their day jobs to “start an adventure” to the now well-established Sambrook’s, where City accountant Duncan Sambrook’s formed an unlikely partnership with successful brewer David Welsh to become the excellent brewery they are today.

The brewery boom happening across the country, combined with the sheer quality of real ale being produced, means that not every brewery can be chosen for the festival and being selected is a real privilege. As Tom Stainer explains,

“There will be over 350 different British breweries featured at the Great British Beer Festival, the vast majority of whom will only have one beer featured – a move which we were forced to make in order to allow drinkers to try as many different breweries as possible.” 

Fuller’s brewery, who have a bar at the festival serving seven of their own beers, including an extremely limited edition cask version of their Vintage Ale 2014, believe that the growth in breweries in the capital is a good thing for British beer drinkers,

“Fuller’s has been brewing beer for a long time and it is fantastic to be part of such a healthy London brewing scene. We play an active role in the London Brewers Alliance and believe that what’s good for the capitals drinkers is good for breweries too.” John Keeling, Fuller’s Head Brewer.

What’s more, the London breweries attending GBBF are spread across all four postcode regions, with breweries as far apart as Redemption Brewing in Tottenham to the North, Hackney Brewery to the East, Sambrook’s in Battersea to the South and Twickenham Brewery to the West.

Fifteen different beers from London will be available at the Great British Beer Festival, for more information visit



For more information:

CAMRA Great British Beer Festival Press Office, 020 7598 6522
CAMRA Press Office on 01727 798 443 (prior to Sunday)

Alternatively email – or contact the Press Manager Neil Walker directly on 07939 425 471 or by emailing

The Great British Beer Festival will also have a fully functioning Press Office including a Radio studio with ISDN2 plus Broadcast quality video facilities. For further information contact Press Manager Neil Walker above.

Notes to Editors

*An increase from 7 London breweries in 2013 to 9 London breweries in 2014 at the Great British Beer Festival, equating to a 29% increase.

London Brewery Numbers

Year* Number of London Breweries
2000 9
2005 11
2010 10
2012 23
2013 44
2014 52


London brewery info:

Click the link below to view a map of London Breweries featuring at the Great British Beer Festival:

Beers from London available at The Great British Beer Festival:

Beer Name London Brewery
Chiswick Bitter Fuller’s
ESB Fuller’s
Gales HSB Fuller’s
Gales Seafarers Ale Fuller’s
London Pride Fuller’s
Summer Ale Fuller’s
Vintage 2014 Fuller’s
Cowcatcher East London
New Zealand Pale Ale Hackney
Skyline London Brewing
Notting Hill Porter Moncada
White Portobello
Wandle Ale Sambrooks
Summer Sun Twickenham Fine Ales
Hopspur Redemption


For the location of these breweries and all other please visit:

Further info on London Breweries at GBBF

Fuller’s – Not only a brewery but also a popular pub, bar and hotel chain. Fuller’s has brewed beer at their Chiswick site for over 350 years, as far back as the era of Oliver Cromwell. The brewery is a working site, brewing world famous award winning beers such as London Pride, ESB and Chiswick Bitter.

East London – 10-barrel microbrewery ran by a husband and wife team who quit their day jobs to start an adventure. The duo produces ales such as Orchid, Nightwatchman, Quadrant, Cowcatcher American Pale Ale and Jamboree.

Hackney – Experienced home brewers Jon Swain and Peter Hills are now in their 3rd year of production. Both having had successful careers in pubs, they believe they know how to make a great beer. Beers include Golden Ale, New Zealand Pale Ale and Best Bitter.

London Brewing – Whipping up boutique beer in their very own microbrewery at The Bull (Highgate), the brewery is responsible for quirky beers such as American style pale ale Nervous Energy, Beer Street and Skyline. They say they’re “Bringing the bull back to life in a pint”

Moncada – Notting Hill based, Moncada was set up by Julio, who at a crossroads in his career decided to take up brewing. Moncada prides itself on traditional crafted ales using only the finest locally sourced ingredients. Beers include Notting Hill Blonde, Amber, Summer and Porter.

Portobello – The Portobello Brewing Company opened its doors in December 2012 and is the largest capacity brewer in the area since Whitbread closed the Notting Hill brewery in 1922. Producing both craft ale and craft lager the brewery has two permanent real ales, Portobello Pale Ale and Star.

Sambrooks- City accountant Duncan Sambrooks, formed an unlikely partnership with successful brewer David Welsh. They now have a fully operational 20-barrel plant in Battersea, producing Wandle Ale, Junction ale and Lavender Hill.

Twickenham Fine Ales- London’s oldest microbrewery founded by Steve Brown in 2004, they celebrate their 10th anniversary this year. They produce ales such as Naked Ladies, Sundancer, Redhead and Summer Sun.

Redemption- Award winning urban craft brewery based in North London. Local water from the Lea Valley is a key ingredient in ales such as Trinity, Hopspur and Urban Dusk. The company prides itself on being as environmentally aware and sustainable as possible.