Microbreweries and craft beers first appeared in the UK during the 1970s, but it was the United States that mastered the flavours of the now much loved, highly-hopped craft beer we've seen sweeping across London over the past years. East London has thus far led the way in creating and serving the best craft beers, but Ealing is breaking trend and leading West London into a hoppy, citrus future.
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Craft beer is no ordinary beer, it's a pretty complex flavoured beast. The best pubs know this and understand how best to serve their customers a great craft beer.
The Dodo Micropub
The Dodo's mission is to provide a place for locals to relax and connect whilst enjoying cask ale straight from the barrel. Based off the high-road in Hanwell, it's a great one-room pub run by a small team passionate about championing great beer. Some of the breweries you can expect to find are Marble, East London and Binghams.
Yet another newcomer to Hanwell. The Kings Arms offers "hops and dough" on tap, with an excellent rotating selection of craft beers and fresh stone-baked pizza. Some of the brews you can expect to find on draft are Mondo, Rocky Head, Beavertown and the excellent Brewed By No.s.
Hidden in the backstreets of Hanwell and Northfields, The Grosvenor is home to, in our opinion, the best craft beer selection in Ealing. With a weekly rotating selection on tap (keg and cask) and in bottle of brews from Weird Beard, Beavertown, Trumans, Siren and many others. The Grosvenor is a hard pub to say to no to.
Slap bang in the middle of Ealing's high street is The North Star. Often reserved for Friday night drinking, it's recently become a power house for great craft beer. They regularly change the options on tap, with selections from UK and abroad including BrewDog, Beavertown and other great breweries.
Ealing Park Tavern
Doubling up as both pub and brewery, the Ealing Park Tavern offers customers its best brews and a mix of excellent beers from other London breweries. The folks that run this place are clearly beer aficionados, and it shows.
The Star & Anchor
Recently refurbished and re-thought, The Star & Anchor is home to a mighty selection of Weird Beard and BrewDog beers. Mostly in bottle, but with a few on tap, it's a got a great selection worth dropping by to check out.
Tesco's and Sainsbury's are slowly starting to sell more than just Stella, but to get local London beers you need to head elsewhere. Here's a few of our favourite craft beer stockists.
This deli on Northfield Avenue not only sells the finest Cheese in London, it also has an impressive selection of great craft beers too. A dangerously tempting combination!
Here you'll find a great range of UK and international options. They don't often add new lines, but have a good enough depth to keep most hop heads going for a while.
Best known for its vast, impressive wine selection. Majestic is also a great stockist of an increasing range of craft beers. Including beers from the Ealing Park Tavern brewery!
On Hanwell's High Street is a hidden gem for beer lovers. The Best stocks one of the biggest and most impressive beer ranges of any shop in West London.
Rewind a few years and most beer drinkers only knew West London brewing by Fullers. No longer is this the case. We've award winning, hop lovin' breweries popping up all over the west. Here's a selection of our favourites.
In our opinion Weird Beard are one of the best breweries in the UK. The small team based in Hanwell create outstanding, classic craft beers (Mariana Trench is truly a modern classic) and bold, innovative beers. Which they do, importantly, without actually being weird. Worth keeping an eye out for their occasional brew bar open days.
Long Arm Brewery
Long Arm is based out of the Ealing Park Tavern. They've already found favour with Majestic (in West Ealing) who have stocked their beers since early 2016. They brew a core range of four excellent classic British beers, with a unique take on each. Well worth dropping in to try a beer over a Sunday roast.
Only just over a year old, Kew Brewery has experienced hands at its helm and it shows in their beers and awards collection they've already racked up. Brewing a range of intelligent English ales, bitters and stouts, Kew Brewery can be found behind the bar at a number of local Richmond and Chiswick pubs.
Owl & The Pussycat
This micro-pub was set up by a couple of ex-teachers and has won the hearts and tastebuds of many a Northfield local. Selling mainly CAMRA inspired small batch ales. Each week you'll often find a new brew listed on their board.
A bit further afield than the rest, Moncada, based in Notting Hill, is the relative oldie of the new West London breweries. Moncada make a range of classic, rounded and well executed English beers. From ales to bitters and stouts.
Based out of the George and The Dragon pub in Acton. Dragonfly brew a small range of English bitters and ales, often with a twist of American influence or English grown popular American hops. Sadly they're only stocked there, so get over to Acton.
Not sure where to start? Spent too long on the Waitrose beer isle pondering which craft beer to buy? Well here's a list of our regular favourites, in bottle and on tap. p.s. We haven't covered every type of beer, only the ones we drink.
GAMMA RAY, 5.4%
One of our favourite IPAs out there. Goes down exceedingly well on a cold day. The can design is rather splendid as well.
Available to buy direct, online or sometimes Cheddar Deli stocks a few lines. On tap at The Grosvenor and North Star.
MARIANA TRENCH, 5.3%
by Weird Beard
A modern classic in our opinion. It's Weird Beards most popular beer. Try it and you'll see why.
Available to buy direct, Cheddar Deli and Best Buy in Hanwell. On tap at The Grosvenor and often at the Star and Anchor.
PALE ALE, 5.3%
by The Kernel
The simple labelling belies the complex flavours of this masterful Pale Ale.
Available to buy from Cheddar Deli and Best Buy in Hanwell. As far as we're aware it's not on tap anywhere in Ealing.
by Oakham Ales
Deserving winner of the 2014 Champion Beer of Britain, Golden Ale award.
Available to buy at Waitrose. As far as we're aware, it's not on tap anywhere in Ealing.
ELVIS JUICE, 6.5%
A fashionable grapefruit juice infusion. Fabulous on a good late summer evening.
Available to buy at Cheddar Deli and Best Buy in Hanwell. On tap in the Brew Dog bar on Shepherds Bush Green.
A stonking combination of apple juice, NZ hops and champagne fermentation.
Available to buy at Cheddar Deli. As far as we're aware, it's not on tap anywhere in Ealing.