During a time of uncertainty for many pubs and clubs, microbreweries in the UK seem to be on the rise. While an increasing list of independent venues and long-standing establishments are pulling their last pint, microbreweries are enticing drinkers back out in support of their favourite bars. Brewery and distillery tours are often a way to showcase beers and spirits, as well as giving customers inside knowledge.
Once upon a time, you could head to your local, already knowing what you were going to order upon arrival. However, the influx of microbreweries and customers in search of something new is starting to influence what’s on offer.
As a result, a night out with friends turns into an appreciation for fine beers, rather than overindulging.
Top 10 Microbreweries in the UK
Below we take a look at 10 of our favourite popular microbreweries in the UK.
Many of which have brewery and distillery tours available, as well as having already started to become household names. In particular, among the real ale craft beer drinkers.
Beaver Town Brewery – London
While home-brewing and microbreweries in themselves aren’t a new concept, the craft beer industry has seen an influx of up and coming brewers. At the forefront of this resurgence, was Logan Plant (son of Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant).
The London based brewery has grown dramatically since brewing its first beer in 2011. Proving that the business is far more than just its SEO’s rock and roll connections. Alongside a handful of beers at the core of the brand, Beaver Town continue to raise the bar with short batch runs and collaborative releases.
Hawkshead Brewery – Staveley
The independently-run Hawkshead Brewery in the Lake District supplies beer across Cumbria and throughout the UK.
It’s also popular locally due to its annual Spring beer festival, as well as welcoming visitors for a brewery tour throughout the year. In fact, for many of the top microbreweries in the UK, a successful beer festival can be the key to success.
Staggeringly Good – Portsmouth
Having first opened their doors 5 years ago, the dinosaur-themed brewery has gone from strength to strength. With some firm favourites on its pumps since launch, the taproom is a popular hang-out among craft beer lovers.
However, like many popular microbreweries, Staggeringly Good compliment the regulars with a steady rotation of new beers and smaller runs. By the beginning of 2019, this resulted in the brewery expanding into the unit next door. Opening the “House of Rapture”, a venue that has gone on to host live music and special events.
Tiny Rebel – Newport
The award-winning Tiny Rebel Brewing Company is another microbrewery known throughout the UK and not just in its home of Wales.
Although other larger breweries may stick to standard lagers and IPA’s, Tiny Rebel is a market leader when it comes to the more experimental. Jam doughnuts, peaches & cream and marshmallow porters have all featured at one point or another.
Magic Rock – Huddersfield
While you don’t always know what to expect when it comes to its name alone looking at a Magic Rock can, they certainly grab your attention.
While many of the core beers stick to more traditional malts and hops, it’s often the European collaborations where things get particularly interesting. Some of which have crept in to become standard lines along the way.
Just a short distance from the prehistoric site of Stonehenge, you will find the Danish run Stonehenge Ales Ltd. The site was once that of an old mill, which has been converted since 1983.
Stonehenge Ales Ltd have made themselves with regular stockists as well as real ale tents across the UK. If you are in the area, then you can book a brewery tour from Bath, which also includes a private tour of the Stonehenge itself.
Lost and Grounded – Bristol
Among the list of Bristol-based microbreweries is that of Lost and Grounded. Although relatively new on the scene, during their 4 year existing beers have been shipped up and down the country.
With a love of German techniques and Belgian flavours, their selection is appreciated by both the craft beer and real ale market.
Campervan Brewery – Edinburgh
Some of the more established top microbreweries in the UK will struggle to compete with such a humbling story as the Campervan Brewery. It’s one that appeals to the hearts of every homebrewer, having started out like so many from the family garage.
It’s founder, Paul Gibson, now operates from a more traditional unit, however, he didn’t change direction too soon. Instead, having initially chosen to expand by converting his VW Camper into a mobile microbrewery. As such, the mobile Campervan Brewery was born.
Kirkstall Brewery – Leeds
Kirkstall Brewery was once housed within an old 19th-century building, located alongside the Leeds and Liverpool canal. One which previously provided easy access to transport kegs of beer along the canal via boat.
These days the original site has followed the same fate as many a pub, being transformed into flats and accommodation. However, we’re pleased to report Kirsktall Brewery itself is still going strong, operating from a new facility nearby.
Brewhouse and Kitchen – Various Locations
Although the last of our top 10 microbreweries in the UK strictly speaking is more than just the one, it’s a chain worth mentioning. After all, they have several brew-pubs producing their trademark beers as well as localised variations.
Brewhouse and Kitchen are popular too for their pub grub, along with taking food and drink experiences upon request. Whereby you can book a tasting session, masterclass or take part in a hands-on brewing experience.
Book a Microbrewery Tour with tabl.
If you run your own brewery tours, pub crawls or hold tasting events and wish to advertise on tabl.com, we would love to hear from you.