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The Borough of Waltham Forest covers a large swath of Northeast London. Thanks to being further out, it’s a cheaper area that has recently become a hub of craft beer. One particularly notable neighborhood for craft beer in Walthamstow is the Blackhorse Beer Mile, an industrial area with several breweries and beer bars. Here are the best places for craft beer in Waltham Forest (the Borough that includes Walthamstow, Leyton, Leytonstone, & more), including craft beer bars, bottle shops, breweries, and taprooms.

The Blackhorse Beer Mile – Breweries & Beer Bars

The Blackhorse Beer Mile (AKA the Walthamstow Beer Mile) is located north of the Blackhorse Road Overground station, east of the Walthamstow Wetlands in Northeast London. Some of the breweries are only open on weekends, while others are open every day. As always, check their websites & social media for the latest details.

Hackney Brewery & High Hill Taproom

Hackney Brewery & High Hill Taproom (website) is one of two breweries on Lockwood Way. There are also other businesses too, including a winery & a bakery.

The taproom has 20 taps. Roughly half are Hackney beers, with the rest of the guest taps including breweries such as The Kernel, Cloudwater, and Buxton.

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Most of the Hackney beers are on the lighter side, including sours, lagers, and pale ales. I had a lovely peach & basil sour called Millions of Peaches.

There’s a food van outside in the beer garden serving Middle Eastern food on weekends.

Inside, there’s a nice cozy space, with more tables inside the brewing area itself. The brewery has a board up with photos of dogs that have visited, so be sure to bring your furry friends.

Address: Unit 10, Lockwood Way, London E17 5RB, United Kingdom (map)
Nearest station: Blackhorse Road

Wild Card Brewery Lockwood

Wild Card Brewery (website) is located across the street from Hackney Brewery.

The brewery has 10 taps, plus a fridge with cans to go. There are also some cocktails.

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It initially seems like there are just a few tables inside, however, there’s also a second level with more tables, in addition to more out front. Pizza delivery is available from Yard Sale.

They also operate 2 other locations in Walthamstow, including a pub called The Tavern on the Hill as well as The Wild Card Brewery Barrel Store.

Address: 2 Lockwood Way, London E17 5RB, United Kingdom (map) – Wild Card Brewery Lockwood
Nearest station: Blackhorse Road

Address: 318 Higham Hill Rd, London E17 5RG, United Kingdom (map) – The Tavern on the Hill
Nearest station: Blackhorse Road

Address: Shernhall St, London E17 9HQ, United Kingdom (map) – Wild Card Brewery Barrel Store
Nearest stations: Walthamstow Central & Wood Street

The Beerblefish Brewing Company

The Beerblefish Brewing Company (website) is a social enterprise brewery that works with local charities & helps veterans re-skill. Their specialty is brewing cask ales, with a combination of heritage & contemporary beers. All of their beers are vegan.

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The taproom features game nights & Dutch shuffleboard, plus events such as team-building brew days.

Address: Beerblefish Brewhouse, Unit 2A-4 Uplands Business Park, London E17 5QJ, United Kingdom (map)
Nearest station: Blackhorse Road

Exale Brewing and Taproom

Exale Brewing and Taproom (website) is located right around the corner from Beerblefish.

The brewery has a nice covered outside beer garden to go with its indoor space located in a former furniture factory. A sign at the entrance says “No stag or hen parties,” which is something the rest of us appreciate.

Exale hosts changing food vendors, such as Balkan food & Scottish food. The latter paired perfectly with their Krankie Irn Bru sour. As a fan of the beloved Scottish drink, I had to have one.

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The brewery has 10 beer taps, around 7 of which are their own. They also operate a pub called Three Colts Tavern in Bethnal Green.

Address: Unit 2C uplands business park, London E17 5QJ, United Kingdom (map)
Nearest station: Blackhorse Road

Pretty Decent Beer Co – Blackhorse Road Brewery and Taproom

Pretty Decent Beer Co (website) is located further south in the same massive business park complex. The original brewery was located in Forest Gate, then they expanded to the Blackhorse Beer Mile. The Forest Gate taproom is still in operation.

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The Walthamstow brewery features 20 taps including some guests. They also serve wine, cocktails, and non-alcoholic beers. Every beer sold includes a donation to local progressive causes & the brewery aims to create inclusive, welcoming spaces.

Outside, there’s a container crate serving pizza from It’s Not Big Dough.

Address: Unit 10, Uplands Business Park, Blackhorse Ln, London E17 5QJ, United Kingdom (map) – Blackhorse Road Brewery & Taproom
Nearest station: Blackhorse Road

Address: 340 Sheridan Rd, London E7 9EF, United Kingdom (map) – Forest Gate Taproom
Nearest stations: Wanstead Park, Forest Gate, & Leytonstone High Road

Signature Brew Blackhorse Road

Signature Brew’s main brewery (website) is located on the Blackhorse Beer Mile, but they have a few locations around London, including the one mentioned below near Walthamstow Central.

The brewery taproom has 12 taps, including a couple of guest ciders and a Gosnells mead.

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In addition to the large brewing space, there’s an inside area, as well as an outside beer garden that includes a roof terrace. Music comes from their custom D&B Audiotecknik system. There is food available as well. 

Address: Unit 15, Blackhorse Ln, London E17 5QJ, United Kingdom (map)
Nearest station: Blackhorse Road

Big Penny Social

Big Penny Social (website) is a massive place that was formerly known as Truman’s Social Club.

Inside, you’ll find a variety of events throughout the week, such as live sport, pub quizzes, music, a flea market, and more.

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The brewery & community hub has 12 taps, some of which are their own and some of which are guests.

However, there’s one major factor that will either make you want to go to Big Penny Social or avoid it entirely. It’s kid-friendly to the point where on weekend afternoons in particular, half the people inside are children.

On the one hand, it’s great that parents can have a place to go for a pint. However, it seemed like many of them were treating it like a daycare centre, letting their kids run around the place while they paid more attention to the beer.

According to the brewery, they are only allowing children until 7 pm on busy nights. If you’re headed to the Blackhorse Beer Mile & want to check it out, keep that in mind. Or be prepared to escape to the outside beer garden, no matter the weather.

Address: 1 Priestley Way, London E17 6AL, United Kingdom (map)
Nearest station: Blackhorse Road

The Best Craft Beer in Walthamstow

The Collab: Signature Brew & We Serve Humans

As the name suggests, The Collab (website) is a collaboration between the award-winning Blackhorse Beer Mile brewery Signature Brew & the award-winning burger & wing restaurant We Serve Humans. It’s a match made in heaven.

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There’s a big food menu, of course, with burgers, chicken sandwiches, wings & more. Vegetarian options are available (including Meat Free Mondays). There are also seasonal specials, as well as trivia & DJ nights.

The Walthamstow brewpub features 16 taps, most of which are from Signature Brew, but a few are guest taps, including cider.

Address: 198 Hoe St, London E17 4BF, United Kingdom (map)
Nearest station: Walthamstow Central

Clapton Craft Depot & Clapton Craft

There are a couple of Clapton Craft locations in Walthamstow.

The Wood Street location of Clapton Craft (website) is dog & kid-friendly & has 10 beer taps, plus fridges packed with hundreds of bottles and cans, available both for drinking in as well as takeaway. They also have a large wine selection, including wine by the glass.

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The other location closer to Walthamstow Central does not have beer on tap, but has a large takeaway selection.

Address: Unit 1, 147-151 Wood St, London E17 3LX, United Kingdom (map) – Clapton Craft Depot
Nearest station: Wood Street

Address: 76 Hoe St, London E17 4PG, United Kingdom (map) – Clapton Craft
Nearest station: Walthamstow Central

The Best Craft Beer in Leyton

Gravity Well Taproom

Gravity Well Taproom (website) is an excellent railway arch brewery located just outside of the Leyton Midland Road Overground station.

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Inside, there are 10 taps, plus a fridge with cans & bottles, with a focus on hazy pales & IPAs. The taproom also offers wine & cocktails, plus snacks. Food delivery is available from SpiceBox, serving veggie Indian food.

With board & card games, & an indie/90s rock playlist, Gravity Well is a fun place. There’s a small patio out front, plus an upper level, making the most of their small space.

Address: Arch 155 Midland Rd, London E10 6JT, United Kingdom (map)
Nearest station: Leyton Midland Road

If you have any other favorite places for craft beer in Walthamstow, on the Blackhorse Beer Mile, or anywhere else in the Borough of Waltham Forest, let me know in the comments!

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