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Keeping things craft and local in E2

Beer Bars in Bethnal Green

Jane Ryan
It wasn't so very long ago that Bethnal Green's beer scene stretched to run-down local boozers and that was about it. Today drinkers have a wealth of choice, from tap rooms to brewery bars and local lagers to imported ales. Take a Saturday evening away from central London and experience three very different, yet outstanding, beer bars on this tour - from a beautiful homely tavern to an industrial-style railway arch beer bar and on to a brewery's taproom.
  • Start here

    Redchurch Brewery Tap Room

    Location

    275-276 Poyser Street, London, E2 9RF

    Times

    Thurs-Fri 6pm-12.30am Sat Midday-12.30am

    Arrive before 4pm. Set on a mezzanine above the brewing equipment this little space acts like a tap room and pub, complete with a dartboard. It's an excellent venue to spend a lazy afternoon and evening in once food stalls set up outside and a the music starts. All the brilliant brews from downstairs are available on rotation and are all named after local areas: Hackney Gold, Shoreditch Blonde, Hoxton Stout, Bethnal Pale Ale, etc. Once you've filled up on the brewery's beers and some tasty food it's time to move on to Paradise Row.

  • Move On

    Mother Kelly's

    Location

    251 Paradise Row, London, E2 9LE

    Times

    Mon 4pm-11pm Tue-Thu Midday-11pm Fri-Sat Midday-Midnight Sun Midday-11pm

    Visit between 6pm-9pm. This is the type of venue which could inspire even the most ardent beer-hater to try a brew. There's just so many different types, from the six fridges filled with bottles to the 23 taps, 19 of which pump out delicious beers, different ones each time you visit. Space wise it's pretty spartan, the huge railway arch remains as it came with plenty of tin paneling and rough concrete floor. Scattered about are wooden benches and a few barrels to perch while outside it's a similar story. Yet there's a warmth about Mother Kelley's especially when it's comfortably full. Grab a bench and few pints and enjoy the many varied and unusual beers.

  • End Here

    The Sun Tavern

    Location

    441 Bethnal Green Road, London, E2 0AN

    Times

    Mon-Wed Midday-Midnight, Thu-Sat Midday-1am, Sun Midday-Midnight

    Arrive by 10pm. The Sun looks like it's been around for decades - which of course the building has. But inside's distressed leather, tarnished bar and cracked tables are much younger than their worn look would suggest after the Umbrella Project took on the site and turned it into this majestic, homely drinking den. There's a handful of well-executed cocktails but the really gems here are the beers and Irish whiskey. Boilermaker anyone? Sample the regularly changing 'local hero' which is always sourced from microbreweries within a few mile radius of Bethnal Green and try a nip of Poitin - a traditional Irish distilled beverage.

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