There are already many reasons for a curious beer drinker to explore London, but now there’s also the Blackhorse Beer Mile, in Walthamstow.
Blackhorse Road has a long and rich history of industry, with factories, mills and workshops taking over much of the area. The last few years have seen an influx of start-ups, cafés, ateliers, and now breweries moving into the energetic, and fast-changing, corner of East London.
A short walk from the Victoria Line and a stroll from the Walthamstow Wetlands — a new nature reserve created around a series of Victorian reservoirs — Blackhorse Beer Mile is an ideal spot to stretch your legs, take in some industrial history and quench your thirst with a diverse range of beers.
The Beer Mille begins just five minutes’ walk from Blackhorse Road tube and overground station, offering a great way to spend a weekend enjoying award-winning beers in the places they were brewed.
So who’s there? Longstanding local legends Wild Card Brewery; Signature Brew’s state-of-the-art new brewery and music venue; Exale’s modern and experimental beers; and the newest addition to the neighbourhood, Truman’s Social Club featuring the UK’s largest beer hall.
About the breweries
Signature Brew: Launched in 2011, and crowned SIBA’s Brewery Business of the Year 2018, Signature Brew specialises in music band collaborations. The Brewer’s Bar serves up 12 lines of the freshest Signature Brew beers, with large indoor and outdoor seating areas, plus regular street food and live music. New for autumn 2020 is Pilot Radio, an ongoing small-batch, super limited-edition series of beers. These rare and experimental beers are created on the in-house pilot kit.
Co-founder, Tom Bott, said: “We knew when we chose Walthamstow as a base for our brewery that we were coming into a highly energetic area, filled with an impressive selection of creators and makers of all kinds, but to have a newly created collective of supportive and inspiring brewers as our neighbours is more than we could have asked for. We hope E17-ers, Londoners, and beer aficionados from around the country will enjoy discovering such an eclectic range of beers, whilst being able to chat to the people that make them.” Unit 15, Uplands Business Park, E17 5QJ
Wild Card Brewery: Wild Card was founded in 2012 at the Ravenswood Industrial Estate, in Walthamstow. They brewed Monday to Friday and, come the weekend, they would open the brewery doors and serve up their beers. After outgrowing their site, they crowdfunded in 2017, moving the brewery over to Lockwood Way in 2018, and doubling capacity, which means lots of Wild Card beer for all! Unit 2, Lockwood Way, E17 5RB
Exale Brewery and Taproom: Exale is home to one of London’s most exciting new breweries, as well as Victory London Distillery. Its unique style is based around forging balanced, complex beers, inspired by the incredible ingredients around them every day, from foraging in Epping Forest to collaborating with local coffee roasters and chefs. The taproom is a bright space converted from an old furniture factory, nestled next to the brewery. Packed with plants and cloud lights, it’s even home to a fish tank feeding the aquaponics system. The heated and sheltered outside seating and terrace can cater for more than 100.
Co-founder Mark Hislop said: “We chose Blackhorse Lane to be our home because, being from the area, we knew how much we loved E17 and felt connected to it already. We are so lucky to be surrounded by this amazing community of brewers, makers, and creators who all share our core principles and values. Also being based on the edge of the wetlands and Epping Forest allows us to directly source many of our ingredients through foraging, so it helps us keep our carbon footprint low and work towards being a sustainable business — something that is hugely important to us.” Unit 2C, Uplands Business Park, London E17 5QJ
Truman’s Social Club: Incorporating the UK’s largest beer hall, a flexible event space, and a huge beer garden — which soaks up the sun all day in the summer and has plenty of cover and heating in the winter — Truman’s Social Club was born as a space with community at its heart to celebrate and savour the best local beer, food, and makers in East London. Read our full story! Truman’s Social Club, 1 Priestley Way, London, E17 6AL
As of October 2020, all of the venues are open and pouring fresh pints, with social distancing measures in place. For more information, including a suggested route around the Beer Mile, please visit signaturebrew.co.uk