Once again, the UK’s pubs will be closed for a few weeks—with brewers and publicans alike struggling to keep the taps flowing. To adapt to the current reality, many have started (or ramped-up) takeaways and their own London beer delivery services.
From fresh pints and mini-kegs to digital bars and pub quizzes, folks have been getting creative and rising to the challenge. And if that means drinking tins of the city’s finest ales at home from the comfort of an IKEA Pöang chair, it’s a price we’ll happily pay.
Usually renowned for their live music sets and band collaborations, Signature Brew was among the first in London to embrace the “pub-in-a-box” trend. Sets include cans of booze, branded glasses, beer mats, snacks, quizzes and playlists designed for each beer. Prices start at £25.00. Shipping comes in at a flat rate of £6.50, but is free for orders over £65.00. Deliveries are made in 1-2 working days.
Founded in 2019, Bermondsey brewery Mothership was quick to grab headlines with a Raise the Bar award right out of the gate. Founded and run exclusively by women, the brewery offers an exciting line-up, including an APA, a tropical chocolate porter, unfiltered lagers and a potent New England double IPA. New beers are due to come and go with the changing of the seasons. Prices vary, as does what’s in stock. So it’s worth checking back occasionally to see what’s in store. Shipping is free on orders over £80.00, and £6.95 on anything under that.
Random cool fact: The limited-edition double IPA, Codebreaker, is dedicated to cryptology whiz and WW2 codebreaker Joan Clarke. It’s the first in a series celebrating “pioneering women who have broken down boundaries and stood up for women’s rights in our recent history”. Cheers to that.
Family-run South London superstar Brixton Brewery is among the city’s best-known microbreweries. And while you may not be drinking it in Brixton’s pubs any time soon, you can still get your fix online. The core selection includes, IPAs, APAs, pale ales and of course the Coldharbour Lager, but it’s also worth checking the regular cast of seasonal beers and collaborations.
Boxes range from £15.00–£48.00, with free delivery on orders over £30.00. If you’re after a fresh look to go with your beer, a fiver from all t-shirt sales goes to a local food bank. The Brixton Taproom is also open for take-out only to any lucky locals looking to pick up a mini keg.
Founded by brothers Archie and Louis Village, this Deptford brewery delivers pale ales, pilsners and sours nationwide. Beers come in cases of 12 or 24, and generally work out at around £2.00 a can. If you’re a convert, signing up for a beer subscription can save you around 15%. Delivery is set at a flat rate of £5.99—or you can stop by the brewery to pick up your beer free of charge.
Best known for their flagship Pale Ale and IPA, Wild Card is another London brewery delivery option. A beloved regular on the Walthamstow craft beer scene, the taproom, opposite God’s Own Junkyard, is well worth a visit when things reopen. Until then, you’ll have to be satisfied with the award-winning brews in your own home. Cases are £27.00 for 12 cans, or £49.00 for 24, with a few other packs and goods available.
Gosnell’s of London
Okay, so it might not strictly be a brewery, but if you’re looking for a change, Gosnell’s of London, the city’s only commercial mead maker, is there to deliver. They offer a thoroughly modern twist on the ancient drink—once the favourite of Viking and Celtic heroes. Made using carefully selected honeys from around the world, the unique 4% session meads go down a treat. A case of 12 costs £35.00, while 24 cans costs £60.00.
Camden Town Brewery
Among the bigger names on our list, the creators of Camden Hells are delivering as usual throughout the lockdown. This season’s special edition is the Harvest Hells Lager, which you still have time to try before winter arrives. By the box, cans of the flagship beers come in at as little as £1.50. Delivery costs £5.00, though it’s free over £50.00.
This community-owned Scottish brewery was already equipped for national deliveries when the initial lockdown started. But if you’re hurting for craft beer in a hurry, several London Brewdog outposts are open for collection and delivery. These include the Shoreditch, Clapham and Soho branches.
A box of 24 cans will usually set you back around £30.00. Delivery is free if you order a full box. Special editions and offers are pretty regular, so it’s well worth signing up for the newsletter. The “Brewdog Arms” virtual pub is also livestreaming some evenings for a dose of sociability.
Another option that’s not technically a brewery, here’s one for the cider lovers. In more usual times, Pilango acted as a cider bar, shop and tasting room under the tracks of the District line in Fulham. Unfortunately, the impact of the pandemic has forced Pilango to shut its doors—but you can still order their brews online, while stocks last.
Liberated, one of their own flagship ciders, is apparently made from apples that would otherwise have gone to waste, “begged, borrowed, donated or otherwise liberated” from trees across the nation. Pilango also stocks a range of other British and international ciders. Prices vary quite a bit depending on the brand, with Pilango’s own ciders starting at around £3.00 per bottle. Shipping comes in at £7.95—so it’s not the best pick for smaller orders.
Looking for more lockdown libations? Check out our favourite London cocktail delivery spots.
While we do our best to ensure it’s correct, information is subject to change. Post first published in June, 2020. Last updated in November, 2020.