The Ultimate Craft Beer Checklist

The Ultimate Craft Beer Checklist

Whether you’re a craft connoisseur or new to the small batch brew scene, there’s nothing better than sipping a high-quality beer at the end of a long day. 

Incredible craftsmanship is still defining the craft beer category. As more of us get experimental with our beer choices, breweries are pushing the boundaries of beer production. And the result is something special.

The UK is considered to be one of the most innovative beer markets in the world and it’s easy to see why.  With hundreds of independent breweries with countless craft options available, there has never been a better time to try a new and exciting brew. 

Looking for new craft beers to try? We’ve got you covered with our ultimate guide to the best craft beers.

Small Beer Session Pale 2.5%

Session beers are increasing in popularity. As alcohol enthusiasts become more health conscious, it’s easy to see why lower alcohol brews are gaining in the market. That’s why we’re loving this 2.5% pale ale from Small Beer. 

Brewery Location: Bermondsey, South East London

Flavour: Session Pale is a pale ale that packs plenty of flavour. With a fruity aroma and tropical top notes, this outstanding beer is balanced with a perfect bitterness.

Five Points Railway Porter 4.8%

Five Points are known for their incredible beer craftsmanship and Railway Porter is no different. A rich take on the traditional London Porter brew, this is a porter that really packs a punch.

Brewery Location: Hackney, London

Flavours: This dark style beer is laden with amazing flavours of bitter chocolate, dark toffee and roasted coffee. Rich and powerful, this porter is exceptionally smooth and drinkable too.   

Siren Broken Dream 6.5%

While beer for breakfast might not be the best idea, this beer is brewed with oats and coffee, classing it as a ‘breakfast stout.’ We always expect great things from the award-winning Siren brewery and this beer is no exception.  

Brewery Location: Wokingham, Berkshire

Flavours: Bold, rich and luxuriously creamy, this stout is a must for all craft beer fans. With smoke, coffee and chocolate aromas, the flavour profile is as intense as it is decadent.

Donzoko Northern Helles 4.2%

Dozonko are swiftly becoming a craft powerhouse, with plenty of expertly created brews on their recipe list. Northern Helles is their flagship and it’s easy to see why. Crisp and refreshing, this is exactly how a lager should be. 

Brewery location: Hartlepool, North East England

Flavours: As a Bavarian-style lager, Northern Helles offers enthusiasts a new lager experience. With subtle hop flavours and sweet malt notes, this refreshing beer is a must for the summer months. 

Northern Monk Striding Edge Light IPA 2.8%

Another session favourite, this light IPA from Northern Monk is a shining star in the craft beer world. Drinkable, refreshing and surprisingly fruity, you’ll struggle to find a better session beer in the UK scene today. 

Brewery Location: Leeds, Yorkshire

Flavour: Even with a low ABV, Northern Monk’s Striding Edge Light IPA has plenty of flavour. With top notes of pine and zesty citrus, you’ll also find hints of tropical fruit. 

Trouble Brewing The Fresh Prince of Kildare 9%

This New England style double IPA is a well-bodied brew from the Trouble Brewing team in Ireland. With a complex flavour profile that packs a punch, you won’t forget this craft beer any time soon.

Brewery Location: Kill, County Kildare

Flavour: At first, you notice the outstanding hoppy aroma of The Fresh Prince of Kildare. Then you start to get the taste of tropical fruits on your palate, with mango and citrus bringing both brightness and body. 

Beavertown 8 Ball 6.2%

Gamma Ray and Neck Oil are consistently named as the best beers in the craft world. Another one to try from this craft beer brewery is Beavertown’s 8 Ball. It’s a red IPA with an earthy tone thanks to the rye used in brewing.

Brewery Location: Tottenham, London

Flavours: Expect big things from Beavertown’s 8 Ball. With a bold character, this hoppy beer has spicy, earthy and rich notes with a hint of tropical fruit. 

Fourpure Easy Peeler 4%

Another favourite on the London brewery scene, Fourpure are an experimental team that put their focus on quality ingredients and consistent brewing. Easy Peeler is one of their best beers, with zesty notes and easy drinkability.

Brewery Location: Bermondsey, London

Flavours: The clue is in the name with this craft beer! Orange aromas are immediate from the first pour, with refreshing citrus notes balanced with subtle hops. 

Duration Brewery Turtles All The Way Down American Pale 5.5%

Duration Brewery are fast making a name for themselves in the craft beer world and it’s easy to see why. This American Pale is a gloriously refreshing brew that’s made for summer.

Brewery Location: Norfolk

Flavours: Hazy and light, Turtles All The Way Down is a fruity beer balanced with a subtle bitterness to give a perfectly rounded drinking experience. Using a mixed blend of hops, Duration have created a truly memorable brew in this one. 

Crate IPA 6%

Founded in 2012, Crate are old hands at creating outstanding craft beers. Their IPA is their standout brew, with big flavours and fragrant hops the stars of the show.

Brewery Location: Hackney, London

Flavours: Expect bold flavours from this IPA. With notes of caramel combined with papaya and grapefruit, this unforgettable craft beer is a real flavour bomb.

Jaw Brew Surf Beer 4.3%

This microbrewery from Scotland made headlines when they teamed with a local supermarket to make beer from leftover bread to reduce food waste. As well as their eco-friendly approach, Jaw Brew create some stunning beers. 

Brewery Location: Glasgow

Flavours: Citrusy and snappy, Surf is a refreshing exotic IPA with plenty of fruity flavours (both citrus and hints of apple). Expect a tangy and dry finish.

Salcombe Brewery Island Street Porter 5.9%

We had to include another porter on our list; this one from Salcombe Brewery is that outstanding. Brewed in Devon, at an eco-friendly small batch brewery, this award-winning beer is a perfectly balanced porter.

Brewery Location: Salcombe, Devon

Flavours: Like with all porters, this dark craft beer is packed with flavour. Using a blend of 8 malts, Island Street Porter has hints of dark chocolate, coffee and black cherry. Some say it’s like drinking a black forest gateau from a bottle. 

Wylam Midnight Train to Byker 10%

Wylam are a craft powerhouse, so it’s no surprise that one of their brews is on this list. Midnight Train to Byker is an imperial IPA with an impressive flavour profile. 

Brewery Location: Newcastle-upon-Tyne, North East

Flavours: Expect a burst of fruit flavour when you pour this beer. With bitter orange notes and beautifully balanced hops, this is one of the best beers on the market today.

Cheshire Brewhouse Engine Vein 4.2%

As quadruple winners of The Great Taste Awards, it’s easy to see why craft beer fans are loving the brews from the Cheshire Brewhouse. Contemporary yet traditional, Engine Vein is a copper ale brewed with pure Cheshire water to create something really special.

Brewery Location: Congleton, Cheshire

Flavours: This bright, hoppy beer packs plenty of flavours into its composition. Expect a full-bodied hop flavour, with hints of spicy orange, biscuit and a smooth finish. 

Let’s summarise…

Whether you’re new to craft beer or an experienced connoisseur, there has never been a better time to try the brews Britain has to offer. We hope our guide to craft beers to try has inspired you to discover your next favourite.

If you’re ready to choose your next brew, visit our outstanding collections of ales and lagers. 

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