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London's Craft Beer Scene

Covent Garden & Bermondsey
March 7, 2015

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In my ongoing efforts to embrace English ales, which I find a little watery for my tastes, I wandered through Covent Garden and stopped in at a suitably traditional looking pub, The Cross Keys.

There I sampled the various traditional cask ales and struck up conversation with the fellow standing next to me, an architect who had stopped in during his cycle commute home. I told him about my mission, about my native taste in beers -- hoppy, Northern California IPAs -- and together we worked our way down the line of casks.

We talked about travel, his trips to the US and Mexico, mine to the UK and Europe. After a couple hours, we each ordered one last half pint of our respective favorites, downed them and then headed out the door.

As he climbed on his bike he said, "With all you've said about the type of beers you like, I wonder you didn't go to that place," he said, pointing down the block -- where The Craft Beer bar advertised 30 craft beers on draft.

So that's where I went the next night, and a few after that. And that's where I learned about Open Brewery Saturday in Bermondsey, where local craft brews (including my new favorite, The Kernel) open their doors to the wandering crowds.