Dalston Beer Guide: Your Dalston guide to beer, beer bars, breweries and brewpubs

Latest reviews from Dalston

“Visited at around 14:00 on a Friday and there was only one other customer. By time i left it was just me. However this possibly to how large the venue seems to be inside, compared to its unassuming outside appearance. In fact, I nearly walked past due to the limited signage. They definitely win beer board of the year - the thing is massive. Although the barman said it was a right hassle to update. Really good array of beers. Four of their own an a wide array of UK, US and European gust beers. I could have stayed longer. Friendly barman. Happy to suggest other venues to check out. Would return for sure.“
BeardedAvenger 102 days ago
“Visited July 2023.“
fonefan 217 days ago
“Visited July 2023 Lovely welcoming place, few minutes walk from the station. Good amount of seatings, friendly bar staff. Good range of beers on tap as well as a bottle selection.. Nice cheesy toasties.. For sure worth a visit being in the area..“
Brugmansia 217 days ago
“Visited July 2023.“
fonefan 217 days ago
“Visited July 2023... Easy to pass, so look carefully for the stickers on the glass door.. Lots of seatings.. they do flights, which is great since they have a few ones on tap.. They have a nice menu, even light breakfast if you are an early bird.. For sure worth a visit, being in the area..“
Brugmansia 217 days ago
“I have been meaning to see if I can find our anything about the history if this place. The tap is located off a service road between offices/blocks of flats. I guess this was a small industrial estate that preceeded the more modern buildings? There still a small garage and a bakery. I was expecting just containers but was intrigued to see that the bakery and a pizza joint had rear units within the office building. Were these opened up after the success of the original bakery and tap? The bakery and tap were all very busy - inside and outside. I guess the idea is that you can drink 40ft's beers in them as well as the tap? The tap itself is a covered area served by a container. The atmosphere suddenly nosedived as I was the only customer (when I left it was up to 5). The one thing that saved it was the 90s indie and rock music, including some of my faves. Around 7 of there beers on (perhaps more, I only photographed one of the chalkboards). Friendly server. Suspect it gets busier after work. And if I hadn't been on a strict timetable I would have liked to try the pizza or bakery. Will return at some point I suspect. Including the general area in my scoring.“
BeardedAvenger 457 days ago
“I actually walked passed this place... the exterior was so understated. Inside it was equally clean and utilitarian. This branch is in a hotel so presumably you turn lright and walk past a few tables to get into the hotel foyer. The bar is to the right and and central, with a few tables around it. It's actually quite a tight space. The clientèle all worked in fashion or something so I felt quite self-conscious having to step over a poodle and then squeeze fat arse into the narrow gap between bar stool and table. Overall found the ambience lacking despite the chatter... all a bit cold. There were 6 taps at the front, with 4 on. All their own beers. I took a look but there didn't appear to be any more taps... at least in vision. Helpful enough but not overly warm barman. Had to wait whilst he changed kegs but he was very quick so a typically efficient.German set-up. My first visit to Dalston (nosebleedingly North for me) but would swing past as I liked the area.“
BeardedAvenger 457 days ago
46 /100
TFC Dalston (Grocery Store)
“A Turkish grocery store in the heart of Dalston, right on Ridley Road. The beer selection isn't spectacular, but they have a somewhat interesting range of Turkish beers, including some seasonals/specials from Efes. Aside from that, it's mostly macro and some local craft breweries (East London Brewery, for example). Worth popping in for a few scoops if you're nearby but it's not a destination by itself.“
Leighton 471 days ago
68 /100
Junction Supermarket (Grocery Store)
“Looks like a typical off licence but this place gets good beers in. Regularly has a nice range of London breweries, including obscurities, nice range of Kernel, plenty of European stuff, I have even found Cantillon in here (regular gueuze). Prices are fair. Service is typical offie. Probably not a destination but worth stopping in if you are walking past.“
Leighton 774 days ago
70 /100
Wine Cellar (Beer Store)
“A normal-looking offie with a pretty good beer selection. In particular, they have a nice range of London breweries and I often find new Kernel scoops in here. Prices are pretty fair. Certainly not a place to go out of your way to visit but, if you're walking by, I'd recommend popping in.“
Leighton 801 days ago
“Nice spot, quite sleek and modern. Attentive staff. Five different German Kraft beers on tap. Fair prices. Pleasant ambiance, not overly busy at 8pm on a Saturday (5 June 2021 though). Would happily return for some fresh lager.“
Leighton 997 days ago
“Didn’t look much from the outside. Blink and you’d miss it. Big open plan bar area. Plenty of taps with a good selection of local (London) beers as well as lots from all over the UK. Worth a visit.“
Mr_Pink_152 1481 days ago
“Across the street from Brewdog Dalston. Outside not very appealing, easy to miss. Inside high walls, dark wood and red brick. Airy but dark. 20 taps: also outside of UK like Kout's pilsner and Dugges Cocoa Cacao. Variety of old rock, blues, country played (Clapton etc). Polly's Brew is from Wales. Dream Like Sequence is sweet, modern, tropical fruity Dipa.“
TBone 1523 days ago
“A super vibey, high quality beer bar on the main drag from Dalston to Stoke Newington. From the guys behind the Axe and the Kings Arms. Great range of beer on keg and in bottle. Fair pricing, everything on tap available in 1/3 pours. They do some food. Staff are friendly and pretty attentive. A really excellent place. I wish I could drink here more often.“
Leighton 1651 days ago
“Traditional pub amidst traditional terrace housing between Dalston and Hackney, you'll probably not stumble upon this place by accident as it's not in an obvious place, however there's a few modern touches in place inside and there's a good appeal to the place, especially its sun-trap large front terrace. It has a couple of rooms with the bar taking up the lion share of the front one, including a few cask beers, but more keg, with crafted options from local breweries readily available. Had a cask real cider too.“
ManVsBeer 1738 days ago
66 /100 119 BALLS POND ROAD
“A classic British medium-sized corner pub in the Dalston area of northern London. An oval island bar serving seating places around the bar. Dark wooden interiors, well kept and cared for. A freehouse with five cask pumps facing the entrance. Excellent, well conditioned cask ales and a good vibe late on a Wednesday eve (Visited with Finn, 26.09.2018).“
Rune 1969 days ago
“Backyard containers. Outdoor seating. Different. OK beers.“
Finn 1978 days ago
66 /100 119 BALLS POND ROAD
“Noisy but nice. 4 casks. 15sh kegs. One cider. Old fashioned island-bar pub. Pavement seating as well. Well treated casks.“
Finn 1980 days ago
“Visit July 2016 @ THe Dalston Beer Day. Basicly it is all about 40ft shipping containers. Taproom, brewery, backer ect. is all locatet in 40ft containers. Staff at the day was friendly and smilling, outside seating area. Need to revisit on a normal open day to give me / you a idear off the beer range on a normal day .. but when we visit it was very good.“
fonefan 2324 days ago
64 /100 119 BALLS POND ROAD
“Have visited a few times but mainly when there’s been a festival on. These are quite low key affairs with a resonable number of stillaged beers. It’s been a while since I’ve been so I don’t know whether they’re still doing them. Otherwise, it’s four or five handpumps with the chance of something interesting from a smaller, often local, brewery. That said, I’ve been in on occasion and found nothing much of interest. There’s also 20 or so bottles, including a fair few from London craft brewers (although nothing particularly out of the ordinary) and a rather low key keg selection from the likes of Adnams, Meantime, Camden etc. The general impression is that it has fallen behind in the beer selection stakes althogh it’s decent enough for a pub catering mainly to (well-heeled) locals. The pub is a comfortable enough spot but can get busy in the evening and has gastro leanings. Worth a peek if yoyu’re passing but not a beer destination - I don’t think that’s really their main focus.“
chriso 2507 days ago
60 /100
Cafe Oto (Bar)
“This is basically a music venue, mainly featuring acts at the alternative/world/avant garde end of the spectrum, that operates as a cafe during the day and as a bar in the evening when there’s no music scheduled. They seem to have music on mosts nights and, as these are paid events - typically £5-£10 entry - you probably won’t want to visit for a beer on these nights unless you are interested in the gig. They have Kernel beers on tap and some bottles, mainly Belgian. I’ve only popped in once, specifically because they allegedly had a Kernel beer made especially for them. It turned out it’s just whatever Kernel Pale Ale happens to be doing the rounds at the time. It’s marked as unrateable on RateBeer because there’s no way of knowing which beer it is. You have been warned. Probably useful if you happen to be nearby or are interested in the day’s gig but not a place to make a special trip to for the beer..“
chriso 2507 days ago
“Visited in July 2016 for the Dalston Beer Day which featured a number of brewers’ stands set up around the yard, so probably not really representative of what the place would be like as a taproom on a normal Saturday. I believe they only have about four taps, all their own stuff usually. They are not one of those breweries that’s always cranking out specials and one-offs so I’m not sure whether you’d pick up much beyond their core beers if you were already familiar with those. They do seem to have a fair few special events - the second Dalston Beer Day is imminent - so they might be the dates to aim for if you’re already familiar with the 40ft beers. If they are new to you it’s probably worth a visit anyway. I should probably take a look on a regular weekend to get a better idea. Service was friendly and enthusiastic. Selection score represents what was available when I visited, i.e. a lot more than usual. The brewery and taproom comprise a couple of shipping containers and seating is at a few tables in the yard, or wherever you can perch if they are occupied.“
chriso 2507 days ago
“Visited for the ’40 Hills of Istanbul’ event. Quite liked the spot, a bit random and extremely hipster but a very pleasant area in which to drink. The event was good although I can’t speak for how the location normally shapes up, they looked like they were going to have some capacity issues with lengthening queues by mid afternoon for beer and food and space as much as personnel the main constraint (and guys, get some change in the tills!) Beers were pleasingly all of drinkable by the pint strength, about six on tap and some more bottles/cans knocking around, the ones I had all pretty solid. I’d go back here.“
JorgeLee 2509 days ago
66 /100
Cafe Oto (Bar)
“Came here for a gig (female Portuguese singer with a guitar kind of thing). Not a crazy selection of beer, but you likely won’t find much better in a live-music venue. Two Kernel beers on tap (porter and APA), a BBNo (I forget the style), something Belgian. An assortment in bottle as well, more London stuff, some more continental Europe stuff. Decent prices (£4 for 2/3 of Kernel APA). They also do tea and coffee, and have a full bar during gigs. Not sure what the place is like during the day. I wouldn’t call this place a beer destination, but rest assured if you are coming here for a gig you should be able to enjoy a few nice brews during the show.

Also, if you’re coming here for a show, try to arrive extra early as seating is limited (assuming you want to sit, of course). We made it just in time to get seats in the back, but there were c. 20+ people who had to stand for the show.“
Leighton 2541 days ago
“Visited July 2016 with beery friends. A small beer festival toke part in the area, with other London based brewers. Great event. The brewery it self is based in 40ft containers ( truly to its name ). It has a small tasting area, and seatings outside.. Friendly staff and beers served in good condition.“
Brugmansia 2560 days ago
82 /100 2 ST JUDE STREET
“Relaxing even when it’s busy. Friendly helpful staff. Stocks London Drinker Magazine and a discount for CAMRA members. A real plus is the secluded seating area with loungers and a wood burning stove. Regular beers from Adnams and Redemption“
SevenSeasons 2684 days ago

Like others mention this is quite a strange place for a Brewery and Tap, its hemmed in by housing and yet also just a stones throw from shops, bus routes etc. We visited here on Saturday 8th October 2016, we walked from the Well and Bucket which ended up being quite a trek, i’m guessing the better part of two miles, still walking less travelled routes helps you to familiarise yourself and apply a mental jigsaw of an area. We met Ang’ and ’Aris here. I think that in terms of getting here Google maps worked quite well and there will be a plethora of public transport options available depending on where you start your journey. My only advice is even when you start heading towards where you think it is, and then suspect that you might be heading towards a junkyard or some such space, just continue onwards as you will have found it.

Not an awful lot to say about the setup itself as its just a shipping container or perhaps a couple in which are housed the Brewery and Tap. There is another shipping container in the courtyard which appears to house a bakery. The choice was limited to about 4-5 beers all their own and pricing was £4 a pint across the range. The beer was fine, staff really smiley and friendly and atmosphere was fine. They were setting up for a music event ’Electro Fest’ or something like that it was called, this was meant to start at 3pm, however we turned up and it was only just being set up. Two chaps were putting up a gazebo to house their music equipment and bunting had already been strung across the courtyard. As we finished our second beer Kraftwerk started pumping out the speakers. The seating outside is probably best described as ’rustic’ but be careful where you sit as I am convinced some of it would take the weight of no more than a small child. I wish them well, they seemed an enthusiastic enough group of folks here. We left after a couple of beers and headed off to Mother Kellys, Bottle Shop at Homerton. “
Fin 2694 days ago
“A very basic setup - unsurprisingly, since the brewery is in a shipping container. About four beers on tap. Most (all?) of the seating is outside in the yard surrounding the shipping container. The brewery doesn’t have prolific output; two of the beers on offer were their standards, two were less common offerings. OK prices, perhaps just a touch dear. Friendly enough service. A fun place to visit if the weather is nice and you’re having some beers with friends, but not a great place if scooping is your top priority.“
Leighton 2781 days ago
“A very strange place for a microbrewery, indeed. The brewery kit is located in a container, the brewery tap in another and there is also a little patio in front of the tap room. Three beers, all of them extremely fresh and tasty, were available at my visit. Friendly and talkative German and Swedish brewers. It’s located in a backyard in the trendy Dalston area of Hackney in North London. Around the corner and right behind Café OTO. Open on Fridays and Saturdays. Well worth a visit (visited with Leif, Per and Magne 09.04.2016).“
Rune 2866 days ago
60 /100
Cafe Oto (Bar)
“A live concert venue in Dalstone Hackney in North London. We went here for the avant garde concert with Jem Doulton, Sonic Youth member Thurston Moore, Steve Noble, Alex Ward and James Sedwards. A cool medium sized room with a bar to the right of the entrance serving London beers from breweries like Hackney and Kernel on keg and quite a few Belgian classics in bottles. The 40ft Brewery, often opened on Saturdays, is located just around the corner, actually in the backyard of the café. Café Oto is located close to the overground Dalston Junction and there were many near-by buses running from here to, let say, Kings Cross (visited with Per, Magne and Leif 09.04.2016).“
Rune 2867 days ago
“Turned up to discover the taproom wasn’t open, thanks Google! However, the brewer was there and kindly let me try some beers and chat whilst he finished up for the day. I can’t speak of what the typical selection would be in that case but it did seem like there were maybe only 3 beers available.“
Stuu666 2906 days ago
“A tiny bar in the middle of a cargo container! Staff and customers all very friendly. I was lucky enough to be served and talk to the brewer and the owners. Their Stout had just come on and was excellent. Also on were Larger (which is actually a Kolsch) and Pale Ale. They also had the latter available in cans which is dry hopped using Mosaic so tasted very different to the tap version.“
b727trijet 3019 days ago
74 /100 119 BALLS POND ROAD
“Visited during a local beer festival. They were all in bottles though. Just regular stuff on tap. Not a lot of selection, about five taps, a couple of dozen or so bottles. Friendly enough service, at least one of them was well versed in stuff. Ales in good condition. Nice traditional local drinkery. Local people having jugs of Pimms.“
Erasmus_ro 3829 days ago
76 /100
Cafe Oto (Bar)
“Not a place you might immediately think of as a beer haven as it has avant-guard gigs most nights covering jazz, poetry, noise, drone etc. However they have got a pretty sweet selection of bottles with a heavy emphasis on the Belgium: Orval, Rochfort 10, Brugse Zot brown and blond, Westmalle dubel and trippel, Saison 1900 and others. Also Kernel options (porter, pale ale, IPA) and 3 or 4 from Howling Hops down the road (saison, smoked porter etc). Vibeswise it’s brilliant - a relaxed a shabby kind of place with mismatched furniture and a friendly crowd. Some nights when they don’t have gigs it’s just open as a bar. Food is middle eastern and looks good. Check it out!“
viktorvee 3961 days ago
76 /100 2 ST JUDE STREET
“A very likeable pub with a chilled vibe, nice décor that avoids being too silly and trendy and a wicked selection of beers. More of a relaxed neighbourhood pub that a banging or destination one it sill boasts 6 or 7 hand-pumps and tons of bottled stuff including Kernel. Food it Thai and does the job without being too amazing.“
viktorvee 3962 days ago
64 /100 2 ST JUDE STREET
“This is a decent boozer located not far from Dalston Kingsland Station. The decor’s pretty typical for a refurbed east London pub (think vintage wooden fixtures, low-lighting, board games available). The beer selection’s OK, nothing to write home about. The cask selection had 5 or so twiggy beers. The kegs featured stuff from Black Isle and Meantime. There was super fresh Kernel in the fridge, so I opted for that. Prices were tolerable. Overall, just an OK place. There’s no reason to rush to check it out.“
jackl 4048 days ago
“This looks pretty much like your typical Dalston pub. There’s an old wooden bar, loads of taxidermy, hipster bartenders. The service is unfortunately pretty amateurish, and it took ages to get served despite the fact that there were five staff "working" behind the bar. The selection’s better than your average pub, but not particularly exciting. There’s something like 5 beers on cask (mostly Fullers core range). The keg options are slightly more interesting. Food seems to be a big draw at this place. The value’s fine, if a bit expensive for this part of London. Overall, this might be worth a look-in if you’re on your way to the Cock Tavern. It’s not worth visiting unless you happen to be in the area.“
jackl 4091 days ago
66 /100 119 BALLS POND ROAD
“Visited this place 14/01-2012 on the Great Overground Pub Crawl. Very cosy traditionel corner pub, with the bar in the center of the pub. They have sweet half pints mugs :-). Friendly staff and nice atmosphere, they do from time to time small festivals.“
Brugmansia 4197 days ago
72 /100 119 BALLS POND ROAD
“A nice pub. I visited during their ale festival emphasizing London breweries. They had good stuff on: Kernel, Brodies and more. One of the beers I had was in shockingly poor condition, but in general the quality was fine. The place itself is nice, quite spacious with seating both indoors and out. Average prices, nice staff. Certainly a place worth popping into now and then.“
Leighton 4232 days ago
60 /100 2 ST JUDE STREET
“A pleasant pub to have nearby if you live locally. OK beer selection and at times cheap pints available if they are clearing stock.“
nate2g 4296 days ago
64 /100 119 BALLS POND ROAD
“An attractive unspoilt street corner pub, slightly down at heel but with lots of charm. It has four hand pumps with real ale and a few ciders. (Visited 14 January 2012).“
Boudicca 4377 days ago
66 /100 119 BALLS POND ROAD
“I visited during their single hop ale festival. The bar had all eight hand pumps firing, plus more beer on gravity available. Most beers were totally fine, though the Crouch Vale Amarillo was probably on its last legs. The bottle selection seemed decent for a pub that doesn’t attempt to be a beer mecca - Orval, Bristol Beer Factory, and Flying Dog were available alongside some not so desirable names. The food was OK. The clientele’s quite hip, what you’d expect in the neighborhood. Overall, not a place to travel to, but it’s a decent option if you’re in the area.“
jackl 4412 days ago
76 /100 2 ST JUDE STREET
“Recently refurbished backstreet local, with a 1950s style interior and bare wood floors. Six real ales from small or micro breweries and a rather good Thai menu by pub standards. On my visit of 2nd November 2011, I enjoyed friendly service at the bar. Very customer-friendly: cashback available and credit cards accepted. My pint of Dark Star Hophead and subsequent half of Nethergate Umbel Ale were in very good condition. Noticed a few interesting Kernel bottles in the fridge. Whilst pub mainly has table seating, space is quite well-used and there’s seating available at the bar. Background music was just that - background - allowing for quiet conversation to flourish without the need to shout or scream above it. A rather nice addition to the pub scene in the area (Mildmay Islington). The nearest station is Dalston Kingsland on London Overground. Don’t make the mistake of going into the pub next door to the station! Walk up Kingsland Rd, take the first left and walk in a straight line until pub appears on left! Enjoy.“
ladnewton 4499 days ago
60 /100 119 BALLS POND ROAD
“A nice comfy place with a standard english pub feel to it. Nothing special, nothing bad. The inside is nicely organized and lets you socialize. It was a nice sunny spring day and the light came nicely through the curtains. The service was ok, got a few odd looks time after time but got good service at the counter. I wasn’t impressed with the selection, could have used a bit more variety. Didn’t taste the food. A nice place to stop by, but really nothing more.“
Chiswick 4726 days ago
70 /100 119 BALLS POND ROAD
“A newly opened quality beer focused gastropub close to Dalston Kingsland station and a five minute bus ride from Highbury & Islington. A regular spot for Sambrook’s Wandle. Eight handpumps, usually serving four beers (hence quoting four taps). Traditional features include emphasis on wood (floors, wall panels and tables etc). An island bar in centre of main drinking area affords space and easy circulation all round. A second drinking area provided in rear annexe. All tungsten lighting affords a warm atmosphere; comfortable volume of background music (mixed styles). Food is served all sessions and quite an imaginative menu is offered, but not cheap. Outside seating is provided along the western aspect of the building, and this provided a pleasant view of the bright sunset on view on my inaugural visit of 11th August. Staff seemed friendly; did not get a lot of time to speak to them as I had company and we were on a crawl. Will be returning for their festival running from 13/8/09 - 17/8/09 - see EVENTS for details (thirty ales will be served through the period of this festival). A good venue.“
ladnewton 5311 days ago
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