Once upon a time London was a city brimming with breweries, with fifty-two of them recorded in the Annnuel Register of 1760 and a production of 975,217 barrels a year. With so much pigs ear about a disaster was brewing too. On the 17th of October 1814 vats containing 1,470,000 litres burst and London was suddenly awash - literally - with beer, in what became known as the London Beer Flood.
Alas, nearly two hundred years on such a disaster could only be fantasy, for today there remain only two large breweries within the city. Fuller's Griffin Brewery in Chiswick is a site that has seen brewing for more than 350 years and since the formation of Fuller Smith & Turner in 1845 has produced such brands as the famous London Pride, ESB and Discovery which was launched in 2005.
At the other end of the brewery timeline is the youthful Sambrook's Brewery. Born in 2008 and located in Battersea it produces Wandle and Junction ales.
Both breweries run tours - Sambrook's also offers packages with local pubs and at the Griffin Brewery visitors can browse the shop selling their range of beers and exclusive wines (the brewery also boasts the oldest wisteria plant in the UK). It's an opportunity to get to grips with the origin of your pint and put the brew's taste to the test. Entirely irresistable!