What was that - a boat trip? With beer? If you absolutely insist! Let me just park my self respect on the river bank along with my taste buds. This is no standard booze cruise full of stag parties and sticky carpets. The London Craft Beer Cruise takes you on a gorgeous four-hour meander up and down the Thames with the promise of broadening your palate with a thoughtful selection of craft beer from inspiring small breweries. There’s excellent Nightingales cider too, and cocktails. And a dirty, dirty piggy burger from Prairie Fire Bbq to help steady the sea legs.
The first five drinks are free: as is the extensive and generous knowledge shared by the brewers. There’s a lot of friendly chat about yeast viability. But this is not just for beard stroking beer drinkers: the atmosphere is welcoming and genial. There’s a proper mix of people too: couples, birthday celebrations, father and son bonding and friends who wanted to do something a bit different on a Saturday afternoon whilst wearing a pirate hat. The boat journey takes you past the most recognisable monuments of London but seen from the river, they show another side to their character. The glimpses of secret timber-framed houses and ghost buildings existing cheek by jowl with spanking new steel and glass architecture is London in a nutshell for me. We basked outside watching the city unfold and drinking excellent beer. - Anna Bywater (April 2019)