One for the road: the UK’s best breweries and distilleries

The UK’s craft beer and distillery scene has grown rapidly, with many now open to visitors. So if you’re thirsty for adventure, says founder of The Foodie Travel Guide, Sally Rooma, why not tick off some of these on your summer travels?

Bombay Sapphire Distillery, Hampshire

This state-of the-art enterprise is in a former paper mill that once produced banknote paper for the Bank of England. The experience leads visitors past curvaceous glasshouses and into the Botanical Dry Room, where you can design your own flavour profile before having a tour of the Still House. Keen for refreshment, you’ll then enjoy a complimentary cocktail in the riverside bar.

01 Bombay

Adnams Brewery and Copper House Distillery, Suffolk

It’s sip, sip hooray by the sea in Southwold, where visitors can immerse themselves in the art of beer making and gin distilling. Local brewstillery Adnams has been in the town for at least 670 years. In 2010 it opened the Copper House Distillery where locally grown grains, including rye, are used in its award-winning gins and vodkas.

02 Adnams

Fuller’s Brewery, London

One of the world’s top brewery tours. Inside Fuller’s iconic Griffin brewery in Chiswick visitors can see heritage vessels alongside modern machinery and watch the brewing process in action. The tour finishes with a tasting of finest Fuller’s ales in its Hock Cellar.

03 Fullers

Beefeater Distillery, London

Soak up London’s gin history at the Beefeater Distillery in Stockwell. Its Gin Museum will take you on a journey along Hogarth’s Gin Lane to the Prohibition era and cocktails at The Savoy. Learn about the botanicals used to flavour Beefeater gin before enjoying a tutored tasting in the bar.

04 Beefeater

Shepherd Neame Brewery, Kent

Beer explorers can delve into British brewing history at Shepherd Neame in Faversham, Britain’s oldest brewery. Discover intriguing tales of royalty and smugglers before sampling its award-winning Kentish ales, including Spitfire, brewed to commemorate the Battle of Britain.

05 Shepherd

BrewDog, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

Adventurous beer drinkers make the pilgrimage to Ellon to visit rebellious but hugely successful craft brewer BrewDog. Take the DogWalk, an exploration of its eco brewery and original brewhouse, followed by a tasting in the DogTap. Can’t make it to Scotland? No problem – you can sample its Speedbird 100 on board British Airways flights, as well as in select lounges. This special ‘transatlantic IPA’ was created to celebrate British Airways’ centenary this year.

09 Brewdog

Chase Distillery, Herefordshire

Find inspiration on a Herefordshire farm where the humble potato has taken local entrepreneur Will Chase on a journey from farmer to maker of gourmet crisps, Tyrrells, and now award-winning distiller. Taste Chase single estate gin and vodka created from produce grown in the surrounding fields.

06 Chase

Somerset Distillery, Somerset

Back in 1989, the Somerset Cider Brandy Company received the first full cider distilling licence in recorded history. Visit it at Burrow Hill on the Somerset Levels then walk the orchard trail, before tasting its aged Calvados-style cider brandies and award-winning liqueurs.

07 Somerset

Penderyn Distillery, Wales

Conceived by a group of friends over a drink in the pub in 2004, the Penderyn Distillery is a Welsh success story. Seek it out in the foothills of Brecon Beacons National Park, where rivers and waterfalls are the backdrop, for a tour or a whisky masterclass.

08 Penderyn

Bruichladdich Distillery, Islay, Scotland

Malt tipplers can sail to the Hebridean island of Islay to experience a sense of place at the Bruichladdich distillery. Unlike others on the island, Bruichladdich distils unpeated whisky. The single malt takes on its distinctive salty, citrus tang as it matures in the cask. Gin connoisseurs can taste the award-winning Botanist gin, created using 22 botanicals, hand-foraged from Islay’s shores.


BrewDog’s Speedbird 100 IPA is available on both long-haul and short-haul flights, as well as in selected BA lounges. At New York JFK’s new T7 lounge it will be served in the Craft Beer Room. Executive Club Members can enjoy a 10 per cent discount from their bill at any BrewDog UK location by showing their Executive Club card. To find out more, click here

This article has been tagged Food + Drink, Destination