A beer for every occasion. Except the occasions that require sobriety, that is.

There’s nothing like the telltale sound of a few-too-many wine and beer bottles clattering into the recycling bin to alert your street to the fact that you had a bit of a quiet gathering party the night before.

But it’s glass, and that’s very easy to recycle isn’t it? Well yes, glass is a good option for its recyclable credentials as unlike plastic, it can be made into the same quality of item again and again – a glass bottle can become another glass bottle, whereas a plastic bottle can usually only be downcycled (some more info on downcycling here). But although recycling glass uses less energy and resources compared to making brand new glass, it quite clearly uses much more than simply giving your bottle or jar a quick wash and refilling it.

So, as someone that likes both sustainability and a lovely glass of wine or beer (or both, although not mixed together), I was very happy when Clapton Craft opened up a branch in my neck of the woods, in Kentish Town, north London. They do an impressive range of craft beers, in bottles and cans as you might expect, but also to my delight, they have a range of beer available to purchase in reusable containers. No more trips to the recycling bin! The selection changes week to week, and features IPAs, lagers, porters and all sorts. You can can refills in 1l bottles (plastic, but reusable so I’ll allow it) and in very beautiful 1.89l glass growlers. Apparently they occasionally have ciders too, but I haven’t been lucky enough to stumble across one yet. The stumbling so far has been as a consequence of ‘testing’ the beer selection.

They also have a red and a white wine tap on hand for refills as well, and the always-lovely staff have been happy for me to use other companies’ reusable wine bottles in addition to their own.

One pro-tip I will share with you is that is worth having more than one refillable bottle in rotation. The problem with purchasing one bottle only is that when it gets more than half empty, you feel the need to fully empty it, otherwise it can’t be refilled. Yes, drunken logic no doubt. But when it comes to refills, the way to drink less is most definitely to not have to finish the bottle you’re currently using just so you can use it again!

One final shout out has to go to their awesome gin selection, which whilst not refillable, is certainly impressive. This is a picture of some beer, wine and the local Highgate gin – it’s called Sacred and it is delicious. This one is cardamom flavoured which is pretty damn special I can tell you. And surely the local-ness of it gets a bonus point back?

Gin, wine and beer. Not to be consumed all at once!

My local Clapton Craft is Clapton Craft NW5, at 326 Kentish Town Road, NW5 2TH, but there are two other branches, in Clapton itself and in Walthamstow. Find out the latest beer selection and more about them at their website: Bottoms up!




7 thoughts on “Green shopping in London: Clapton Craft in Kentish Town

  1. That store sounds excellent! As does the cardamom gin.
    I don’t know of anywhere selling beer or wine refills in my neighbourhood, but my husband has managed to dramatically reduce our household’s drinking-associated waste by home-brewing all our beer and cider (in reusable bottles of course). He’s about to try his hand at wine too, which is rather exciting.


      1. Awesome! Hmm, tips…
        Keep it simple to start with – you’ll have plenty of time to experiment with additives, grains, etc once you’re more familiar with the basics. Make sure you clean everything thoroughly, especially as you get into your 2nd, 3rd, 4th batches. And my husband recommends the John Bull kits, especially the porter. Good luck! ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

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