Villages, Deptford: brewery review | Hazy pales and Buster Mantis burgers

 We visit South London favourite Villages in its Deptford brewery and taproom for luscious hazy pales with a side of BYO vinyl sessions

The brewery

There are few things more dependable about life in South East London than the regular sight of cans of Villages beer. Since being launched by brothers Archie and Louis Village in 2016, this brewery has become a mainstay of independent bars, restaurants and shop shelves all the way from its Deptford home to Peckham, Herne Hill, Beckenham and beyond, nailing a beautiful trinity of supremely sessionable pales, arty cans and seeming to be run by a nice bunch of people. You’ll find the brewery and taproom in an arch just down from Deptford station, and the offering is simple: beers from Villages, ciders and wines from a list curated by beloved local bottle shop Hop Burns & Black, and burgers and more from neighbours Buster Mantis.

The beer

Villages has made its name with a pair of crushable pales called Rodeo and Rafiki: the former is your classic soft hazy pale, coming in at 4.6% and with plenty of mango, apricot, peach and juicy tropical notes. Rafiki, meanwhile, is a touch more bitter, using classic US hops mosaic, ekuanot, chinook and centennial to create something with a bit more grapefruit and pine chewiness. More recently, Big Salad – a 5.8% IPA with (no surprises here) big fruit salad energy – joined the core range too. Outside of that, it’s a raft of regularly rotating, sometimes one-off specials that range from creatively concocted lagers to rich, decadent cocoa porters.

The taps at Villages Brewery in Deptford, London
The interiors at Villages Brewery in Deptford, London

What else?

If you’re looking for a bit more of a reason to get down to Deptford than just a couple of pints and a mooch around, the taproom also hosts a pretty eclectic array of events: think trad-folk music nights, BYO vinyl open decks sessions and the Super Natural Wine Club – a celebration of natural wine hosted monthly by Hop Burns & Black and special guests from the wine world.