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Utobeer Borough Market

Not Rated.
Utobeer Borough MarketUtobeer Borough Market
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

25 Reviews
Reviews: 25
Visits: 37
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: n/a
[ Store ]

8 Southwark Street
London, SE1 1TL
United Kingdom (England)
phone: +44 20 7378 6617

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @utobeer

Notes:
Place added by: wl0307 on 10-28-2005

Located at Unit 24, Middle Row.
Place: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 25 | Visits: 37
Photo of captaincoffee
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75

About 15 feet by 8 feet, this is a stall in Boroughs market and not a full size store. For what it is, the selection is good and varied, although I didn't find any Cantillon or 3F that I was looking for. Worth peeking into if you are at the market, but not worth making a trip to visit on its own.
If it was a full size store and could scale up, it would be great. (364 characters)

Photo of drtth
4.19/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

Reviewed from notes taken during a recent visit to London. Was staying nearby and after dinner my friends and I were wandering about the market space when we discovered this place, an excellent shop.

The vibe is basically food market modern but the selection and variety are outstanding.

Service was just fine and the prices seemed reasonable for London. (357 characters)

Photo of flyingpig
4.09/5  rDev -2.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.25 | selection: 4.5

A greate wee stall with plenty of selection, particularly from the US and Belgian but I found that a lot of the beers were from larger breweries as opposed to harder to find offerings. For example there was about 6 different version of Leffe in the Belgian section and the US section had a lot form Anchor as well as a limited edition Blue Moon. Still some very good beers available from the likes of Meantime, Nogne and Brooklyn as well as a bottle of Racer 5 IPA from Bear Republic that I hadn't seen in the UK before. I will go back the next time I'm in London though. Well worth a visit. 10p extra for a bag was a bit annoying though given the nature of the purchase. (671 characters)

Photo of adamant1912
4.58/5  rDev +9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Stumbled upon UTO when bustling through Borough Market yesterday. Needless to say I was really impressed with the selection and couldn't have asked for a better atmosphere. Prices were pretty fair, as I picked up a couple Cantillon and a 3 Fonteinen for about 16 pound and was surprised they even had a few American rarities such as BCBS sitting around. The staff was also quite helpful and knowledgable. A must see if you're looking to grab some bottles while in London. (471 characters)

Photo of jgasparine
4.56/5  rDev +8.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Atmosphere-
Located in the center of Borough Market, you can't go wrong with the atmosphere-- you're surrounded by amazing purveyors of produce, meats, cheeses, seafood and more. The Utobeer bottle shop is a gem stuck in the mix of it all, with the best world beer selection I have come across in London.

Quality- For what it is, this store packs a ton of quality into a very small space. Their shelves are stocked with great beers from around the world, and no shelf space is sacrificed for macro brews.

Service- The employees were very helpful there, willing to dispense loads of information on their products. They were prompt and friendly.

Selection- The selection of beer was fantastic-- loads of beer from England, Germany, Belgium, USA, and a few singles from other countries as well (I picked up a dopplebock from ICELAND no less). Fantastic selection in a small space- similar to the Spuyten Duyvil Market in Brooklyn. (931 characters)

Photo of thepeter
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%

This is one of the best places to buy craft beer here in London. the selection is not what it used to be a couple of years ago but it still is very good and one of the few places that gets in most of the newer releases that are available. Service is pretty good, staff are friendly and most of them are knowledgable. They have a nice varied selection of British, Belgian, German and US beers. THe fact that it is only open when the Market is open makes it a bit unfortunate but if you go on a Thursday they will have new stock in and it will not be very crowded. Prices are not great but when in central London, you can't expect any less. (638 characters)

Photo of belias
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%

By far the best beer retailer in London. Runs every week in Borough Market (which itself is fantastic and worth a visit for anyone who enjoys consuming anything) UTOBEER has a very wide selection of US, Canadian, Belgian, German...pretty much everything. Most of which I never saw in other retailers, or even specialty beer bars.

Most were reasonably priced. There were a few ("rare" US ales like Double Bastard/120min IPA) which were upwards of £6 a bottle, but I'm not sure how much these will cost in the states so I couldn't say whether they were particularly expensive.

Also worth checking out is "The Rake" which is a pub run by the same people, and just a short walk away from the market. It's very small (key word being very) but is surely the best pub in the area when it comes to what's on offer. (809 characters)

Photo of StJamesGate
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%

Open stall opposite Roast-To-Go in Borough Market. (Or straight down the aisle on the right coming out of the Market Porter!)

The best selection of American beer I've heard of in London, including Stone, Rogue, Victory, Caldera, Steamworks, Schmaltz, and Dogfish Head.
I got Coronado Idiot IPA and Odell's Cutthroat Porter, neither of which are available in NY.
Also has Mikkeller, Nøgne Ø, Ellezelloise, a bunch of German and a good range of English, though not definitive on that last one.

Attractive wooden shelves, staff are amiable without being overbearing, not cheap but that's because they know what they have.

Definitely worth a visit, especially for an American craft fix. (687 characters)

Photo of corby112
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Stopped by here with my wife on a recent trip to London. This is a stand located in the Southwark Market. They have a very large selection of bottles from different parts of the world but nothing too rare. A lot of these beers aren't available in the States which is a big plus but a I had a list if rare beers from the UK that I wanted to try and they didn't have any of them. Very nice selection of Belgians and Germans but lacking in beers from the States. Not that I was looking for them but it kind of hurts the selection score. The gentleman working the shop was knowledgeable and helpful and overall provided good service. This was the only bottle shop I went to in the county so I don't have a basis to compare but I was pretty impressed with this place. (762 characters)

Photo of DerBayer
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%

Well this place is not cheap but if you want to buy good beer in London it is literally your only good bet.

They are in the heart of buzzing borough market which is only open thursday to saturday and kinda cool but beware you will have to push your way through.

Selection is brilliant and amazing with anything from Aventinus Eisbock to Zeitgeist Schwazbier from all great beer brewing nations.

I come here once per week on a saturfday as a treat and fill my little rucksack with all those quality beers (506 characters)

Photo of PartyBear
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%

A nice little beer shop, hidden in the heart of Borough Market. The selection of beers is fantastic, and is constantly changing. I get most of my American beer from this shop. It also has a superb selection of Belgium, and British beers.

Only negative is that it can get incredibly busy, especially if you go on a Saturday afternoon, which is when Borough Market is at its peak.

Go to The Rake bar near the market while you are there. This is a small bar ran by Utobeer, which offers a big range of the beers that can be bought at the shop, and many more on tap. (566 characters)

Photo of soulgrowl
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%

Utobeer has its faults, but in spite of them it is still the best beer store in London. The shelves here are packed with American extreme beers, a very wide variety of UK microbrews ranging from 3% ABV milds to big, thick barleywines, a sizeable and somewhat unusual selection of German and Belgian beers (with perhaps too much emphasis on fruit lambics and not enough on saisons), and a smattering of odd novelties from around the world. They have some weird Mexican beer that comes in a suspicious blue bottle I've been meaning to try. For sheer selection, most beer geeks will not go wanting; where else in London can you find Mikkeler Beer Geek Breakfast, Stone Vertical Epic, Rothaus Hefeweizen, Brigand IPA, and Asahi Black in one place? Nowhere, that's where. This is the only game in town for anything hard to get.

Beers seem to be well-kept here; the beers are a bit exposed, and I have found some very dusty bottles, but even so I've never had a lightstruck or past-its-prime bottle from Utobeer. The two main drawbacks to this place are service and prices; service is knowledgeable but also very surly, and the prices are sky-high, even for London. If you're just shopping for standard English or Belgian ales, it's best to go elsewhere. For example, a standard bottle of Duvel will cost you almost £2 more here than at a well-stocked Sainsbury's.

Of course, the prices don't stop me when it comes to the more obscure ales, because, like I said before, I can't get them anywhere else - and believe me, I've looked. Definitely worth stopping by regularly. (1,568 characters)

Photo of jstassi
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Great little booth in the Market, loaded up on crafts from the United Kingdom.

Offered a lot of American Craft beers, witch I can pickup anywhere. My eyes went right for the Deuchars IPA that I was scouring for! Service isn't much, but my theory is that you know what you want when you go there.

From the few places I visited (from advice from this site) This was hands down the best place in London to get a good beer!

Note, The hours are a little strange. Also if you get off the Tube at London Bridge its a very short walk to the market. Once in the Market walk straight down and its on the left. The market also has some really nice restaurants, I went to Black and Blue, very good meal..

If you're in town, definitely take the tube over! (747 characters)

Photo of tendermorsel
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

This is a great bottle shop.

Although I didn't get any the American beers selection was shocking. Goose Island, Stone, Terrapin, Firestone Walker, Rouge Hebrew and Flying Dog. Hell there were some American beers I can't get in Mass.

Great German Belgian and British Micro brew selection. I focused my purchases on Belgians. I got a Cantillion 750 for 8.50 £. I also scored a bottle of Oeral (Du Dolle) for a reasonable price.

Very busy because of it's location in Burrow Market.

Highly recommended if you are looking for American beers in London.

Note: Only open 3 days a week. Thursday - Saturday 12:00-5:00. My local friend says that limits his shopping. (667 characters)

Photo of tm82
4.85/5  rDev +15.5%

Awesome selection for a store of it's size. The Trappist beers range include: Westmalle, Achel (my first Achel was acquired here), Rochefort,sometimes Chimay.

If you are into German beers then they stock all Erdinger including Noel (variates depending on stock and brewing time), German microbeer and such like. They lack Augustiner however they have rare dunkel which is hard to find here (not as good as Quinns' Pub for the German beer).

The imported American craft beer is pricey (£3+) however they stock a great range of elusive beers. The sixers are displayed proudly however you can buy singles from those.

I also note this is one of the rare places to buy a beer magazine. Beers of the World.

My only real complaint is they are a little slow with requests (Delirium Noel they thought they had but didn't) and have a price guide which would be nice to view on their internet website.

For German beers go in November. There is a much broader selection including very rare Oktoberfest beers which are not seen in more commercial establishments. The American craft beer is the best selection in London I've seen. There are plenty of Belgian microbewery beer which is great. Although some of these are hard to find expect a premium which represents the difficulties in procuring the beer. Plus high London rent. (1,324 characters)

Photo of sunshinethewolf
4.29/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

I just moved into the Borough/London Bridge neighborhood from San Diego, spotted this place is Borough Market from across the street (they had an Arrogant Bastard sticker on one of the pillars supporting the roof) and went running toward it, having nearly run out of the selection of Stone that I flew over with me.

Although they don't actually carry Stone, they do always have a few things from Anchor, Rogue, and Sierra Nevada, as well as Brew Dog. I've often seen Left Hand as well. Lots of English and Scottish beers, and good number of Belgians and Germans. They almost always have Trappist Rochefort 8, but get there in the morning, it's usually all gone by one or two.

I don't know too much about English beers yet, but the guy usually working makes very solid recommendations. Told him which American Stouts I like and he said to go for a St. Peter's Cream Stout, which is worth checking out. He does sort of ignore most customers though, and there are usually too many people in the stall for the one or two staff working to handle.

Expect to pay 3 pounds for a 12 oz bottle at the very cheapest. It's the only beer store in this end of London though (I think the only other one is the Whole Foods that just opened on High Street Kensington) and Borough Market is an incredible place to check out. Come on Saturday morning for the biggest selection of open stalls, but it's open Thursday through Saturday during the day. Also check out The Rake, right around the corner. (1,483 characters)

Photo of Antilochus
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%

Utobeer is a stall in the Borough Market - a short walk from London Bridge tube station.

The selection is fantastic for London, and has a wide variety of beers. Large Belgian section, with small but respectable representation from the US and Germany. UK section tends to contain more extreme beers... e.g. SS RIS, JW Lees, etc.

Service is essentially nonexistent. There is a cashier and a guy at the door. Except for some of the larger 750ml rares, there are no prices on the bottles. The store itself gets rather busy during market hours. My main concern is the amount of light on the beers, but I haven't had a problem yet.

Prices are in line with what you would expect with a specialty store in London.

Still, a great store and really one of the last specialty beer stores in the London area. (799 characters)

Photo of swizzlenuts
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

The stall in the Borough Market called UTObeer is fucking great. It has one of the best selections of US beers in the UK, loads of German and Belgian beers, random selection of lagers and pilsners from across the world. There is so much stuff here that I always take about 20-30 minutes browsing before I make my selections. They even sell the larger bottles of beer, mead (sometimes), and a wide variety of specialty brews.

The service can range from Exceptional to good. If you get an experienced person they can really help you, but a new person is always a little overwhelmed with the amount of beers. They might not be very talkative but they always give you good advice.

It's open when the Borough Market is open, which is a great place on its own. Definitely a great place to grab a few beers! (804 characters)

Photo of BlackHaddock
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%

I arrived here armed with a list of beers from Colorado, sent to me by ColoradoBobs. We had been beermailing each other since I joined this site, I blame 'Smoking Bishop'.

I came away with 3 different 'Left Hand' beers, 2 Flying Dogs and 4 Great Divine beers. I would have had a whole lot more if I could have afforded them, but I shouldn't grumble really, they have come a long way.

The whole beer selection is very impressive and they were very helpful, they were also thankful for the list ColoradoBobs sent me. A host of German, Belgian and UK beers, plus the US. You can drink round the world from here if that's your bag.

Well worth visiting if in London. (664 characters)

Photo of bark
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%

Other reviewers have raised concerns over the light that might spoil the beer. That is probably not an issue as the beers are covered by thick blankets when the store is closed.

And closed it is. The opening hours, only Thursday, Friday and Saturdays, are not displayed anywhere; I had to ask at the pub next to the market to get that information.

Well, when they are open, you can chose from a carefully selected assortment of beers from around the world. One large rack is filled with British micro breweries, another one displays Belgian beers, on the shelves under the counter one finds American beers and on the rack at the entrance there are mixed beers from Scandinavia, France, Japan and wherever.

The service was correct, but a bit abrupt. I asked for advices on different styles and got a one recommendation for each one. I bought 6 beers from England, the US and Norway. Not the most exclusive, but interesting beers. They were priced in the range from £2.50 to £4.00.

London is surprisingly short of good beer stores. This is probably one of the most accessible (just some 50 m from the London Bridge Underground) and most probably the one with the best assortment of American beers.

Do I recommend a visit? Without a doubt! And if they are closed, you could always go to the great next door pub “The Market Porter”. (1,341 characters)

Photo of Cresant
3.35/5  rDev -20.2%

I shopped here while on holiday. I combined this with a trip the the Borough Market and the Market Porter Pub. The food stalls surrounding Utobeer are very nice. and The Market Porter is literally only feet away from this stall.

I doubt the diffused natural light (through the sooty glass roof) will harm the (generally malty leaning) beers sold here, but any light exposure is probably not good.

The day I visited there was a good representation of American beer. Goose Island, Smauel Adams, Sierra Nevada, & Flying Dog were there. There was a good representation of German beers including Andechs- I purchased the last Doppleback Dunkel. A good selection of Belgians too. There were many British breweries represented. Worthington's White Shield, Timothy Taylor Landlord, Hopback Summer Lightning were some that I purchased. There was a lot of beer packed into this small shop.

The staff was not especially friendly, neither of the two staff working said anything to me until the man ringing me up said, "cheers/thank you" after I paid. Two friends and myself were the only patrons at the moment. We visited on Thursday, I have heard the Borough Market is extremely busy on Friday and Saturday. I would recommend this shop especially because one can satisfy several needs in one stop- food (for now or later), beer for later(Utobeer), and beer for now (Market Porter). (1,382 characters)

Photo of Flyer
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Someone had an inspired idea to put a "beermonger of distinction" in an open-air market with lots of artisan foods and good wines, and brewers certainly need to make it clear they belong in these places. I love the general atmosphere of a market, although it was insanely crowded, and many of the bottles are exposed to intense sunlight in this situation. Since I spend relatively little time in Europe, it's tough to judge the selction without much context -- certainly 2/3 of what was available would be in any good beer store in the U.S., but there were some apparent rarities from the continent (although on later sampling of four of them, I was not particularly impressed by any). Still, compared to most of the pubs promoting themselves as having "real ales," this place has an amazing line-up -- and they did have Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, which I can't even get in Wisconsin. If I come back to London, I'll definitely stop by to see what's new. (958 characters)

Photo of haz77
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Located near to London Bridge station in a Borough Market cage and is open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

A good selection of beers range from UK brews to many Belgians and Germans as well as a smallish offering of US beers from Rogue, Flying Dog, Sierra Nevada and Anchor. I think that for the centre of London it's fairly reasonably priced, as I picked up 7 bottles of various Gueuzes and Lambics as well as a large bottle of Fantome for just over £22, which is roughly equivalent to online prices. It would be nice if the prices were displayed, however.

With the demise of The Beer Shop, this is about the best place to find non-UK beers in London. It's definitely worth a visit, but if you can't I was told that a delivery can be made within London for £7.10.

Edit - 7 Dec 2006: Having worked in the area for a while I've made regular trips here on Thursday and Friday lunchtimes. Now that I've bought a wider selection of beers from them I would move the 'value' up one notch form reasonable to a bit pricey - but given the location, this isn't a surprise. They keep a huge selection of regular stock with new beers appearing consistently (at the moment there must be at least 50 Christmas and seasonal beers that weren't there a couple of weeks ago). If you're in London UTOBEER is most definitely worth visiting. (1,330 characters)

Photo of ndekke39
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%

The best find inside the Borough Market in Southwark. I came upon the stall the first time I found the Market, and returned to the stall repeatedly. Fantastic selection of beers, all bottled. Lots of European brews; seems like they rotate fairly regularly and feature different beers every week or month.

Service was excellent - very knowledgeable folks there. The gentlemen I spoke to said he regularly judges beer competitions and breweries in the States.

In other words, I'm planning my next trip to London just so I can visit the Borough Market and this beer stall. (575 characters)

Photo of wl0307
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%

Thanks to BA London Porter I got to know this fantastic beer "stall", rather than a "proper" shop, located inside the gourmet-paradise Borough Market at South Bank London, nr. London Bridge station. The stall is very close to the exit of the Market right outside the nice pub Market Porter on Stoney St., so you simply can't miss it (well, you can, if you couldn't even follow your nose towards the famous watering hole~~).

The beer range is quite impressive... in such a small space there're more than around 250 bottles of beers featuring well-selected products British, Belgian, German, and some rare gems from other parts of the world, while the range of organic beers is very good, too. For US beers I got my first bottles of Rogue Dead Guy Ale, Shakespear Stout and Sierra Neveda's 2005 Big Foot there, though they're rather expensive. If only foreign beers are concerned, I think their selection is one of the best in London. All foreign beers are quite expensive, though.

The owners were pretty busy loading stuffs on my visit, near their closing time, but still had time for my endless questions. I even learned that if in London and not too distant from the Market, they even do free home delivery for a crate of 24 beers for the price of 20!!!! I'd certainly make the most of this fantastic service if only info. on their website and the beer list on it was updated more often, as I found so much more interesting beers upon my visit which are not listed on the web at all~~ The owner raised this point, too, and I suppose I'd rather go there more often in person to take the bother to hand-carry stuffs as well as enjoy window-shopping in this gourmet's paradise...

P.S. not marketing for this shop here, but it's opening hours follow that of the whole market, 12-18 Thursdays,10-18 Fridays, and 9-16 Saturdays, if any BA plans to visit there without better source of info. (1,895 characters)

Utobeer Borough Market in London, United Kingdom (England)
93 out of 100 based on 25 ratings.