Kris Wines is the most dangerous place in London. From the outside it might look like any old off-license. But as you walk up to the window you notice the vast collection of sun bleached beer bottles on display and you start to realise that something delicious and wicked lurks inside. Once through the door you might still think that you’re just in a normal beer-can-chocolate-bar-red-bull peddling establishment. But only for a couple of seconds. Because as your eyes adjust to the dim lighting and you gaze towards the back of the shop you realise you’re in the shit. Your wallet lets out a quiet scream as your brain get to terms with what is most likely the best collection of craft beer on offer in all of London. If you’re a beer geek there’s no way you’re leaving this place without spending a quite substantial amount of money.

Kris Wines

Mr Kris himself is an extremely friendly fellow and will happily geek out and talk about beer for as long as you desire. Although he also carries wines and spirits his shop is literally stacked to the rafters with beer. Like most beer geeks I’ve spoken to his obsession started with Belgian beers, back in 2001, and he’s gradually grown his collection to be an impressive library of the very best the world of beer has to offer. Let me just take a moment here to recite some names that might make you get slightly aroused:

Rogue Ales, Ale Smith, Hoppin’ Frog, Clown Shoes, Cigar City, Stone Brewing Co, De Molen, Mikkeller, Evil Twin, Nøgne Ø, To Øl, Beer Here, 8Wired, Southern Tier.

And that’s just the dusting of snow on top of the proverbial iceberg. No wonder people come from near and far to shop here. This little shop, located at the very top of York Way, is the Mecca of many beer fanatics visiting London. Although it started out as a family business, and a normal run-of-the-mill off license, it now mainly attracts beer thirsty customers from far away. Kris tells me that only around 5% of his customers are locals. The fact that he has a pretty amazing rating on RateBeer might explain why so many foreigners find their way up there.

I, for one, am grateful that aficionados like Kris decides to make the world of craft beer available to the public. And although my wallet throbs and aches every time I think about heading up there, I salute Kris Wines from the bottom of my beer soaked heart.

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