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25 Magnificent Places To Drink Craft Beer In London

They're opening up all over the place.

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1. London Fields, Hackney

Flickr: matt_gibson

There’s a craft beer renaissance brewing round this way, and London Fields Brewery, at a whole three years old, is one of the originals. They fly their hops in from as far afield as New Zealand and the Tap Room housed in some railway arches is a convivial spot to sup.

Drink: The Hackney Hopster, a lovely 4.2% Pacific Pale Ale.

2. Euston Tap, Euston

Flickr: grimnorth

Housed in a miniscule Victorian gatehouse in the previously barren area outside Euston station, the Tap is a cornucopia of fridges, kegs and casks. It’s shoulder to shoulder drinking unless you escape outside, but a lot more interesting for a pre-train pint than the local ‘Spoons.

Drink: A Brewdog or a Kernel from the 150 bottled choices in the fridge.

4. The Fox Craft Beer House, Dalston

Flickr: 55935853@N00 / Creative Commons

This one has a beer vending machine. Plus 22 draught pumps, nearly 200 bottled beers, and a range of stodgy food to soak it up. Gets rammed on weekends but worth a visit.

Drink: Mikkeller Beer Hop Breakfast, promising a bitter coffee and chocolate stout finish is as pricey (£6.90) as it is strong (7.5%) but will put a fire in your belly.


5. Old Brewery, Greenwich

Flickr: greenwichwhs

Meantime was founded way before London’s current craft beer renaissance, back in 1999, and the Old Brewery’s beer making legacy, in the grounds of the Royal Naval College, dates back hundreds of years. Nowadays the bar offers Meantime classics alongside British and Belgian highlights.

Drink: Meantime Coffee Porter or Meantime Yakima Red would be good places to start.

6. The Draft House, Battersea

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Another mini chain, and one of a number of pubs now offering third pint portions, the Draft House is a great spot for experimentation. Other outposts in City, London Bridge, Northcote Road and Tower Hill offer the same enthusiastic education.

Drink: If you’ve never had a Beavertown Gamma Ray, perhaps this is your time.

7. The Old Coffee House, Soho

Flickr: kake_pugh / Creative Commons

It’s literally impossible to walk through Soho at 5pm without giving up previous plans and diving into a pub – the area has a magnetic pull. A lot of them offer the same beers in the same Victorian interiors, but The Old Coffee House is different. Run by Leyton brewers Brodies, it eschews Fosters junk for an interesting selection that includes a bacon beer.

Drink: The Hoxton Special IPA is the fruity taste of summer.

8. Old Red Cow, Smithfield

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Whether you like your beer pale or dark, fruity or wheaty, British or Belgian, the Old Red Cow should be able to procure something suitable.

Drink: Go for a Redchurch and a scotch egg and take it from there.


9. Camden Town Brewery Bar

Flickr: quitepeculiar

You’ll probably get through a few Camden Town beers during this epic crawl, but it’s worth nipping to the source. Under the de rigeur railway arches and offering tours on Thursdays, the bar is a friendly place to talk beer until kicking out time.

Drink: There’s something brilliantly perverse about drinking Gentleman’s Wit until yours have left the building.

10. Duke’s Brew & Que, De Beauvoir


While there are plenty of London brews on tap, including the house Beavertown which is named after the historic nickname for this part of London, it’s probably best to hunker down to their huge BBQ platters with something American like Flying Dog or Bear Republic.

Drink: Bear Republic’s Red Rocket is a malty treat straight from California.

12. The Jolly Butchers, Stoke Newington

Flickr: quitepeculiar

A real ale as much as a craft beer place, the Butchers focus on produce from London and the South East. Taps and fridges overflow with choice and they favour proper glass beer mugs too.

Drink: You can’t got wrong with something from the East London Brewing Company. If their Jamboree is on, the summer starts here.


13. The Well & Bucket, Whitechapel

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This place near the top of Brick Lane languished empty for some time but is now heaving with locals working their way through oysters and porters, spending with enough abandon to live up to Dickens’ observation that “poverty and oysters always seem to go together”.

Drink: Mine's a Crate Golden Ale.

14. Holborn Whippet

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This one keeps it simple: beer from the brick. A series of taps protruding from a central wall dispense a rotating selection of 15+ beers to thirsty Holbornites. It gets busy, especially on the narrow stairs to the sweaty basement, but there’s ample room outside.

Drink: The drinks change regularly but 3% pints of Redemption Trinity were great during our last visit.

15. Crown & Anchor, Stockwell

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Camra-nominated within a year of opening, this south London boozer behind the Jolly Butchers team serves seven ales from the cask and 14 from the keg.

Drink: Settle in for the night and work your way through regulars Dark Star, Redemption, Camden Town, Brew Dog, Kernel and Five Points.

16. The White Horse, Parsons Green

Flickr: brostad / Creative Commons

Offering hundreds of beers from around the world, including innumerable craft beer surprises, and a great American beer festival around Independence Day, this place does it properly.

Drink: Goose Island IPA or Snake Dog IPA for a taste of Chicago’s or Maryland’s finest.


17. Powder Keg Diplomacy, Clapham

Flickr: kake_pugh / Creative Commons

Aiming to support the 40-odd independent brewers across London, Powder Keg Diplomacy focus on local beers, while their Lost Brewing arm collaborates with producers to exhume long dead recipes.

Drink: Ask the staff for the guest brew.

19. The Rake, London Bridge

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A tiny pub with an epic selection, The Rake packs 130 beers into the fridges behind the bar. You might have to navigate a fair few suits to get to the front but it’s worth it.

Drink: Go for a lucky dip; everything changes too often.

20. The Exmouth Arms, Clerkenwell

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The green brick exterior might be a hangover from its time as a Courage pub, but inside it’s a different story. All the usual suspects, from London Fields to Mikkeller, are here, and the staff know what they’re talking about too.

Drink: Thornbridge Bracia, a 10% honey beer, will get the evening going.


22. Kernel, Bermondsey

Flickr: grimnorth

One of several breweries along Bermondsey’s “beer mile”, which includes Partizan, Fourpure and Brew By Numbers, Kernel offer a range of beers “bottled alive”, from strong punchy brews like their Imperial Brown Stout at 10.2% to the much more benign, but still tasty, London Sour at 2.5%, via a number of excellent IPAs.

Drink: Anything really, but the Table Beer – which comes in at around 3.5% depending on the batch – is a great session drink for sunny afternoons.

24. The Lyric, Soho

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Another Victorian boozer tucked in the heart of Soho, the Lyric has revitalised its drinks selection and now offers the usual London suspects – Beavertown, Kernel, Camden Town - among Brighton’s Dark Star, Bristol’s Beer Factory and beyond.

Drink: Fourpure’s Amber Ale.