American-style craft beers are becoming hugely popular in London. Here's the best places to drink them
Craft beer – interesting, progressive beers made by small-scale microbreweries, and distinct from real ale – is often explosively hoppy and quite unlike traditional British beer. There's an increasing number of London bars and pubs that specialise in them: here's our pick.
Do you have a favourite bar that serves brilliant craft beer? Let us know about it – leave a comment below.
There's a bias towards US beers at this refurbed historic pub in Highgate – look out for examples from Odell, Left Hand Brewing Co and Goose Island. There's quality on draught too, with five real ales (from the likes of Tottenham's Redemption) and ten kegs. The pub also brews its own beers.
Rating: 3/555-59 Wilkin Street Mews, London, NW5 3NN
When its issue began gushing forth in 2010, the Camden Town Brewery became the third biggest beer producer in London by volume, behind Fuller's (No1) and Meantime (No2). Camden Town's marketing is clever, the labels are smart - and the beer is fantastic.
True to its name, the Draft House puts beer centre stage, taking provenance, cellaring and pouring seriously. The brews are indeed impressive, and the option of one-third pint measures reinforces the spirit of discovery. There are other branches in Battersea, Tower Bridge, East Dulwich and Fitzrovia.
The Cask claims to stock Britain's biggest selection of bottled beer, and it's no slouch on the draught front either. As well as some of the best brews from Germany, Holland and Belgium, you'll find many rare beers from the USA too.
A whopping 37 beers are served on draught here, and owners work directly with microbreweries to snag some rare and unusual tipples. The USA and Belgium are well represented in the selection of bottles. Look out for exclusive imported beers you won't see anywhere else in London. There is a second branch in Brixton.
Not quite a stone's throw from the Olympic Park, perhaps more of a decent javelin pitch away, is this cool new pizzeria and microbrewery. Draught beers include Crate Golden, an IPA. Truman's Runner was also available, and other bottles ranged from the local (Kernel) to the international (Goose Island) and even the ironic (Pabst Blue Ribbon).
At this Brixton pub, run by the same people as the Jolly Butcher in Stoke Newington, there are seven real ales from cask, and 14 keg beers and ciders. The breweries you'll see represented regularly are Redemption, Dark Star, Magic Rock, Camden Town, Brewdog, Brooklyn and Kernel; bottles take a worldier approach and include a fair few Belgians.
What better way to drink beer than surrounded by the gleaming copper tanks in which it was made? A brand new set of brewing equipment takes pride of place in the Lamb Brewery, formerly the Barley Mow off Turnham Green. From the vats comes around eight varieties, including a hefeweizen wheat beer, a Belgian-style gueuze and an American pale ale (which isn't American or pale, but succeeds nonetheless).
This Dalston pub has Hackney's Beavertown brews behind the bar along with British bottle from Kernel, Meantime, Beaumonts and Harviestoun. The US is represented by Flying Dog amongst others and there are ten or so more from further afield.
Less than a year ago I reviewed this pub, a pleasantly refurbed spot among Georgian townhouses away from the rabble of Upper Street. Already, it's under new ownership, spruced up yet again - and has become even more appealing.
Far more than a pre- or post-train pint stop, the Tap has eight beers on cask, 20 by the keg and a further 150 in bottle. Bristol's delicious Chocolate Stout and Camden Town's take on an English bitter (brewed nearby) are the sort of thing you'll see on tap.
There are brews from Kernel and Bristol Beer Factory, a good few Belgians, and from the US, Goose Island and the fabulous Odell at this Dalston hang-out. And on the eight draught pumps is a rotating selection from brewers such as Scottish Hillfoots' Harviestoun and the rarely bettered Thornbridge in Bakewell. Along with Dark Star (also represented) they create some of the most exciting British cask ale around.
This place has a cracking beer selection, and unusual as they only sell draught. Sixteen beers and ciders on constant rotation are dispensed from a central column including the likes of Adnams, Bristol Beer Company, Dark Star and Williams Bros from the UK, and Konig, St Bernardus and Maisel from over the German Sea.
Rating: 3/5204 Stoke Newington High Street, London, N16 7HU
This no-nonsense Stokey boozer is known primarily for its real ales and ciders, but there is also solid representation on tap and in the fridges from local microbreweries like Kernel and Camden, and other progressive British producers like Thornbridge, Brewdog and Darkstar.