London's best craft beer bars and pubs

The watering holes with the best selection of US-style craft beers from breweries both near and far

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Craft beer – interesting, progressive beers made by small-scale breweries, and distinct from real ale – is often explosively hoppy and quite unlike traditional British beer. An increasing number of London bars and pubs are specialising 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.

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Craft beer in central London

Cask

  • Rated as: 3/5

The Cask claims to stock Britain's biggest selection of bottled beer – a staggering 400, in fact – and it's no slouch on the draught front either, with ten cask and 15 keg options. As well as some of the best brews from Germany, Holland and Belgium, you'll find many rare beers from the USA. To eat, there are Forty Burgers, and roasts on Sundays.

  1. 6 Charlwood St, SW1V 6EE
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Craft Beer Company

  • Rated as: 3/5

A whopping 37 beers are served on draught here, and the 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 are branches in Brixton, Clapham and Islington.

  1. 82 Leather Lane, EC1N 7TR
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Draft House

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 1/4

Eclectic beers and pub-style food are clearly proving a good formula for the Draft House mini-chain – currently, it has five branches. Smaller than its older siblings, this pub is more about supping pints (or thirds of pints if you want to vary your drinking) than sitting down to a relaxed meal. Among ten or so fine draught brews you'll find the likes of Camden Pale Ale and Sambrook's Wandle, as well as around 20 bottled beers, including Schneider Weisse, Thornbridge Wild Swan and powerful Duvel Tripel Hop. The other branches are in the City, behind London Bridge, on Northcote Road and near Battersea Park.

  1. 43 Goodge St, W1T 1TA
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Euston Tap

  • Rated as: 4/5

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. The constantly changing selection is an international one, taking in Rogue (Oregon), Nogne O (Denmark) and Magic Rock (Huddersfield).

 

  1. West Lodge, 190 Euston Rd, NW1 2EF
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Holborn Whippet

  • Rated as: 3/5

This place has a cracking beer selection and an unusual one, in that it's draught only, no bottles. You'll find a constantly rotating selection of around 16 beers and ciders, from such breweries as Kernel, Siren and Redwell from the UK, and Konig, Rothaus and Bitburger from Germany.

  1. Sicilian Ave, WC1A 2QH
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Old Red Cow

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4

This historic Smithfield pub offers a regularly changing selection of craft beers and real ales; London faves Kernel and Redchurch are well represented, and there are also brews from Belgium, Germany and Scotland (the fabulous devil-black porter, Ola Dubh). There's a carefully curated, if small, selection of bottled beer too, and great Sunday roasts.

  1. 71 Long Lane, EC1A 9EJ
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  3. South
  4. East
  5. West

Users say

5 comments
Crafti Beet
Crafti Beet

Agree, surprised The Rake isn't on the list

Honky Tonk
Honky Tonk

LONDON'S FIRST EVER BEER TROLLEY TAKEOVER! Brand new venue Honky Tonk Clapham will host a trolley takeover with London’s first ever beer trolley on 21st November. The Trolley Takeover will be a craft beer and food matching master class, where the experts will come in and hi-jack the Honky Tonk Beer Trolley. Top beer sommelier, Phil Harding will host the evening, matching five different craft beers to a delicious five course-tasting menu of Honky Tonk classic dishes including the crab cakes with Fordham Wisteria Wheat, the Honky Tonk burger with Fordham Copperhead - Brooklyn Lager and glazed ribs with Fordham Ramshead. So if you think you know your malty brews to your fruity fusions come down to Honky Tonk Clapham and prove it. Trolley Takeover 21st November 7pm - 2am Tickets Available from: https://trolleytakeover.eventbrite.co.uk/

Honky Tonk
Honky Tonk

LONDON'S FIRST EVER BEER TROLLEY TAKEOVER! Brand new venue Honky Tonk Clapham will host a trolley takeover with London’s first ever beer trolley on 21st November. The Trolley Takeover will be a craft beer and food matching master class, where the experts will come in and hi-jack the Honky Tonk Beer Trolley. Top beer sommelier, Phil Harding will host the evening, matching five different craft beers to a delicious five course-tasting menu of Honky Tonk classic dishes including the crab cakes with Fordham Wisteria Wheat, the Honky Tonk burger with Fordham Copperhead - Brooklyn Lager and glazed ribs with Fordham Ramshead. So if you think you know your malty brews to your fruity fusions come down to Honky Tonk Clapham and prove it. Trolley Takeover 21st November 7pm - 2am Tickets Available from: https://trolleytakeover.eventbrite.co.uk/

Allison
Allison

Beer Mutiny: British Craft Beer Festival Wednesday 19th June - Sunday 23rd June Arch 402, 37 Cremer Street, London, E2 8HD http://www.TheCraftBeerSocialClub.co.uk Beer Mutiny is the only beer festival that fights the establishment – no more dull beer, we say! Taste a fantastic range of beers from ALL OVER the UK. Shatter the perception that UK Beer is boring, and be proud to drink British! All sessions include a selection of over 30 beers to choose from. Plus! An introduction to the science behind how we taste! You'll learn some fascinating facts about how you experience flavour and how you can improve your palate! Tickets: £15 per person for ten beers £20 per person for ten beers plus snacks http://www.TheCraftBeerSocialClub.co.uk

Michelle
Michelle

I'm surprised that The Rake near Borough Market isn't on the list!