You're never far from a decent pint in London. Craft beer bars abound and proper pubs are found on every other corner. But where do you go for a proper pint of cider? You don't need to trek all the way to the West Country in search of a flagon. There's a real cider revolution going on in London, with bars and pubs across the capital pulling proper pints.
From old boozers serving bag-in-box cider that'll put 'airs on yer chest to hip bars pouring easy-drinking perry, there are some brilliant pubs in London that serve craft cider - here's our pick of the bunch.
Saved from redevelopment into yet more luxury apartments via community petition, this East End boozer has been relaunched as a friendly local gastropub. It has a small but well-curated cider selection with faves like Suzie Wong's Cider by Ross-on-Wye or Silly Moo's unfiltered cider often found on the bar.
Howling Hops started its brewing journey here on Mare Street, and you’ll always find the top of the hops across its impressive selection of 24 lines. But it’s also a great spot for a pint of the craft apple stuff. The team know a thing or two – if you don't know your apples, they can guide you through.
This younger but bigger brother of Stoke Newington’s Jolly Butchers quickly gained acclaim for the eye-catching battalion of up to 25 taps behind the bar. True, many of these pour beer, but cider drinkers have plenty to mull over, too. Previous pints on offer have included East Lothian’s Thistly Cross, Herefordshire’s Celtic Marches and, of course, Devon Scrumpy.
A great boozer in its own right, The Green Man also boasts a hefty cider and perry selection. Here you'll find up to ten on draft, at least twice as many by the bottle and they even have their own ‘Green Man Special’ cider. And it’s not all dry farmyard-ey brews, there are a few fruity bottles lining the fridges.
This folksy pub conversion has a penchant for gin and cider. The bag-in-box collection of the latter changes every couple of days and is sourced from small-scale producers from far and wide. On tap, there’s Umbrella Brewing’s cider, and bottles include the classic apple-based crowd-pleasers.
Venue says The dark art of infusing spirits, sharing flagons, roasting & wiccan arts can be found in this British folklore inspired pub.
Fuller’s recently took over this cherished little bolthole near Trafalgar Square, but the Chiswick brewer sensibly hasn’t messed about with the Camra multi-award winner. Real cider from an impressive bunch of independent producers remains a real draw. Fridges are packed with a regularly changing batch of bag-in-box ciders and perries for you to sup.
The Bermondsey Beer Mile is also home to London’s first urban cidery, so get to grips with how apple gets to glass. Hit up the taproom to sample the in-house creation Urban Orchard or any of the other fruity bottled offerings. Keep an eye out for events too, like cidermaker talks and tap takeovers.
Venue says The Hawkes Cidery & Taproom is where get to celebrate everything we love about the incredible world of craft cider.
Since a 2009 refurb rescued it from abandonment, Howl has gained Camra plaudits for its local ales, while also attracting Hoxton’s hyper-hip. Bag-in-box is often on offer, but if not, hit up the keg alternative. Fun fact: Arctic Monkeys shot the video to ‘Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?’ here last year – wonder if they wet their whistle with scrumpy afterwards.
London’s craft beers and real ales get a good outing at the Jolly Butchers, which gained vim and vigour from a bare-boards-and-brick refurb a few years ago. The fruits of the orchard aren’t neglected, mind, with various flagons on offer including Thistly Cross, Orchard Pig and the easy-drinking, Hallets Perry.
The enthusiasts who run this friendly, hip bar source ciders directly from producers. The bag-in-box lines often change and could include Turners, Oliver's or Seacider – but whatever the brand, the pub tries to keep a variety of sweet, medium and dry brews on offer. Local craft beers and real ales are available too, and there’s a music venue upstairs.
London’s original and best cider house is a real treat at this time of year. Get settled for a session by the fire while you work your way through a range of nectars, which pair pretty damn well with the pub’s pork sarnie. Sourced from small-scale producers, you'll find lush pints of cider from the likes of Gwatkin, Gwynt Y Ddraig and Wilkins.