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We all love a beer, don’t we? No matter if it’s hot and sunny outside and you’re searching for a pub with a lovely beer garden, or if it’s blowing a wintery gale out on the London streets and you want to get warm in a cosy London pub, there’ll be a pub serving the beer you crave: British ales, Irish stouts, Dutch lagers, Belgian trappist beers, German wheat beers, Czech pilsners, Spanish cerveza, American blonde beers, whatever your choice of beer, it’s all there to discover in London. There are those London pubs, however, that stand head and shoulders above the rest, serving up a multitude of beers and ales that aren’t restricted to the usual Stella and London Pride options. In this guide we celebrate those glorious beer pubs of London; those beer pubs that strive to bring London what it deserves: a totally refreshing and often unusual pint. Here then are the best pubs in London for opening the door to the pleasurable world of beer.
The Craft Beer Co.
Clerkenwell / Bar / Cuisine: Bar
Clerkenwell - Online guide to beer adoration, Ratebeer, placed this beer pub 4th in the best beer venues in the world list, even though it only opened in the summer of 2011. Tempting? How about some stats? 16 cask ales from the UK's best independent micro breweries - the UK's biggest selection of craft keg beer - and an insane 300+ bottled beers; all sourced in small batches from hand craft beer companies. Recommended beer: the house lager made exclusively by Danish brewery Mikkeller.
Camden / Bar / Cuisine: Pizza
Euston - Much like The Rake in Borough Market, this excellent beer pub is a fine example of how to utilise what little space you have to full effect. This tiny cube of a building at the gate of Euston Station has standing room downstairs for all those who are waiting on a train, seating upstairs (popular with local students), plus 8 rotating cask ales, 20 keg beers, 150 bottled beers, a heated beer garden, and excellent transport links. Recommended beer: the local Camden Bitter.
Borough & Southwark / Bar /
London Bridge - This diminutive beer-lovers' bar behind Borough Market is an erstwhile Time Out 'Best Bar of the Year' winner boasting a whopping 130 beers; seven of which are keg pumps, plus three cask ale handpulls. You'll always find beers in stock that are brewed in their country of origin (not brewed under license in the UK), and there's always a beer festival just around the corner (of the calendar). Recommended beer: the Arrogant Bastard from Stone Brew Co., California, just for the name.
The Draft House Tower Bridge
City of London / Bar / Cuisine: Burgers
Tower Bridge - 27 beers on tap, including local beers like Meantime & Wandle, plus half a dozen specials and around 100 bottled beers from across the world. You can even find God there too. This will be the perfect beer pub to visit after that stroll along the South Bank you've always been threatening to do. As soon as you get to Tower Bridge, you've reached your destination. Recommended beer: Belgian Pilsner brewed by the Draft House itself.
The White Horse
Fulham / Bar / Cuisine: Modern British
Parson's Green - Probably the best pub in west London for beer lovers. You know a pub must love its beer if it has its own beer club. 135 worldly bottled beers, up to 8 cask ales, and 4 regular beer festivals: the local beer festival in May; the American Beer Festival for Independence Day; a Belgian Beer Festival in August; plus November's Old Ale Festival. There's even courses in beer and food pairing if you're keen on edification. Recommended beer: the refreshing Rooster's Yankee.
City of London / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: German
Tower Hill - This underground beer hall has 7 German beers on tap, all served in huge Stein glasses by charming waitresses wearing traditional Bavarian dirndl dresses and waiters in Lederhosen. It's all table service no queue time at the bar, plus, if you visit on a Monday or Tuesday, you could take part in "Schnitzel Madness"! Also boasts the 'longest Oktoberfest in the World'. Ouch! Recommended beer: the Erdinger Hefe Dunkel Weißbier. Two steins of that stuff and you'll believe you're German.
Shepherds Bush / Bar / Cuisine: Bar
BrewDog Shepherd's Bush is a beer lovers paradise. It is the third BrewDog bar in London; a marked success in the short history of what was previously just a simple Scottish brewery. The bar boasts 40 draught taps but BrewDog not only showcases its own core range and limited edition beers, but also around 20 guest draught beers from breweries all over the world, including Mikkeller, Kernal, Magic Rock, Beavertown, Buxton, and Green Flash. The maverick attitude of BrewDog extends to the industrial decor too. A great stop off point for anyone going to see live music at the Shepherd's Bush Empire or anyone who is shopping at the Westfield Shopping Mall.
Blackheath & Eltham / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Modern European
Take a pilgrimage out to the large green space of Blackheath and you shall be rewarded not only by quaint village aesthetics but a bar and restaurant that brew its own beers onsite. Ask to take a quick around the brewery to understand the process then settle at the bar or on the outdoor terrace for a cheap pint of the superb pale ale. Then, move on to the black lager, the wheat ale or even the mango ale. A huge range of pizza will keep your hunger pains under control too.
Long Arm Pub & Brewery
City of London / Bar / Cuisine: Pub
Long Arm Pub & Brewery well and truly raises the brewing bar, producing the freshest tasting beer in London from grain to glass. Tank Fresh beer takes pride of place - unfiltered, unfinned and unadultered - and all sustainably produced, sold and consumed under one roof. Alongside classic Long Arm beers Birdie Flipper, IPA OK, Lucky Penny & Shadow Wolf, the pub also features ever-changing bespoke brews dabbling in rebellious flavours. No two visits to this bar near Moorgate are ever the same. Download
The Crown & Anchor
Brixton / Bar / Cuisine: Gastro
We challenge anyone who thinks they have a cast iron fortitude for proper drinking sessions to attempt a half pint, or even a third pint, of every beer along the bar. You will not make it to the end alive! A rich diversity in flavour and unusual names, the beers here cater for every taste. And it shows because this is not merely a hirsute, burly man's domain, as many of London's beer hideouts can be. In fact there is many a fair maiden supping away at a number of delicious beers here. An all-round top class south London boozer.
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