Any beer lover will appreciate a good quality pint of liquid gold from one of London’s best craft beer bars. It’s no mission finding refreshing, hoppy craft beer in the city (it’s everywhere nowadays) - but if you want the best of the best in brews we’re here to help. With the weather warming up, here’s our roundup of the very best craft beer bars and breweries to sit back, relax and enjoy a cold one in the British capital. A sip of hoppiness awaits.
In no particular order…
CRAFT BEER CO
233 Old St, London, EC1V 9HE
When strolling around Old Street in the hip area of Shoreditch, it will be hard to miss the eye-popping red exterior of Craft Beer Co. Just as the name states, Craft Beer Co specialises in craft beer only - with one of the largest craft beer selections you’ll find in London. This place is fairly new on the craft beer scene, set up by two friends in 2011 with their first Craft Beer Co set up in Clerkenwell (it’s still there today). Today, the small London chain has expanded with 7 branches dotted around London - but the Shoreditch bar is our favourite flaunting a clean, fresh look inside.
With 25 keg lines, 8 cask pumps and a stock of over 200 bottles and cans from around the world there’s a reason Craft Beer Co appears on every Best Craft Beer list. Whether you’re after an IPA, pale ale, pilsner or even alcohol free beer, this is the place for you hop heads. Craft Beer Co also serves up killer pork pies and pizza to line your stomach!
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23 Exmouth Market, Clerkenwell, London EC1R 4QL
Something more traditionally British is this charming Victorian pub in Exmouth Market that has become somewhat of a legend for locals. With a massive beer offering paired with delicious English pub grub in a cosy setting, it’s no wonder this haunt is buzzing each and every day. The beer menu is absolutely huge so you’re spoilt for choice on what to choose. With an ever-changing selection of cask beers from the UK, just ask the knowledgeable bartenders to talk you through the day’s selection.
On a hot day, the benches outside lend themselves well for a relaxing drink with friends in the fresh air. The menu boasts a wide variety of draughts, Belgian beers, bottled beers, IPA’s, spiced beers and bombers from around the world. This joint is just a 10 minute walk from Farringdon station.
190 Euston Rd, Kings Cross, London NW1 2EF
The Euston Tap fast made a name for itself on London’s craft beer scene with its specialist unique beers and mysterious concept. From the outside, the Euston Tap looks rather odd and small. Like no other pub or bar you’ve seen, it’s build inside a Victorian Railway Gatehouse from the 1870s. But step inside the unusual building and you’ll be pleased to find pumps of endless beer offering 25 keg beers and 16 fresh cask beers on tap.
Other than the beer, the beer garden looking over the peaceful green is the next best thing about this place. Close to King’s Cross Station, this is the perfect pint pitstop.
Borough Market, 14A Winchester Walk, London
If you ever find yourself wandering around Borough Market looking for a place to stop for a cold one, make your way over to the bright blue building on the other side of the road. The Rake is only little (some people say it’s the smallest pub in London), but the selection of beer definitely isn’t. Take your pick from their wonderful wealth of beer, many will be familiar but they always include a few peculiar sounding ones, too. Plus the Rake NEVER includes beer if it’s not brewed in the country of origin. One of them comes all the way over from Tasmania!
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CASK PUB AND KITCHEN
6 Charlwood St, Lillington and Longmoore Gardens, London
Just a quick walk down the road from Pimlico tube station you’ll come across Cask Pub and Kitchen. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but don’t be fooled as it’s practically flooded with beer, beer, burgers and more beer. 10 cask ales, 15 keg lines plus over 300 bottles are loaded into this place so it’s no wonder why it made its name amongst London’s biggest beer enthusiasts.
Go on a Sunday for a weekly dose of awesome live music and soak up your chosen golden beverage with a hearty roast or a gourmet burger. Perfection.
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OLD RED COW
71 Long Ln, London EC1A 9EJ
A local English beer house close to Barbican that won’t let you down for the finest craft beer. Old Red Cow has been pouring pints for customers since before Victorian times (under different names), so its had its fair share of love from Brits over the years. If you’re looking for beer that’s really well made in a variety of flavours, Old Red Cow has you covered.
Famous for its hoppy ales and interesting flavours such as toffee, bitter chocolate or berry you’re in for a fun tasting experience. The grub here is also amazing, the hearty Sunday Roasts in particular, that have received plenty of praise from London writers.
47 Chandos Pl, London
If you’re after a real British pub experience, it doesn’t get more traditional than the Harp in Covent Garden. Look out for people flooding out of the stained glass-covered entrance around the corner from Trafalgar Square and you’re there. Don’t be put off if the place is packed out, as the atmosphere adds to the true British charm of this old-school watering hole (plus there’s another floor you could squeeze into).
Check out the wall above the bar - it’s overflowing with hundreds of coasters and badges from a whole range of boozy brands, showing off almost how many they have stashed behind the bar!
9-10 Jerusalem Passage, Clerkenwell, London EC1V 4JP
Trappist beer fans should make The Dovetail their first port of call for a drink when in trendy Clerkenwell. Located on Jerusalem Passage near Farringdon tube station, this Belgian beer bar will make you feel like you’re in Antwerp. While the inside may be small, the Belgian beer menu here is stand-out. There are 100 bottled beers on the menu to choose from including Trappist, fruit , amber and saison and more, leaving beer fans depart with a smile on their face and newfound favourite beer.
While you’re here be sure to enjoy some of the classic Belgian food on the menu. Think croquettes, mussels, fish stew and gourmet burgers. We also recommend trying one of the Belgian beer tasting sessions for the full Belgian experience.
113 Bayham St, Camden Town, London
You might have spotted this cool, craft beer chain in a few places around London, but the bar’s London flagship in Camden has got to be our number one. Covering 2 floors, Brewdog doesn’t have the biggest choice on this list, however they’ve earned their points by being the only one to brew and bottle all their IPAs, stouts, lagers and pilsners up in Scotland by their own Brewdog team (aside from their selection of guest drafts that get switched up regularly).
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