Craft beer gained a solid foothold in bars across The States nearly two decades ago. This brash, in-your-face style of brews was a bold response to traditional (but staid) European ales and lackluster macrobrew American lagers.
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The movement has only recently jumped the pond to find popularity in cities across Europe. Not surprisingly, London was among the first to embrace it. Here, we present four top-notch, can’t-miss craft beer bars in England’s most well-traveled city. Bottoms up!
#1: BrewDog, Camden
Their website delivers a straightforward message about their purist love of beer:
As well as showcasing BrewDog beers, our craft beer bars are libraries of beery masterpieces from the likes of BrewDog, Stone, Mikkeller, Struise, Alesmith and many more.
No Carling. No Tennents. No shots. No bullshit – just good honest beer.
The Scottish craft-brewery’s primary outpost in London is just a quick stumble from the Camden tube station. It’s a convenient and near-perfect foray into a world of beer obsession. Barstaff here are more than capable of educating patrons on the difference between ales, lagers, and everything in between.
Perhaps (not at all) surprisingly, you’ll find nary an offering from any of the British beer producers here. A not-so-subtle jab from this never subtle Scottish brewery.
Since 2009, CASK has unabashedly taken credit as “the first UK pub to bring together the best real ales from Great Britain with the best beers in keg and bottle from around the world.” Whether that’s true or not is up to you.
Regardless, what stands today is a rather unassuming beer-centric restaurant with plenty to offer on the inside. The beer menu offers both readily available and exclusive bottled and draft varieties from around the world (including Germany, Belgium, Italy, and The States to name a few). Bonus: all of the beers are available to take away and enjoy at home.
Opened in 2011, Craft Beer Co was among the pioneers of London’s up-and-coming craft beer movement. With more than 40 beers on tap and 150 bottled offerings, it fully embraces a large variety of specialty brews from around the world. Beer lovers can try their own “Around the World in 80(-ish) Brews” tour from Japan, South Africa, the US, Scandinavia, and more.
Since 2006, this tiny bar on Winchester Walk has been pushing the world’s finest craft beers to Londoners. The rapidly changing selection of 10 taps and more than 130 bottles is almost dizzying. On busy days, the party spills out onto the outdoor area to relax amid open-air patio seating.
Bonus: the bar is linked to the Utobeer store in nearby Borough Market. On occasion, lucky patrons have been known to enjoy its unsold, but top quality edible treats.