Red7 , March 7, 2014
The traditional boozer has been given a classy update. Gone are the days when real cask ale was associated with hiking boots, notebooks, and lager snobbery.
Beer has been brought sharply into the future by an army of hip, bright, young things with a passion for excellent beer and gourmet food who are determined to make craft beer exciting again. A wave of small, impeccably dressed drinking and eating establishments have swept the UK. Real ale is finally cool, and it’s taken it’s hoppier, rebellious American cousin, craft beer, along for the ride.
We’ve picked out some of London’s most brilliant real ale and craft beer pubs, perfect for getting to grips with the beer world’s exciting new flavours and refreshingly more relaxed approach to beer-loving.
Brewdog, Bethnal Green Road, London
Scotland’s Brewdog brewery was born in 2007 out of a frustration with the real ale world stuffiness, and has since grown into a multi-million pound business, committed to changing the craft beer game. The Shoreditch Brewdog bar is a proud and brazen flyer of the craft beer flag, always lively and showcasing the latest in innovative brews. Drinkers can feast on the sizzling Texan barbecue menu, or venture downstairs to Underdog, the New Orleans-inspired speakeasy serving up beer cocktails.
Craft Beer Company, Leather Lane, London
London’s Craft Beer Company is on the money, offering an array of craft beers from around the world, such as microbrewery cask ales, and small batch kegs. It’s like a never-ending beer festival featuring more than 400 varieties of bottled craft ales. Don’t worry, The Craft Beer Company provides an extensive menu, which the staff are more than happy to guide customers through.
Cask, Charlwood Street, London
Cask Pub and Kitchen is spearheading the campaign for new craft beer drinkers, and boasts the largest collection of cask, keg and bottled craft beers in the UK. The firm says that, like wine, every beer can be paired up with food, but at Cask, every craft beer goes with the burgers. Forty Burgers are in residence in the kitchen, serving up succulent aged Aberdeen rib and rump patties. Try one with the parmesan and truffle oil chips.
Crate Brewery, White Building, Queen’s Yard, Hackney
Crate Brewery and Pizzeria pleads most guilty when it comes to applying East London hipster attitude to craft beer, but boy does it work. The in-house brewery resides in a canal side former print factory in Hackney Wick, attached to an incredibly stylish bar full of mismatched wooden benches and sunlight and earthy decor. Customers can try Crate’s own lager, Golden Ale, India Pale Ale, Best Bitter and Stout, as well as an array of guest craft beers from around the world. There is also a brewery tour on a Thursday evening, including plenty of beer samples and delicious stone baked pizza.
Rake, 14 Winchester Walk, London
Rake was created by the owners of Borough Market’s reputable craft beer stall, Utobeer, so the gourmet approach to beer is expected and perfectly executed. Living up to their motto, ‘No crap on tap,’ Rake serves a constantly changing menu of unusual beers from across the globe, which can be tasted in 1/3 pint glasses. Rake also holds a monthly craft beer festival.