The Best Real Ale Pubs
It's official: real ale is booming and sales are on the rise as a whole new audience including twenty-and-thirtysomethings get in on one of the UK's most dynamic industries. Not only do we have a wealth of top-class breweries in the capital - SamBrook's, Redemption, Brodies, Fuller's et al - but we also have some of the best pubs and bars in the world. Check out which boozers we consider to be the very best real ale pubs in our handy guide. Cheers!
Craft Beer Co
82 Leather Lane, Farringdon, London, EC1N 7TR
When this unbeatable showcase of real ale opened up close to the View London office, the editorial team praised the beer gods for being so generous and headed straight down to work our way through the pumps. Several visits later, it's still one of our favourite after work spots for pints courtesy of Kent Brewery, Fyne, Dark Star and many, many more. There are 16 ale pumps plus rare keg selections and numerous more Trappist and global beers in bottles. Beer nirvana.
Our rating
*****
User rating
***--
1 review
Harp
47 Chandos Place, Covent Garden, London, WC2N 4HS
The Harp was the first pub in the capital to be awarded the coveted title of CAMRA UK Pub of the Year. This is the first time in 23 years that a London pub has been recognised by Britain’s most discerning beer drinkers – the 105,000 members of the Campaign For Real Ale. Eight hand pumps offer a changing variety but there are always two each from celebrated micros, Sambrook’s of Battersea and Sussex’s Dark Star.
Our rating
*****
User rating
****-
6 reviews
Bree Louise
69 Cobourg Street, Euston, London, NW1 2HH
An old favourite for real ale afficonados and visitors to the capital (it's close to Euston station), the Bree Louise offers an ever-changing kaleidoscope of real ales. Redemption and Sambrook’s regularly feature. Joining them are award-winning producers like Dark Star, Downton, Hog’s Back and Oakham.
Our rating
****-
User rating
*****
2 reviews
The Swan
46 Hammersmith Broadway, Hammersmith, London, W6 0DZ
Good pubs by tube stations are a rare thing, but here's one: The Swan in Hammersmith. Apart from the fact that we're slightly swayed by the fact that the uncle of View London's editor had his wedding reception in the upstairs room back in the 60s, there are now up to ten rotating ales on offer at this Nicholson's pub. A favourite place to meet on a Friday after work, the guest brews from Thornbridge are particularly of note, including the utterly delicious tropical-tasting Kipling Pale Ale.
Our rating
****-
User rating
****-
1 review
Cask
6 Charlwood Street, Pimlico, London, SW1V 2EE
Before the arrival of the Craft Beer Co, the same people came up with this pub in Pimlico. Ten pumps dispense ale from some of the UK's leading (and not so well-known) microbreweries, and regularly include BrewDog, St Austell and Marble from Manchester. American, Belgium and German beer is also available in their most excellent bottled range.
Our rating
*****
User rating
*****
2 reviews
Draft House Northcote
94 Northcote Road, Clapham, London, SW11 6QW
Thanks to his innovative - and oft imitated - Draft House concept, owner Charlie McVeigh has made quite a name for himself in beer circles. One of the first bars in the capital to serve beer in 1/3 pint glasses allowing punters to sample small amounts of different beers in one sitting, the Draft House has up to 16 ales on rotation at any one time and now has three different sites (all of which could have made it onto the best real ale pubs list) including this one in Clapham.
Our rating
****-
The Southampton Arms
139 Highgate Road, Kentish Town, London, NW5 1LE
An updated version of the trad ale house, The Southampton Arms in Kentish Town always has at least seven rotating ales on tap, from the likes of Dark Star, BrewDog and a number of London-based outfits like Brodie’s and Camden Town. Cider is big here too.
Our rating
*****
User rating
****-
2 reviews
The White Horse
1-3 Parsons Green, Fulham, London, SW6 4UL
Regularly the host of beer festivals and events, including celebrations of American and Belgium beer, this pretty pub on Parson's Green also has 6-8 cask options on the go. Alongside Harvey's and Adnams you can find more obscure tipples from the likes of Burnley's Moorhouse. Supplementing this are a range of speciality beers in bottles like the Little Creatures Pale Ale from Western Australia.
Our rating
*****
User rating
***--
18 reviews
King William IV
816 High Road, Leyton, London, E10 6AE
As it's attached to the Brodie's brewery, Brodie’s real ale is the centrepiece of the King William IV - and it pulls in the punters in great numbers. 14 are normally available on draught during the week and this becomes 20 at weekends. Pints start from as little as £1.99, so it's no wonder people travel from far and wide to sample some of the capital's finest homegrown beers.
Our rating
*****
Royal Oak
44 Tabard Street, London, SE1 4JU
Classic dry English cask bitter Harvey’s Sussex Best is now relatively common in London but you’ll struggle to find a better pint of it than at the Royal Oak, where it shares the stage with a wide range of other beers from the same brewer rarely seen outside their East Sussex heartland. It’s also one of the closest-to-perfect traditional pubs in the capital.
Our rating
*****
User rating
****-
4 reviews
Well and Bucket
143 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch, London, E2 7DG
This Bethnal Green boozer takes a modern approach to London pub culture but keeps all the great elements of a Great British watering hole: namely, real ale. The Well and Bucket serves plenty of cask conditioned ales on rotation alongside draught lagers and craft beers by the bottle.
Our rating
*****
User rating
*****
1 review

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