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Dean Swift

This classy, industrial chic boozer promises to stock a beer – be it bottled, cask or keg – to suit every taste. Local brewers are favoured. There’s also good pub grub and sporting events on big screens.

Sun-Thurs 12-12,
Fri-Sat 12pm-1am, £4
10 Gainsford Street, Shad Thames SE1 2NE
Tube | London Bridge; Bermondsey


Mason & Taylor

Soak up your craft beer or cask ale with an impressive selection of seasonal small-plate food.

If you can’t decide what to drink, order a taster flight and try six of the 12 brews on tap, choosing, if you’re brave, from the ‘Oddities’ section of the menu. The ground floor has a distinctly industrial vibe. Head down to the basement bar for some late-night drinking.

Mon-Thurs 5pm-12am, Fri 5pm-1am, Sat 12pm-1am
Sun 12-12, basement bar: Fri, Sat until 2am

51-55 Bethnal Green Road, E1 6LA, £4+
Tube | Shoreditch High St



Craft Beer Company

A mind-boggling selection of craft beer from all over the world awaits you in this friendly, unpretentious bar. Don’t lose your nerve at the dizzying array (16 cask ales, 300 bottled beers) – staff are primed to steer you to safety.

If you get really excited by the beer, join the pub’s Homebrew Club and learn to make your own. The Craft Beer Company’s new Brixton venue opens at the end of the month.

Mon-Fri 12pm-11pm, Sat 11-11, Sun 12pm-10.30pm
82 Leather Lane, EC1N 7TR
Tube | Barbican


The Jolly Butchers

Friendly local The Jolly Butchers has an ever-changing selection of real ales from breweries all over Britain, with a special focus on small outfits from London and the South East.

As far as ale-loving patrons are concerned, this stylish but simple Stokie pub is a hidden gem that’s definitely worth exploring.

Mon-Thurs 3pm-12am, Fri
4pm-1am, Sat 12pm-1am,
Sun 12pm-11pm, £4+
204 Stoke Newington High Street, N16 7HU
Station | Stoke Newington

The North Pole

This newcomer on the block boasts 10 handpumps of real ale and cider, plus bottles and kegs from as nearby as Hackney and as far away as Mexico.

Vegetarians should stay at home on Thursdays, which is The North Pole’s Carnivore Club night, during which punters are encouraged to match their ale to steaks, burgers or ribs.

This pub is throwing itself into National Cask Ale week with an ‘ale sale’, dedicated brews, quizzes and talks.

Mon-Thurs 11am-11pm, Fri, Sat 11am-12am, Sun 11am-10.30pm
188-190 New North Rd, N1 7BJ, £3+
Tube | Angel; Highbury & Islington



You realise how recently the craft beer trend has swept London when informed that Cask, which opened in 2009, was one of the trailblazers. As such, Cask takes its amber nectar seriously.

Beers are imported from Europe, the US and beyond, but there’s a vast collection of small-batch, hand-crafted beers from the UK. Brewers are regularly invited to hold talks about their craft.

Mon-Sat 12pm-11pm, Sun 12pm-10.30pm
6 Charlwood Street, SW1V 2EE, £4+
Tube | Victoria


London's best craft and cask ale venues
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