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The Bree Louise

The world’s biggest selection of London-brewed real ales, apparently, and they’ve also won awards for their pies. No poncey bar snacks here, just a serious appreciation for ale.

Mon-Sat 11.30am-late,
Sun 12pm-10.30pm, £4
69 Cobourg Street, NW1 2HH
Tube | Euston


The Market Porter

With nine real ales on constant rotation, this venue was also used as the ‘third-hand book emporium’ in Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban. Early birds: it opens at 6am on weekdays.

Mon-Fri 6am-8.30am, 11am-11pm, Sat 12pm-11pm,
Sun 12pm-10.30pm
9 Stoney Street, SE1 9AA
Tube | London Bridge


Carpenter’s Arms

This pub was once owned by Reggie and Ronnie Kray. These days, the one-time gangsters’ den is frequented by hipsters rather than hitmen, and serves an imaginative range of ales. The vibe is really welcoming, too.

Mon-Weds 4pm-10.30pm, Thurs, Sun 12pm-11.30pm, Fri, Sat
12pm-1.30am, £3+
73 Cheshire Street, E2 6EG
Station | Shoreditch High St


The White Horse

Serious ale-loving goes on in this Victorian pub which hosts regular beer festivals (the next one is the Old Ale Festival in November).

Sun-Weds 9.30am-11.30pm, Thurs-Sat 9.30am-12am
1-3 Parsons Green, SW6 4UL, £3+
Tube | Parsons Green


The Florence

If you don’t like dogs or kids, this isn’t the one for you. There is an adults-only bar, but The Florence knows where the Herne Hill money is and has a kids’ play area and a ‘mum’s loyalty card’ scheme.

If, however, you’re down with yummy mummys, it’s
a beautiful bar, opposite Brockwell Park, and has the added kudos of brewing its own real ale on-site.

Mon-Thurs 11.30am-12am,
Fri 11.30am-1am, Sat 11am-1am,
Sun 11.30am-12am, £4+
131-133 Dulwich Rd, SE24 0NG
Station | Herne Hill


The Bear

This former Victorian gin palace has been restored to its former glory, but these days the emphasis is on cask ale and gastro grub.

Since opening six years ago, The Bear has hosted no less than 500 real ales which come from small breweries across the UK.

If it takes more than an unusual beer to lure you out, The Bear’s entertainment programme may help: quizzes, swing dancing and art exhibitions are on offer.

Mon-Thurs 4pm-11pm, Fri 4pm-12am, Sat 12-12, Sun 12-11pm, £4+
296a Camberwell New Road, SE5 0RP 
Tube | Oval; Kennington


Read more: Get on the ale trail when cask ale week rolls into town, Sept 28-Oct 7

Photos: Helen Cathcart, Richard Fairclough Phtography


London's best craft and cask ale venues
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