When I moved to London I expected to arrive in a beer nirvana, where cask ale rains from the sky and everyone is happily just a little bit drunk all the time. While my expectations may have been lofty, I was generally surprised at how few good pubs, from a beer perspective, I could find in London. Sure, there are pubs everywhere and the majority of the English population is drunk a lot of the time (though not exactly happily), but where are all the good pubs? Over time I managed to find a few here and there, no thanks to terrible pub finding websites like Fancyapint and Beer in the Evening.
It’s not like I wasn’t trying to find good pubs in London, I’m ever diligent. I even downloaded the CAMRA Good Beer Guide iPhone app, which is great for finding pubs serving cask ale. CAMRA, however, fails to distinguish between a pub serving nicely conditioned cask ale and a nice place to hang out. CAMRA highly recommends the Wenlock Arms in Islington, which I decided to check out. When I walked in, I found the place full of dishevelled looking regulars staring at me like I didn’t belong there. Though the beer was some of the best I’d drank in London to that point, I found the atmosphere to be very disconcerting. Lucky for them, their beer gets them on the list.
Lucky for me, I eventually started working in the same office as a fellow beer enthusiast. The list below comes courtesy of Lee Bacon aka Baconator, who I kindly thank for his good advice. The best two places I’ve visited on hist list are The Euston Tap and Craft, which are both fantastic beer bars that, in my humble opinion, stack up with the best in the world.
Chancery Lane / Holborn:
If you have any other suggestions for me, I’d love to hear them.