Edís Central London Pub Directory

Top Real Ale Pubs in London

London Pubs, Bars & Taverns in Zone 1 from

PUBNETWORK.COMô and the barstool of Ed Vidunas



Posted November 2004


The consumer organization, CAMRA, has criteria to identify a good-ale pub. I have too but for this paper I am using beer selection and condition as the major factors. I have three pubs that I go to most often because they offer a wide range of ale and cider from around the UK and they are always good.


Head of Steam

1 Eversholt Street NW1 (Entrance from the Colonnade near the bus stop at Euston Square) Somers Town

Phone 020 7388 2221, Web www.theheadofsteam.co.uk

Euston Underground Station

††††††††††† I have seen 1100 as the opening hours listed in some papers but found the pub closed until noon during some visits. Very few pubs in London offer a wide range of ale on pump and this one has 12 active beer engines. Very often I do see one or two mild ales and draft cider. This pub has a nice range of bottled beer and, at times, some of it is bottled conditioned. I have also been in when they had a cask cider sitting on the back bar. Drinking here is like being at a beer festival.


Market Porter

9 Stoney Street SE1 off Clink Street AT THE MARKET

Southwark- Borough Market

Phone 020 7407 2495

London Bridge Underground Station

††††††††††† Many tourists shy away from the land south of the Thames and they are missing out on an exciting area and good pubs. This is one of my favorites as I can get a good selection here. About six different ales are always on tap and they hale from all across England, Scotland and Wales. The pub opens Monday-Saturday from 6 to 8:30 AM (Drinks only) then 11-11. Sun at noon-10:30


Wenlock Arms (Free House)

26 Wenlock Rd N1 north of City Rd via Windsor Terrace


Phone 020 7608 3406, Web www.wenlock-arms.co.uk

Old Street (exit 1) or Angle Underground Stations

††††††††††† If you stop in London's pubs looking for unique ale from around the county you can save quite a bit of walking time by coming here. The Wenlock Arms has quite a few beer engines dispensing some of the finer English Ales not found elsewhere in London. They always have Mild and most often a real cider on draught. The North London branch of CAMRA has functions here often, which should be an endorsement of some sort. No pub tour of London is complete without stopping here.

††††††††††† This pub is a short walk off City Road and very much a local for the community it is in. Everyone truly knows everyone else and women and children sit here like they belonged to the same family. On my first visit I felt as if I was intruding in somebodyís home. If you could only visit one pub this would be my recommendation.


Read Me

††††††††††† I know that I have omitted many good pubs but I have narrowed my list to shown pubs that have many different brands rather than the pubs that have only one or two engines. There are however more to say on this matter. Youngs and Fullers are London brewers that produce cask ale and all of their pubs should be mentioned. JD Wetherspoon is a pub company that serves a good many brands and they rotate selection often. Dinking at a Wetherspoon pub always feels like a beer festival.


Fullers Smith & Turner (Simply referred to as Fullers) Web www.fullers.co.uk

††††††††††† This Chiswick, London brewer is the maker of London Pride, Chiswick Bitter. The have many tied houses around London.


JD Wetherspoon Web www.jdwetherspoon.co.uk

This is what is known as a Pubco or simply a pub company; that is a company that owns pubs and they buy beer from many breweries. You can find beer from across the country here, much like those listed above and you canít go wrong drinking in them. However, they are not you fatherís pub so donít expect much talk from the staff or a dog with his master near a cozy fireplace. They do have a reputation for having the cleanest ladies rooms and some are masterfully designed. The menís rooms are very nice too.


Youngís Web www.youngs.co.uk

††††††††††† One of many independent brewers this Wandsworth, London brewery was always a major producer of cask ale. Just like Fullers, Youngís has many pubs about London.