The Kings Arms in Bethnal Green (11A Buckfast Street, E2 6EY; www.thekingsarmspub.com) is a quiet, unassuming corner boozer, but when you get inside you’ll see one of London’s best-selected beer lists. I like it because it’s a proper pub (not a bar) and it always has extraordinary beers. They have some superb sister pubs, including The Axe in Stoke Newington (18 Northwold Road, N16 7HR; www.theaxepub.com), which does a good roast dinner.
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The Harp in Covent Garden (47 Chandos Place, WC2N 4HS; www.harpcoventgarden.com) has become a go-to pub for some of the best-kept cask ales in the city. Harvey’s Best and Dark Star’s Hop Head are always available and taste as good there as they do anywhere. There’ll be a great range of other casks on, plus some good kegged beer, including a permanent line of The Kernel.
For one of the best beer selections, head south to Stormbird in Camberwell (25 Camberwell Church Street, SE5 8TR;www.thestormbirdpub.co.uk). The range is rarely rivalled for beer geeks in search of what’s hopped up and hyped up. A mile or so down the road is Hop, Burns & Black (38 East Dulwich Road, SE22 9AX;www.hopburnsblack.co.uk), who sell beer, hot sauce, and records. They stock hundreds of bottles and some draft beer, which you can either take away or drink in.
It’s a cool place. The Griffin in Shoreditch (93 Leonard Street, EC2A 4RD; www.the-griffin.com) is hidden away and worth finding for its simplicity and broad, brilliant beer list. Expect London’s bigger hitters and all the classic Camden Town beers. A short walk from The Griffin is The Old Fountain (3 Baldwin Street, EC1V 9NU;www.twitter.com/OldFountainAles) with their mix of cask ales (Oakham Citra is always good) and British kegged beers.
A pint of Hop Head by Dark Star at The Harp. This is one of the finest cask ales available in the UK, and a rare beer that can unite both lovers of modern craft and CAMRA members.
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